In September 2003 my father was diagnosed as terminal from metastasized laryngeal cancer, largely due to smoking. He was always a pragmatic person. As Dad went through a variety of treatments for his cancer I was told to continue school, work and my other activities. His reasoning, "There is nothing you can do to help me".
The long days at school and working full-time left me little to spend with him. One thing I wanted more than anything else was for him to hold on long enough to see me graduate college. Ultimately, I just wanted him to be proud of me.
I made the decision to pick up a camera during the second week of October. For two weeks I photographed what was transpiring at home. Although taking pictures was an intuitive response, I could not understand why I was shooting.
My father passed on December 14th. I began looking at the contact sheets shortly after the new year. During that time I struggled to come to grips as to why I created these pictures. Eventually I realized that this was how I spent time with Dad.
Witnessing a loved one slowly pass and documenting the ordeal was the most difficult time in my life, draining me emotionally and physically. However, as difficult as this time was, the photographs I created are the pictures I am most proud of.
"Your photographs are still mirrors of yourself. Your images are raw, the emotions naked. They are 'expressive' meaning a direct mirror of yourself rather than 'creative' meaning so converted as to affect others as mirrors of themselves"- Minor White*