On Sunday, our little Valentine's baby turned 18. Despite all our fears when, during her first year we faced the very real prospect we might lose her - twice - somehow we appear to have guided Meg to adulthood.
How on earth can she be 18? She's still 8, I'm sure of it. But then I suspect this is a feeling shared by Dads the world over when it comes to their daughters.
I decided to take a photo of her at the weekend. My idea was of Meg with a single rose - a contemplative image - low key, edge lighting. I put up a black backdrop, moved a single speedlite around until I had the angle I wanted and fired off some shots.
I was quite pleased with the result - it wasn't a million miles away from what I'd set out to get.
However, when I showed it to Maggie she said it didn't reflect how she sees her. When she thinks of Meg, it is the laughter, fun and general joie de vivre that springs to mind.
So I pulled down the black background, put up a white one and introduced more lighting.
2 very different photos - different styles, different moods, different Megs.
I put them up on Facebook and asked which one people preferred. Most, as expected, said "both", or dodged the question. However of those who did express a preference I found that, for the most part, the photographers tended to prefer the darker one while the non-photographers were more drawn to the lighter.
"The camera never lies" is one of the most well known sayings about photography, yet is patently false. Which of these photos is truer?
Either, neither, both?
Photography is less truth-telling and more storytelling - the angle taken, the lighting arranged, the expression coaxed, the crop, and the editing, are all manipulated to create a particular look or mood, which reflects the intention of the photographer.
And then the viewers bring their own desires, fears and curiosities to their interpretation and preferences.
So which do you prefer, and why? Or do you prefer not to say...