Monday, June 28, 2010

The Self-Portrait (A Tribute)

I've always had a profound love for photography, but it has intensified since my dad's death last June. He carried his camera with him everywhere, and had couldn't have found less opportune moments to capture his photos. You're eating? Great, let me snap one. Needless to say, there are hundreds of awful full-mouthed photos of me floating around. There are also hundreds of beautiful, touching moments that he discovered with that camera. I remember getting irritated with him once for having the camera out at what seemed like an inappropriate time. He fought back, stating that I would now forever treasure the little memories I would have otherwise forgotten.

When looking at our family pictures, I always notice the random self-portraits he took by holding his arm out and pressing the button blindly. This was his way of proving his existence to the camera. Dad was the photographer, and therefore was rarely featured in the pictures. I may not be able to see his face in most of the images, but those photos are taken from his vantage point. He pulled out the camera during the moments he felt held a certain importance. To me, that is so much more meaningful than having him on the other side of the camera.

This past weekend I was in Iowa to visit family and honor my dad, as tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of his death. I felt it necessary to to pull out his beloved camera for the occasion. No act makes me feel closer to him than when I'm holding his camera, framing out my composition. Above you will see my self-portrait, my blind attempt to show the face behind the images.

Here's to you, Dad. Thank you for pulling out the crayons with me when I was little and letting me color outside of the lines. Thank you for drawing goofy cartoons and teaching me that creativity has no limits. Most of all, thank you for allowing my brother and me to see the world in a way that is truly our own.

I cherish my unique vision of the world.


  1. Wonderful, Heidi. I still believe he helped me through in a round about way.

  2. beautiful photo of a beautiful lady :)

  3. You're a beautiful person. What you wrote really moved me.

  4. I love that photo of you!

    I can empathize with your dad - everyone always gets annoyed when I get my camera out, but inevitably they are always glad I was taking pictures.

    I'm a few days late, but big hugs on the Day. :(