The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Siblings, photography and cake

My stepdaughter, Holly, has been down visiting us this past week. She was 4 when I first met her; she’ll be 23 next birthday.

I thought it might be worth trying to take a photo of her with Rogan & Meg, so set up the lighting studio kit I bought a few months ago. Unfortunately there isn’t an area in the house big enough for a full lighting studio, and even finding the largest potential space still left much to be desired. With very little room to manoeuvre, furniture had to be pushed up against walls, boxes had to be stacked precariously and washing had to be strategically placed outwith the direct line of the lens.

I thought I would try and herd them into respectable positions and take a few dignified shots, suitable to send to relatives in the coming festive season. Unfortunately before my finger reached the camera, their true natures manifested.

Rogan and Meg especially tend to get a bit hyper when any of their older siblings come to stay, and this past week has been no exception. Holly is indulgent, patient and, when I come to think of it, seems to enjoy winding them up to fever pitch.

Last night, when I took Rogan and Holly out to the cinema to watch the new James Bond film, Meg made a cake for Holly to take home with her. She was very thorough and conscientious, and did it almost entirely herself, with only a little help from Maggie.

A vanilla sponge with butter icing centre, topped with pink icing, white chocolate mice and hundreds and thousands.

Holly left today. And while the house might be a bit quieter, it also feels emptier. There’s a Holly-shaped hole here at the moment, which we’re all feeling.

It’s a shame she took the cake with her, I could really do with a slice just now.


Anna van Schurman said...

I'm pretty sure you know you can't fill a Holly shaped hole with cake.

If you ever find yourself wanting hundreds and thousands in the US, ask for sprinkles, unless you are in New England and want chocolate ones. Those are called "Jimmies." I don't know the etymology of that. But I like to do what I can to bridge linguistic divides!

savannah said...

i think all y'all need to make a holly-we-miss-you-we-need-a-slice-of-cake cake! i'm a firm believer in indulging at lease once a quarter! ;)

Andraste said...

I could do with a slice of that cake myself.

I love that photo of the kids - that'd make a great Xmas card.

Is Rogan tall for his age?

Ronnie said...

You've got better than cake, you've got memories, and photographs. You also got to play with your new gear best of joy with it,b.t.w.

PI said...

Lovely photos and that cake is pure porn.

debra said...

What a wonderful photo of the kids! And the cake----oh, would that I were on your side of the pond.

Kim Ayres said...

Anna - sprinkles? Ok, I'll try an remember that; it kind of makes sense. I can't begin to imagine why chocolate ones are called Jimmies though

Savannah - more like once a quarter moon...

Andraste - not particularly, just everyone else is small. Rogan's 13 and about 5'2"; Holly I think just scrapes 5 foot tall. I'm only 5'7" on a good day, so we don't have high expectations of him growing up to be a tall fellow.

Ronnie - I must admit, studio lighting is still a considerable mystery to me. At the moment I'm happiest clicking away in natural daylight. The problem is there isn't much of it in Scotland at this time of year.

Pat - I think it's illegal in some of the more puritanical countries.

Debra - you'll have to let me know it ever you cross the Atlantic. I'm sure tea and cake could be provided :)

Eryl said...

Pat's right, you could have at least protected its dignity with a ribbon. Thank goodness Holly took it away with her.

Charlie said...

You mention that Holly has been "down" visiting—does she live in the Highlands, or further north in the Arctic?

I think your small studio would be excellent for photographing the little people: Hobbits, elves, sprites, but no trolls.

Or even better, those itsy-bitsy cameo photos . . .

Kim Ayres said...

Eryl - since when did a ribbon protect anyone's dignity?

Charlie - Holly lives "up" near Stirling, about 100 miles further north.

And we're nearly all outsized dwarves in out family - large bodies, short legs

Carole said...

Great picture. Looks like a good time was had by all. I suspect their true nature is a bit like yours only more refined.

I can't even like James Bond now, with that guy. He never looks like he has any situation under control. I like the Bonds that smile even when it looks like every last attempt to save-the-day will end in certain death.

Restaurant Gal said...

I need some cake right about now, at least the spirit of it, you know?

Conan Drumm said...

Crikey, I belong to a family of giants, cake-eating giants. The youngest is touching 5'8", but has stopped at that, I think.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - and yet another difference between us - I reckon he's one of the best Bonds :)

RG - Now Meg's in on the act, I seem to be the only one left in the family who can't bake incredible cakes

Conan - the only one in our family who is over 5'8" is my stepson, who's 6 foot, but he's an abberation in an otherwise stumpy family

widi said...

Looks delicious.

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