when my friend steven asked me to take some portraits of his paternal grandfather, the initial idea he had was to recreate a image of gpa puente in his boxing shorts. I was excited. taking photographs showing life, history or stories of individuals are my favorite type of portraits. we never ended up being able to talk this 80 something man into changing into nothing but mini boxing shorts and then letting a complete stranger take photos of him...but in the end it didn't really matter.
he is a natural born story teller. he just talked talked and told and laughed and flattered and charmed his way into the middle of my camera, where I tried to bottle his charisma. we ate some oatmeal, hit some golf balls, rummaged around in the garage. he blew me kisses, told more stories and explained to me who people were in all the frames. we took a small visit to the community senior center where it was evident he had charmed everyone there as well, and then back to the house to pick some avocados off of a huge overgrown avocado tree looming in the backyard.
this whole shoot really got me thinking about how important it is to do family history...not only in writing but also with photographs! I know before I took some photos of my grandma henriksen I thought, "but my grandpa has already passed away...I should have done it earlier...maybe it's too late..". It's NOT too late! don't wait to preserve memories. don't miss a chance to help tell the story of a grandparent or a family member. I want to remember (probably the number one reason why I am a photographer) and I know you want to remember as well.
I feel honored to have been invited into grandpa puentes home. his life has been rich and full and I can tell and feel that he is loved by many people.
If you are interested in having me shoot a photo story of a family member, friend, or yourself, please let me know! It's great to have a nicely composed, picture perfect photo of your child or your family, but how amazing would it be to also document your family doing what it does, LIVING LIFE! in your home, neighborhood, favorite park, eatery...getting ready for school, making dinner, decorating the christmas tree... I would love to create a family history for you through photographs.
tis the season to remember and feel thanks.