Let me begin by telling you a story – something that happened earlier this year before Jestyn and Rong’s wedding. On the night before the wedding, as I was scrolling through my newsfeed I got word that Jestyn’s dog, Santhos, had went missing that very evening and they couldn’t find him after searching for hours. My heart sank, because I could just imagine the emotions he must have been going through, and just before the wedding as well – the turmoil must be unthinkable.
I didn’t say it then, but I had this hope, or rather this unexplainable feeling that Santhos will somehow be there at the wedding. I had this fantasy that he will find his way to Xiaorong’s house and I couldn’t believe it when he came busting through the door at six o’clock the next morning. Everyone was so happy – it was the second best thing that happened that Saturday.
Then it had me thinking.. What if Santhos didn’t turn up, and what if those prayers of hope weren’t fulfilled? When we look back at these photographs we took earlier this year with them, what will we feel then? I share a close bond with my dog, Olive, and the thought my children never getting to meet and know him frightens me. He will only be a part of their lives as a story, through my words and our photographs.
A photographer I admire once said, we take photographs for the ones are not born yet – and I think that is the true value of a photograph.