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 !