My father passed away just before Christmas 2016. The sense of loss and the immediate desire to cling onto his memory meant we, his three children, began a scramble for reminders of him. We reminisced over stories, swept through his belongs (he was particularly adept at hoarding kitchen appliances and glass jars) and spent days digging out old photos. We found ancient, leatherette, self-adhesive albums; floating prints wedged in old boxes, digital files on memory cards and up in the cloud. We came across my sister’s wedding album from 5 years ago. An amazing day. She had two wedding photographers who did a great job of doing what they were tasked to do. The photos were creative in composition, correct in their use of light, artistic in their editing, and all key events were covered without missing a beat. In short, they provided a beautiful showcase for wonderful occasion and amongst the many photos were some of my dad.
My cousin Huong was at the wedding, happily snapping away in between the festivities. She grabbed a shot of our dads together, brothers in arms and slightly worse for wear. It was a snapshot purely to capture what was in front of her, without an agenda for creating art, or making something significant, but it also turns out to be our favourite picture of him. It’s aesthetic was raw, it’s representation was true.