Like Father Like Son.

As some of you may know from conversations I have had with those, that my father was a photographer who photographed everything. What most of you do not know is that me and my father was never really close. I pretty much grew up with out him in my life, and really never knew much about him. The one thing that I did know is his love for photography. It wasn’t until later in my life shortly before he passed, that I reached out to him and found out just how really talented, interesting and passionate he was about his craft. I do remember seeing awards and trophies from his photographic accomplishments when I was younger, but I never really paid it any attention until my adult years and when I first started shooting. The one thing that really brought us somewhat closer, was when he came to my house and I was able to show him my first portfolio and get his thoughts and critique. After that I really started to pay more attention and ask him questions about the craft. Shortly after he asked me to help him with some of his work as far as getting it onto a computer. He had no idea how to do it. I had a scanner and showed him how to use Photoshop which he had no idea what it was. Soon after that I went to visit him and we chatted for a bit and before I left he pointed to two large boxes that were closed and tapped and told me to take them with me. I had no idea what was in the boxes, I believe he told me it was some camera equipment he had which I was pretty excited about. I took the boxes home and eager to open them and what I found was two large boxes filled with his life’s work. Slides and negatives as well as Polaroids. I was speechless and emotional at the same time. I quickly dove in and immediately started looking through them thinking wow, here is over 50 years or more of this mans work and all he shot most 20 years before I was born.

One thing I remembered when I was helping him scan that he put everything on disk like I showed him and I remember one image of a young Muhammad Ali that he shot in the 60’s. I was amazed when I saw it and after a while I got away from his work, let it sit and somewhat forgot about it. Soon after my father passed away and I kept telling myself that I need to do something with his work, and get it out there for the world to see. Mind you that his work has not been seen since really the 60’s or 70’s. So it has been in boxes for all of this time. Not to long after he passed I started going through the work again and all types of emotions went through me. Something kept telling me to do something with it, show the world that is why he gave it to you, to share what he has been wanting to share all of his life.

As some of you have known and seen that I have been posting some of his work that I recently started scanning. Most of what I have scanned I have never seen before and again has been an emotional and exhilarating task. I am barely at the tip of the iceberg and have come across some great stuff. I also found the original of the picture he took of Muhammad Ali which happen to be the last exposure on that roll of film. As I continue to look at his work and look at mine, I guess you can say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My goal is to do a project where I can one put together a book of his work as well as a gallery dedicated to him. I am also thinking about including some of my work for a gallery as well to mix with his. This would be an honor to me and I am sure he will be smiling down and be proud of what I have done with his body of work. No we were not close, but I can say we shared the love of photography and if you are reading this pop. You are mu biggest inspiration and I love and miss you dearly.

One thought on “Like Father Like Son.

  1. Well, as they say, there was not a dry eye in the room after I read this, Smitty. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to you for writing this…it reminded me of why I photograph my world. I love your idea to create a book of your Father’s work, and to dedicate a gallery to him. Seeing your work, displayed with his, would be worth the trip from Ontario, Canada. Often what makes a relationship truly special is not that you find common ground where it is expected, but that you simply find common ground. Your common ground with your Father was clearly photography, and that is wonderful. I genuinely believe that he can see you, and is so very proud of you. You are a good man, and an incredible photographer. And as you continue your journey through this wonderful world of photography, know that he is with you, believing in you, smiling with you through your accomplishments, and filled with pride that you are doing that which makes you truly happy. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s