Spoken texts and photographs

As some will know, my wife is a minister (of Balfron Church and Fintry Kirk), and for one of this Sunday’s services, she asked me if I would help her with some images.  She had written a prayer, and wanted images to be projected onto a screen during the prayer – did I have anything that would suit?

This was a fascinating thing to do: read the prayer she had written, look at the scribbled list of the kinds of things she had thought of, and then think about what images I might have to offer that could be appropriate.  Reflecting on a written text and visualising the kind of imagery that might be appropriate is one thing, and an interesting exercise in itself.  But reminding myself that this was not really a written text, but a prayer for a service of worship that is to be spoken by one person and heard by many others made this process somehow rather different.  I’m not sure I can even articulate more about this difference, but as I looked for the images I had thought of, I found myself constantly thinking that this was not just a written text, but a spoken text (albeit at the moment an unspoken spoken text!).  This thought changed, in subtle ways, how I saw the photographs I was looking at, and it made me remember the processes underpinning the making of these images in new ways.  I almost felt as if I had discovered something new about the photographs, though I’m not completely sure I know what that newness actually is!

I showed my wife several photographs that I thought might work, and she chose some.  I was particularly pleased to be able to give her one of my favourite portraits ever, of a new mother:



In contrast, these are two of the other images I gave her:

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