How Could He Be Proud, I’m Just a Commercial Photographer?

My dad while in the U.S. Navy

Photo of my dad in the U.S. Navy

My dad was in the Navy for the better part of his life. He and my mom always wanted me to join the military after high school. Either that, or become a doctor. Imagine their disappointment when I decided to go the Art Center College of Design to become a photographer. We didn’t talk much, but at some point during my first year in school we met up for dinner. I had recently pierced one of my ears with a nail and was sporting some new bling on the left side of my head. Imagine their disappointment now.

My mom and dad are both gone. My dad passed away about 10 years ago and I inherited some boxes that remained in his bedroom closet. Recently, while moving, I opened up one of the boxes to find copies of just about every published photo I had taken while I was a photographer in New York City.  A box full of House Beautiful and Family Circle magazines that had been bookmarked on the pages where my photos were printed. Printed pieces and catalogs from antiquity galleries, museums and home furnishing companies. From full-page ads that featured my product and home photography, to smaller editorial portraits and everything in between, it was all bookmarked and my name had been highlighted with a marker everywhere it appeared. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for him to track down my work. I had sent him some of the advertising and catalogs that featured my photos, but most of the magazines had to have been purchased off the rack. Imagine my disappointment, in myself, when I realized how proud my father was of me and I didn’t even realize it.

My dad was great man. He served our country, he served my mom, and without much in return, he served me, and took great pride in all of it. Thanks dad.


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