it’s hard to know what to share, what to write, how much to divulge when i take photographs for others of a time or experience that has so much meaning & emotion connected to it. when my friend corey villicana & her sister kelly sweda asked me to come be with them as they celebrated their dad’s 70th birthday, i was honored & humbled. these lovely and talented girls have thousands and thousands of people following their beautiful photography on instagram. real life for these two is rich, deep, and authentic. photographing their father’s birthday was about the authenticity of what this birthday meant to them all .. just intimate moments for their family. corey and i have sat for many moments and hours talking life… usually present… sometimes past. she is so much heart. she has written about her father, who’s 70th birthday was celebrated. here are a few words from corey:
my father, david. prior to him nearly loosing his life last year after a catastrophic change to his brain function, which propelled him into his memory loss, one of our favorite things to do was to sit over an old box of pictures and sift through them together. we would do this over and over again, whether it be a holiday or any ole day, over a cup of coffee // we would pull pictures from the box and i would ask him to repeat his stories to me, asking for as much detail as possible. this served as a great way for me to spend what i consider to have been concentrated quality time with my father, but also as an opportunity for me to learn more about a life of his that i didn’t know very much about // growing up with alcoholic father, there wasn’t much bonding time, not much time for us to sit and reminisce about the life of his that he was trying constantly to forget // … in the moments that i look at my father now and my heart breaks for what his life has become, i think about pictures… and remember that regardless of the struggle and the strife that he’s had in his life, all of the hard moments that he’s endured, that he also had moments… his memories have become my memories, and they’re safe with me.