2014 - Ongoing
Fathers and Sons
Portraits of an influential relationship
Fathers and Sons is an ongoing series of double portraits.
I became the father of a boy in 2012 and the change this constantly evolving relationship has brought to my life is hard to overstate. Since I was the single child of a single mother (I never knew my father), I also have to navigate parenthood without a first hand male role model. This gave me an interest in photographically exploring the relationships of other fathers and sons.
Having a child expands and limits your life’s experiences in dramatic ways and generates a complex mix of emotions.
Obviously fathers and sons are incredibly important to each other. A father is the first and often main role model for a son (not exactly a small responsibility). He constantly has to strike a balance between safety and freedom, support and letting his son fail, discipline and improvisation when it comes to raising a son. He also has to reflect on leading his own life and how that will influence his son’s choices.
A son often travels a complicated journey from early worship, to questioning and rebellion, to a more balanced relationship. It’s not uncommon that the adult son returns in a role reversal to help and even to take care of his father.
In the US, views of fatherhood, and manhood in general are shifting.
A man’s role in society is being fundamentally reexamined and expanded. Many new opportunities are opening up for men to lead their lives in new and less restricted ways. Yet this creates plenty of doubt and anxiety leading to a pushback on a private and political level. Many of my portraits bear witness to these changes. At the same time I want to make sure to keep the powerful emotional connections between fathers and sons clearly visible, too.
I want the images to feel vaguely like memories since memories are an essential bond between family members, and so the images are shot loosely to incorporate the environment with all it’s weird little details.