Catching Memories Through The Lens

‘He looks like an astronaut in space’: Hannah Cassidy’s best phone picture – The Guardian

‘He looks like an astronaut in space’: Hannah Cassidy’s greatest phone picture

The British photographer on the timeless quality black and white gives to an image of a young boy learning to swim

H arry had never swum without armbands before. It was August 2021 and the three-year-old was on holiday with his parents, grandparents, sister and aunt, the photographer Hannah Cassidy. It had been the second arduous year of pandemic restrictions and time stuck at home for the toddler, so he and his sister Rose, six, were thrilled to arrive in southern Spain. The extended family had rented a villa within Murcia and from day one the kids gravitated towards the pool. Rose had taken swimming lessons before, but Harry had not.

“A few days in, we switched his armbands for a float that strapped to his back, ” Cassidy says. “He was standing on the side while we were in the pool, cheering him on, encouraging him to jump in and try to swim towards us. The outstretched arms you can see belong to Rose. They’re really close. ”

While Cassidy would never take her professional camera into water, she remembered that her Google Pixel 5 was water resistant, and was impressed by the quality of image it produced. She later converted it to monochrome, drawn to the way the sun bounced off the floor tiles. “I also felt that it gave it a timeless quality; we could be in any country, in any year.

“It was such a nice environment for him to learn in, to have this important experience, and I wanted to document it, ” Cassidy adds. “I love how his sister’s arms are waiting to catch him: he looks like an astronaut in space. ”