Often times I am asked when I started my photography journey. Although I had always had a camera, one of the most significant "firsts" I remember was the time I grabbed a friend, my camera and took a journey into Canada to see my grandparents. I was only 17 but I was a true free spirit with a passion for travel. Not having a ton of money, the two of us headed out in a convertible that had no working top. Therefore when it rained we either pulled over or got soaked. There were many adventures on the road. From a giant steer that blocked the road and refused to let us pass to showering in waterfalls along the way. I was not only seeing the world I was solidifying the gypsy heart that lived inside me.
When we final arrived in Magrath Canada I was thrilled to spend a few days with my Grandparents. I had no idea this would be the last time I would share laughter with my Grandfather. I know I drove him nuts as I constantly snapped away keeping my camera at my side for every moment. I started to follow him around and capture the essence of his life. I remember the BBQ that was prepared, trying out the "working outhouse" driving with him to his shop and laughing that people still rode horses into the one stoplight town.
Inside the shop we talked about life and happiness. I remember the moment that I asked him if he had enjoyed his life. He looked up from his project and stared silently ahead as I captured his silhouette in the soft window light. After a pause he looked at me and said "How could I not, I have you" I remember we laughed for a few minutes and then got back into his old station wagon and drove home. This day became some of the last memories of my grandparents healthy and alive that I would have.
After I made my way home, I decided to make a collage of images. One for my Grandma and one for my Dad. I had no idea what a treasure to my family those images would become. They truly show my Grandfather as we all remembered him.
Today with much emotion I am going to photograph my own father as I did his so many years ago. I have thought about it for years but always made an excuse to do it later. Maybe it is fear that he too is getting older and I dont ever want to have a "last memory" with him.
My dad is an amazing man and has always been my greatest hero. Ok off I go to find him...