I owe a lot to my dad – my life, my most treasured camera, and my love of photography.
Even though through most of my youth it was my mother who took most of the pictures, I know my love of photography comes from my dad. The oldest pictures of me were taken by him, home-developed, and hand printed on huge prints. My childhood room had red curtains because it used to be his darkroom. I know that doesn’t quite work – you need total darkness just as much as red safe light – but that was what I was always told about those curtains. I recently found some awesome pictures of my mom, taken by my dad just after they started going out. Looking at these, it comes as no surprise they are still together after almost 50 years!
Pictures are important in our family, and we have rows and rows of albums filled with photographs not only of me and my brothers, but old ones of my dad as well. I love those; they are both hilarious (those shorts on my dad as a toddler! That goatee later on!) and familiar. My dad is 71 now, but I can recognize him instantly in his old school pictures.
Lucky for me, apart from the old (and rather bulky) printing gear, he never threw out his old cameras and other stuff. My most treasured camera is his old Yashica D, and I still use the Seconic light meter he saved for me. Every now and then, when the attic gets cleaned out, some old gadget turns up for me. I love using those not just because they’re cool and vintage, but also because they are a direct link between me and my dad even when these days, living in different towns, we don’t see each other all that often.