Happy New Year!!

Over the holiday break that is Christmas and New year, I take the chance to have a look back over my year in pictures.  Every year one image will stand out.  Sometimes it is an image that I took, sometimes it is one I’ve seen.  This year it is one I was given.  My favourite image from 2011 is very special to me because the first time I saw it was when I was taking it out of a fedex satchel on my 40th Birthday back in September.   It is an image from one of my favourite photographers Sebastio Salgado.  Besides just being an incredible portrait, I love this image because of the multiple meanings that it holds for me.  The image is of a father and son, which instantly resonates with me because it was partly due to my father that I became a photographer, and now I have 3 budding photographers of my own.  I also love this image because of the use of light – one of the things I like most to experiment with in photography.  It is also a powerful image of people in a landscape, stirring in its simplicity – all stuff I love.  But most notably, Salgado is one of a handful of famous photographers that provided me with inspiration in my early days in photography.  Elliott Erwitt and Henri Cartier Bresson are also on this list.  I looked at their stuff in awe, & it stirred a desire to capture the things I saw around me in that same ‘stop & feel it’ kind of way.  Who am I kidding?  The work of these guys still provides me with inspiration, and aspiration, today.

I love this image for all its meanings but mostly I love it because it reminds me that as much as i love being a photographer, it is not the most important job I have. The other special thing 2011 brought me was a poem that my eldest son Jackson gave me on Father’s Day, just a few days before my birthday (courtesy of his grade 2 teacher).  I’ve reproduced it below.   This poem + this image really helped ground me this year.   2011 was a year of ups & downs & challenges for almost everyone I spoke to.  It is great to have a reminder that no matter what is going on in the world, the ones you love will see you through.

Walk a little slower Daddy

“Walk a little slower , Daddy” said a little child so small

I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall

Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they’re hard to see

So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.

Someday when I’m all grown up. You’re what I want to be.

Then I will have a little child who’ll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true,

So walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you !



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