My final project evolved into something quite different than I originally imagined and intended, which I suppose happens often and is a beautiful part of the art-making process. My first plan was to simply photograph a male in his domestic space, which I did do, yet I wouldn’t have expected to end up photographing my dad. While often times men have trouble keeping up domestic spaces on their own, my father takes this to the extreme. The space in which he lives (which is actually an office, not a residence) is dirty and disorganized and lacks a kitchen, and is a reflection of what the rest of his life has become.
Knowing that I would only be in Tacoma for the weekend, I took a lot of photos of my dad in and outside. He was very interesting to photograph: he told my roommate stories, talked about the things he loves, at times he seemed to be completely unaware of me and my camera and yet there were a few moments in which he seemed to be reflecting on why I may have chosen to photograph him in his current situation, and what that says about how I view him and how I will portray him. Because, while my goal was to have a subjective approach to photographing my dad, I am sure that my past experiences with him and even something as simple as my photographic style and aesthetic preference have influenced the outcome of this endeavor. And of course I know that as an artist, my intentions and thoughts become unimportant as soon as someone else views my work. Immediately their past experiences, conceptions, prejudices, thoughts, etc become the rules by which my photographs will be judged.
Photographing my dad was an interesting experience. I learned new things about him by interacting with him in a way that I never have before. It was both strangely intimate and impersonal at the same time. And it gave me a glimpse of the loneliness that he has found at the age of 53, living in an office in the middle of a strange, industrial part of Tacoma.