My brother and I are sporting fashionable home knit cardigans and white polo necks, well turned out for our infants school photo. The double portrait being the charming economy option for any young family wishing to avoid multiple school photo outlay.
These photographs would be placed with pride on top of the TVs, sideboards, pianos and fireplaces by parents and grandparents across the land, to remind them of those they loved most.
No one would be happy if you blinked, pulled a funny face or did not smile lovingly at the camera. This was a moment to show everyone what a lovely model child you were. Boys would wet their hair in the sink and comb it into side partings to mimic grownups haircuts. The girls would lovingly prep each others locks by platting or combing repeatedly until their friends hair shone. Hair lice loved school photo day as children freely shared combs and hair brushes. Nicky Nora the dicky explorer had no fear of being out of work as long as the school photographers were in business.
If these photographs were so revered, I thought, why not make a three quarter portrait version that could hang with pride elsewhere in our home. Although charmed by this idea, my parents sensibly declined from framing this watercolour and adding it to the interior decoration.