AN OXFORD woman has spoken of how she found her passion for photography after losing her partner - and realising they only had one family photo together.

Photographer Aina Gomez' partner died while their daughter was just a baby, and they had just one photo of the three of them.

The photograph, taken by a family friend at a birthday party, has become Ms Gomez' most cherished photo and the inspiration for her own photography business. 

The 37-year-old said: "It is not a great photo in many ways, it is grainy, I don't like the way I look, it was only a few months after giving birth. It is not the best pose, but it is a cherished photo. My daughter loves it because it is all three of us together."

Read also: Abbey Meadow outdoors pool in Abingdon reopens and swimmers are thrilled

Ms Gomez, whose daughter Mayim is now seven, continued: “I don’t care that I look tired, and I don’t care that I still hadn’t lost weight after my pregnancy. I’m just thankful we were able to preserve that one special moment so my daughter and I can cherish it forever.” 

She added: “Sometimes a photograph is all we’ve got. That’s why I’m now so passionate about capturing memories on film.”

The cherished photo lead Ms Gomez to fall in love with capturing special moments through photographs.

She said: "I started working with a wedding studio, I loved doing videography at weddings because everyone is happy and you are capturing the moment, but it kept me thinking what comes after. We need to capture more than just special events."

Oxford Mail: Photographer Aina Gomez and daughter Mayim. Picture: Aina Gomez

Now Ms Gomez runs her own Oxford photography studio, Family Memento, she encourages families to have their picture taken to capture memories and make an experience of the event. 

She said: "It takes you back to the feeling and the moment. People remember everything around that moment of taking a photo. Not only the photo itself but everything that happened before and after.

"By creating a photo shoot you are also creating a moment."

Using her own story as inspiration, Ms Gomez created her Little Eyes, Big Stories course for children aged seven to 12 to encourage them to think creatively and use what they have around them to create photos.

Ms Gomez said: “Photography has helped me heal and allowed me to express myself.” 

She added: “So I want to share the importance of capturing those moments with the people who’ll benefit most from them - children."