I'm thinking about my dad today. He died exactly a year ago today on his 82nd birthday. I miss him a lot. So, I got to thinking about my growing up years when so many people I know developed the passions of their lives, like trains or surfing, or baking, you know, stuff like that. I didn't actually begin to take photography seriously or become "passionate" about it until I was in my mid-thirties, so where did my passion come from?
Dad was a terrible photographer. We'd wait FOREVER for him to get us posed so we didn't look like we were posing. Then the picture would come back with mom and the five of us kids with quiet looks of desperation on our faces. He had the right idea, but he didn't do so well at the execution of it!
Dad was an artist - water color and oils. He also sang opera. He had been trained in it since he was a little boy growing up in France. I think perhaps that his artistic abilities spilled over into our day to day lives without me realizing it. I'd watch him paint and talk to him about colors and how to put them together. It was all just a part of life back then.
We'd be driving up to the mountains in the old station wagon and dad would point out the lines and textures in the rocks. Or when he and mom took me San Francisco the year I graduated from junior college, I can remember him pointing out the architecture of the buildings he loved and all the features that reminded him of the architecture in Paris where he grew up.
I think of photography as an art form, although, I've heard many paint brush in hand artists who would dispute that with me. But for me it IS art. Painting with light, colors, textures, leading lines, all the things that make up good composition and elements of art. My photos are simply a different form of art and one that, whether I realized it at the time or not, was greatly influenced by my dad.
In the years before dad died, he would encourage me every time we talked. He loved my photos and he'd tell me, "I showed your photos to so and so and he loved them too. Everyone loves your photos!" I hear his voice in my head every now and then telling me to press on and not to give up on my dream, this crazy, wonderful, wild dream I have of becoming a respected photographer giving people memories for a lifetime.
Dad, I love you and I miss you so much. I honor you today for being my dad and instilling in me an artistic eye and the mind of an artist always looking at my work critically and enthusiastically to improve and grow and succeed. I press on toward my dream enjoying the journey (most days) along the way.
See you next time. Thanks for stopping by.