August so far has been a month of getting things done - all those tasks that add up over the year, things you tell yourself you'll get to in the quiet season. I've tidied up shelves, re-ordered stock that was running low, updated & re-organised my hard drives worth of folders and files.
This week I'm cutting out some time for a personal project I'm working on. I have no idea how long this project is going to take until it's completion - probably over a year, however I had to start somewhere and August seemed like a good time to dedicate some energy to mapping out the project and getting some idea of how I'm going to bring it to life. It's funny, when I first took up photography I was so interested in personal projects but I could never stick to any of them. I couldn't even stick to a simple 30 day photo project. Now I realise I just had to find a project that meant something special to me.
I've told almost no one about this project. Another one of those 'what if I fail' scenarios, what if I can't bring this idea of mine to life?! But this week, now I'm getting stuck in & mapping out a plan for it - I feel ready to share my idea, albeit in it's infancy.
Here's the project...Dad wrote me memoirs of his life. He wasn't sure if he'd be around to tell me all the stories and adventures of his life so he wrote them down for me. These sheets of paper filled with the tales of his life are one of the most precious things I have today. While I was in Wellington at conference this year I had a hit of inspiration while listening to one of the speakers - why not turn it into a project; type up Dad's stories and illustrate the book with Dad's photos (he was a keen photographer) and I wondered if I could turn the project into a sort of collaboration of Dad's memoirs & photographs with mine. When I say (type) this out loud I kind of wonder if it's silly - my photos and words have no weight to the eloquent words Dad wrote for me. But I've always been sad that I never got to share my passion for photography with Dad. I feel like maybe this project, this book, could be a way of making something together.
I'm not sure yet how this book will look, nor how it will flow. I have ideas of blending Dad's slide photos of then with mine now. I have ideas of going to the places Dad shared with me, locations special to both of us & taking photos - where he grew up, where we camped during holidays, spots he took me hunting. I have ideas of writing some of my own stories but I'm struggling with the cohesiveness of that right now. There are so many things about this project yet to be determined, but this I know; it will be the most special photography project I'll ever do.
Left: A photo of Dad in the porch of his childhood home as a six year old. Right: A photo of Dad with me in the same porch, before the farmhouse was demolished a few years later.