Thinking back to family events my memory paints a picture of a brown comb over and an optical recording device permanently in front of my fathers face. After we watched “The Dukes of Hazzard” on Friday nights, my father would set up our 8mm projector and bless us with his home movies fresh from the Kmart photo Lab. These three-minute masterpieces of last week’s soccer game or birthday party set in a 1970’s Los Angeles suburb, gave me the confidence and direction to do anything as long as I am consistent and have endurance for perfection.
When I was growing up, my father had two hobbies, recreational aviation and photography. With all his help and encouragement, my younger brother became a commercial pilot and I a photographer. When asked, “Why do you take pictures?” I can honestly answer taking pictures was taught to me at a young age as a natural act to embrace a moment and celebrate it. Discovering photography as a means of expression, I jumped into it full force wanting to know more than my father’s knowledge. I chose to study photography and fell in love with its combination of science and artistry. Looking back at my photographic advancement, my father was always proud of my technical achievements but never paid much attention to my personal expression. At first this was frustrating and disappointing until one day. I explained to my father why I make pictures. I explained to him that he showed me how to capture moments, but for me the importance of making images came from something else. When I told him “If I cannot express what I feel visually, I don’t feel anything at all” it made perfect sense to him. And in that moment, I taught my father something, and for the first time.
Currently I am digitizing my father’s home movies and incorporating them into my work. I have my life documented from birth till moving out for college. To look back at this footage is a porthole to my childhood and I am loving it three minutes at a time. Thanks Dad!