There was not a more real moment of realisation for me, of the importance of photographs, than a few weeks after my first blog post in August.
My 96 year old dad passed away in September, and with him and my mum living in Sweden and me living in New Zealand, I must yet again travel over to sort what needed sorting.
The death of a man who is 96 shouldn’t have been unexpected of course. But it was. He was healthy and very strong. He fell down a flight of stairs and it killed him. It was very much a Josef thing to do..
The first thing I did when I had hung up the phone was bring out my unsorted old box of printed photos. I looked for images of him and I together first. Then of my brother and I with him. And then of my daughter with her grandad and his only grandchild. A very troubled man he was. But I wont make this about his life. I am going to take my time with that story.
But the photos. They are a mix of mainly amateur and home made pictures. But how I treasure them. All memories come to life when I look at the photos. This is why I love photography. That is why I work with photography. For the preserving of a moment in time. That we can freeze. So that we don’t forget the people and those moments. He is gone now. To a better place I hope.
My dad was not a willing dad, but he was the one who taught me and showed me photography and was responsible for my first understanding of composition. I was 7 and received my first Kodak Instamatic. For the rest of my life I will be able to look at the photos and remember those moments. And I can imagine his earlier years from stories told to me - with the very very few photos he had from times not to be forgotten but never spoken about in our household - long before he and I danced on the deck of a ferry and bonded with talks about a camera. I was 2 and had my blue boat shoes on.
Thank you pappa for showing me the joy and art of photography.
Back to NZ again and I am learning more and fast. Taking on some interesting jobs every day. One important addition to my equipment and services is a negative and slide scanner - as I am busy scanning loads of old family photographs that I am afraid will just not exist any more if I don’t take care of them.
I can help take care of yours too if you like.
“One day, all your children will have is photographs of you.
Make sure you are in them.
No matter what your hair looks like, your make up or your body.
Your children wont care about any of that, they will just want to see you.”