The New Matzarolli’s

On day 13 of NaPoWriMo My poem  looks at the power of photography  and I thank Katie Walker co-owner of KK Snaps for inspiring me to tackle what I think is an underated art form. I’ve given the poem the title The New Matzarolli’s in tribute to the great Glasgow photographer and social historian Oscar Matzarolli and the work of Katie and her friend and business partner  Kristy Hughes who whether they know it or not are  the heirs to that tradition.  I hope you enjoy the read. 

The New Matzarolli’s 
frozen in time 

the photograph tells the story 

of a moment recorded for posterity

a cherished memory captured 

at a family gathering 

christening or graduation 

in this Instagram generation

it’s all about the selfie 

taken at nights out 

or in the crowd at the Celtic game 

but the photographer’s work 

is no less an art than that 

of the poet or landscape painter 

making as they must the best edit 

of every story the camera told 

in a high street studio the new Matzarolli’s 

produce high quality images 

of a 21st century city 

with the same beautiful but gritty reality 

which Oscar used to tell the story of our past 

this neglected craft still needed

even in the age where every phone has a camera 

when you need a touch of glamour 

for weddings and other occasions 

there is only so much inspiration 

social media can give  

sometimes for your moment to live in the memory 

you need to trust those who studied the art 

and know the secrets of the dark room.

© Gayle Smith 2017 



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