Reflections…on family portraits…this photograph of my father, my hero, is long overdue! As is my very first REAL blog post. I kept waiting for the right time, right subject, the right words, the correct words, the one great thing that is worthy of a blog. This first blog, as my father’s portrait, is long overdue.
My father, a man who has made his life happen, overcoming so many obstacles, always head-on, is an inspiration! He has reinvented himself several times, to adapt to the times and circumstances. As I get older I see those characteristics in myself. Although I recognized them as special in him I never recognized them as special in me, self unimportance. So a lesson learned…I guess that is what parents are for, to care for us and to teach us. I have been taught….again!
I am grateful that my dad said yes to this portrait session. He in fact dressed up for the occasion. I am grateful as he is a humble man, but he said yes to family portraits, and took pleasure in it. My parents live in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, Canada. They came to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to take care of Bentley, my dog!… not my children, as teenagers take care of themselves, so that my husband and I could go away for a few days to the lovely Walla Walla for some wine tasting…future blog post?
Having him come into my studio, my most favorite place in the world outside of my couch with my dog or kids or husband and a book. Although I was nervous about having him watch me ‘work’ that feeling went away quite quickly. He was a great subject, listening and following my direction.
As I photographed him and as I look at the final photographs, so many souvenirs rush back…Those days he used me as a weight on his back as he did his morning push up routine in our small apartment in Warsaw… The day I sat in his lap on a chair in the kitchen of our Setif Apartment in Algeria and told him I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up so I could take care of him…ok I didn’t but I did the next best thing, I married one… The day I told him I was opening a photography studio at the ripe age of 41 in the small town of Eau Claire Wisconsin and he was worried about me and told me that I shouldn’t quit my day job. No matter how old the child a parent is always a parent and I treasure mine.
As we finished up the portrait session I took note of the pride on his face, such an amazing feeling even as an adult with my own children. My dad thanked me and said he was glad someone cared enough to photograph him. This family portrait is just another piece to mark his presence in my life and the life of many others. I crave to collect all his stories as I know that life is not finite and want those after me to know this great man, to have a face to all those stories.
Closing note: this first blog post took me two hours to write…still learning!