The idea for this photograph came to me 3 years ago. I had noticed people on the street with bright pink hair, and I realised I had to use this in my book project. It has taken me all that time to get the right picture. I first photographed Sarah and Christie below, but as my work envolved to focus solely on children these portraits went out. I then had the idea of photographing a mum with pink hair. The first two mums I approached were initially interested but didn’t make it to the shoot stage. Then there was the pink haired girl that I met on the bus, but again no shot. I met Liz in a cafe, pictured below with her baby daughter. We made some really nice portraits, but the picture didn’t capture what I was trying to say. Then I bumped into Rachel (bottom image) in the park. I thought I made some nice portraits, but when I saw them back I realised that she wasn’t really a child anymore and my head had been turned by her pink locks.
Then a few months ago, out of the blue, my friend Shelby dyed her hair pink. I had photographed her daughter before for my project. When I photographed them together it worked. I talked to Rosie about her mum and that is when she hugged her in this protective way. Her mum looks doll like and I like that. I once read that Trent Parke went to the same spot every day for 3 months to try to capture a picture. That is devotion and detection. It is what I would tell students and those at the early stages of learning to take pictures – that sometimes photographs take time. So often, we only see the finished article, but photographs are made from many failed attempts, journeys down the wrong path, experiments, hard work and then one day it all just falls into place.