‘I hope the parents aren’t judged for having a glass of wine’: María Moldes’s best phone picture

·1-min read

Spanish photographer María Moldes and her partner were having a meal after a day at a Benidorm beach when she spotted two sleeping children on the next table.

“It was hot and crowded, the ceiling fans were on and people were chatting away, but these kids were fast asleep. I noticed the contrast of their hair colour against the cheap tablecloth, the matching hand stamps between parent and child, their posture. The parents were from abroad, but they smiled and nodded when I went to take the photo.”

Related: ‘It’s like I was sitting in the bedroom with them’: Stephanie Noritz’s best phone picture

Moldes, who describes her photos as “always containing some element of irony or social criticism”, saw an opportunity to “confront two different ways of experiencing leisure – when you are a child, and when you are an adult.

“While the kids are bored doing adult stuff, like sitting at a restaurant table, their parents are finally enjoying the one moment their children are quiet.”

She insists there is no disapproval directed at the parents for drinking with their children present. “I hope the parents aren’t judged for having a glass of wine in front of the kids! The criticism is more about the way we adults identify alcohol with our moments of relaxation.”

The photo was taken in 2017, when mobile photography felt like a “fresher” medium to Moldes. “I like the discretion and subtlety. It allows you to go unnoticed.”