Winter 2023 - Archival Record

One particular photograph of my mother has intrigued me since the first time I saw it. Taken on a city street, one of only a handful of pictures my father shot in the city, it’s a strangely evocative and mysterious image with a timeless quality common to great photographs.

My father shot the photograph over my mother’s left shoulder, an unusual angle for a portrait, and a sharp contrast to his usual straight-on documentary style. In the foreground, my mother’s face is in profile, slightly out of focus and overexposed, the skin of her cheek a soft, featureless white. She wears a dark coat with a large, luxurious fur stole, and her dark hair is topped with a beret …


Kate Bird’s work has been published in Prairie Fire, the Sun, and other literary journals. A retired news research librarian, she is the author of three books of newspaper photography, including the bestselling Vancouver in the Seventies.

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