8 months

















The 11th of this month will be 8 months since my Dad died.My father and I had a difficult relationship, but since he passed I have gained this strange sort of wisdom. It's hard to explain, it's like a bright window that was covered for years by dark dirty curtains. Dad's death forced me to grab those curtains with both arms and eventually yank them open so everything is flooded with light. I feel like I understand things I never could before, not just about Dad but everything. A part of this is that I've come to realise that my decision to photograph him was a moment of clarity in a truly shit time .
While I was taking the photos, I really thought I was doing it out of cruelty. I am not proud to admit that, but I thought the rockiness of my father and mine's relationship afforded me the right to "use" him. To use the situation for my own ends, to create something great out of it. Anger had made me so fucking dumb I was blind to the real reason I was photographing him. I was desperate to hold onto him, desperate to try to use the only tool I had to take some control of the situation. The process of photographing him when he was sick meant that I could take something familiar into a situation that was foreign and fucking scary. My camera was an extension of my denial in some ways, but it also shielded me from the reality of what was going on in front of me. Worrying about camera shake was a lot better than worrying about how my fragile Dad was going to make it through another anesthetic.
A few days after Dad died some of the series was featured on F Stop. My feelings about that are still somewhat confused, as is how I feel about any of the photos being on Flickr. I think it's because to me the photos feel so raw, they really aren't about my Dad at all they are all about me. So having them on a forum like Flickr with all the hdr sunsets and kittens isn't something I'm sure of. I can't really understand what made me upload them in the first place,The photos have felt more vulnerable than if I put a nude self portrait on my facebook page. But I am comfortable with that vulnerability now, another by product of the perspective loosing a parent gives you. And once those curtains finally opened, I realised that all I have here are photos. Pictures, nothing more, nothing less. I know how Dad felt about them but now I know how I feel about them too. So along with these honest words is an edit of the photos which I want to share. The last photo in this selection, I took of Dad a few hours before he lost consciousness on May the 10th and slipped away. It's probably the best photo I will ever take.

2 comments:

  1. Wow. This was such a raw and moving set of photos - and then I read the text. This is very, very moving. I feel for you, but thank you for sharing.

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  2. Oh I know how you feel :( my dad died two weeks ago of cancer.. its been a rough start to the year :( This blog post was very moving xx

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