When I started doing Original Family Portraits, my own nuclear family, as I knew it, was falling apart.
While surrounding myself with wonderful, happy and intact two parent families at that time and through my separation, divorce and long but spectacular journey of sole custody, might seem terribly painful, it was actually just what I needed. It provided me with hope, productivity, love and great satisfying pleasure. Playing a role in the excitement in and execution of this project, was a privilege.
I heard much about hundreds of dads, the funny things they do, what they love, their traditions, how they deal with surprises and what makes them unique, while my children’s own dad was fading out of view. All of this sounds hard. It was surprisingly ok. It made me remember the good with my dad, the good with my children’s dad and how I am a good dad.
I have done a few hundred of these and even some with combined families, bereaved families, single parent families. I was actually given one as a surprise by my own daughters.
It reminds me about the meaning of family in all its forms. It reminded me that the very hardest thing, the thing you want to get least cosy with, run from, ignore and hope it will go away, can actually be uplifting up close. Getting cosy with the big elephant in the room can be at minimum a form strength training and shockingly exhilarating.
To see what it meant to my little 8 year old sweetheart and his family, take a look at this short video. Tyler paid me the highest compliment telling his mom I love Nancy. She is like a second mom to me.
Now if I could just get him to see me as a dad too.