“A photograph is the pause button of life.”
Today’s blog post is a Mother’s Day trip into the past - and a tribute to my mother, the photographer.
Rosa Leah Tayler (née Walters), was born on April 19, 1915 and died on August 8, 1999. No one ever called her Rosa – she was always Rose. She was smart, loving, intense, funny, and more than a little obsessive about everything she did. She married my dear father, Doug Tayler, in 1939. Together, they did a fine job of raising my sister, Lynda, and me. She worked hard, enjoyed dancing, and always had a camera with her.
Well, I guess that last apple didn’t fall far from the tree!
It’s only lately that I’ve been appreciating how my love of photography stems right back to my mother and her Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras. She was the official family photographer who recorded every – EVERY – occasion. It was both charming and annoying at the same time. I hope that my approach to photography retains her charm while avoiding the annoyance. Feedback, welcome – I think...
So in honour of Mom’s contributions to my passion for photography, I offer these scanned images from the treasure trove of family photographs that I inherited after my parents died.
There are three batches.
First Batch: Three very old photographs – the first two are tintypes – that I found in a small envelope on which my mother had written, “Show Lar”. (My mother’s handwriting was very distinctive, and she was one of the few people who could get away with calling me "Lar".) I don’t recall that she ever did show them to me, nor do I know who these people are, but I do know that they are precious, mysterious objects that take me back to my family in the 19th century.
Second Batch: Photographs featuring my mother as a child and a young woman. In the first, she is posing for a postcard photo. In the second, she is sitting next to her infant brother, Homer. In the third, she is riding Gay, her beloved horse. (I take delight in the name of her horse.) The fourth is an exquisite hand-tinted portrait that shows her as a young woman, poised, yet shy and vulnerable.
Last Batch: Mid-20th century family life on our farm, near Wellington, Ontario, in Prince Edward County. By this time, Mom had become the official family photographer. With the exception of the last two images showing her with my sister and me, the photographs are all hers.
She gave me a fabulous legacy, a legacy I intend to honour in my own photography.
Thanks, Mom. You did a good thing.
Dad with Lynda
Lynda and Larry