Eleven | Behind the Scenes With Nina Callow

This post is part of a series of behind the scene posts authored by the Where The Boys regular contributors. This is our opportunity to share with you the very best of us and our different perspectives on mothering / capturing / documenting our sons. Our hope is that in these posts you find encouragement and inspiration in your journey of celebrating your son(s). 

Today's post is brought to you by Nina Callow. To get to know the author better and connect with their work visit their individual page here


I’ve been taking some time lately - back to "school" and learning loads on a photography course in London. Its been amazing, the tutors have been inspirational and I’ve met some lovely new people too. I’ve been taken so far out of my comfort zone on so many occasions, but, you know what, its been ok and I actually enjoyed asking strangers if I can take their pictures- even if initially horrified at the idea! 6 weeks ago, we were set a photo journalism task by the wonderful Emily Stein – and here Emily, is mine.... 

Eleven - oh my – Eleven when did that happen? Eleven is so old, Eleven is senior school and I’m not old enough to have a child at senior school....am I?  

Eleven can be so stroppy, Eleven knows everything, Eleven, - don’t mess with Eleven unless your happy to have a stand off that you’re just not going to win, and yet, Eleven is turning into such a lovely young man, Eleven is quite sensitive to his brothers, a little arm round, guiding them in the right direction, and a rota of who can sleep in Eleven’s new queen sized bed!  Eleven suddenly says good morning to our neighbors, and moves out of the way to let an adult pass, holds a door open, and doesn’t need to be reminded anymore about his pleases and his thankyous

This year has been huge! At 11 you’ve changed schools, off you went, the only one from your primary school, to your new secondary school a bus ride away. Bus passes, mobile phones, PE kit as big as you are, and don’t even mention the rucksack so full of books that looks like you may topple backwards at any moment. 

Off you trot, every morning, after your very early wake up call, to the bus, phone in hand – running some times to meet your friends. I can see you now, sitting up the top (we could never make it up the top you, me and your two brothers –before the bus driver half killed us by pulling away too fast!) but now your just you – you can ride the top of that bus, just as you’ve always wanted. And by the end of the day, your home looking a little disheveled, tie all crooked, shirt hanging out and so stroppy sometimes – tired from the new things you’ve learnt that day.

Eleven is a challenge, a daily battle of frustration and ups and downs, good and bad, a learning curve for all. So here is to the Eleveness of being Eleven and all that this holds for us all....