https://www.thepaternaloptimist.com > The Usual Suspects

The tradition of Usual Suspects photos - group family portraits - began several years ago - for the historians out there, the first example was taken at Pienza in Italy on July 20th 1998, when the Boy Wonder was a mere bambino of five. Early examples usually showed a row of seated family members, wearing blank expressions and betraying a certain world-weariness. Over time, subjects have experimented with subtle variations - standing up, showing some awareness of being photographed, and even going as far as smiling on occasion, though this is naturally frowned upon by purists.

The Original Usual Suspects

The Original Usual Suspects

Pienza, Italy  July 20, 1998

This photograph has all the key elements that go to make up a top class Usual Suspects snap : people in shades; people in hats; people looking tired; one or more people looking out of frame; a bicycle. It's an image that will never date, an instant and permanent classic. And the Boy Wonder never looked cooler.


The BW's Swiss Family

The BW's Swiss Family

Verbier, Switzerland  August 02, 2002

The family spent a wonderful weekend at the chalet of my friend JPK, who was thrilled and proud to take us on a long walk on the mountainside above the chalet, stopping every few minutes to point out to us with infectious enthusiasm every detail of the local flora and fauna. This picture was taken half way through our walk.


Traditional Usual Suspects Photo

Traditional Usual Suspects Photo

Ballenberg, Switzerland  August 05, 2002

This photo is more in keeping with the traditional Usual Suspects format, even if no-one is wearing a hat and there is no-one actually looking away from the camera.


A Favourite Holiday Pastime

A Favourite Holiday Pastime

Isola Bella, Stresa, Italy  August 08, 2002

There is nothing the Usual Suspects like to do more on holiday than to bury their collective nose in a good book. Other than to rest their eyes and catch forty collective winks, that is...


Frozen in Central Park

Frozen in Central Park

Central Park, New York  February 16, 2003

In February 2003, we took The Principal on a surprise visit - alas without the BW - to New York (she thought she was going to Geneva until I surprised her at Heathrow airport). It was bitterly cold when we arrived, and the next day it snowed - 15 inches fell in no time, and the city ground to a halt. It was quite magical !


Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

St Gervais, France  January 02, 2004

Another variation on the classic theme, with a change in the line-up to boot. The Boy Wonder is on the left, and the Paternal Optimist on the right. But instead of flanking The Principal and The Recluse as would usually be the case, here they are standing either side of the Lovebirds.


Varsity Shadows

Varsity Shadows

Cambridge, England  May 15, 2005

Not the classic Usual Suspects line-up - this picture features the PO, the BW, the Principal, the Mother Superior, the BW and Button - but definitely an image that belongs in this album. Taken on the Backs at Cambridge on a sunny May afternoon.