I initially started this post without a title. How do I describe a man who had an enormous impact on my life in a few words?
My grandfather, or “Poppop” as we called him, was an amazing man. He loved my grandmother wholeheartedly. He raised a daughter who loves her kids more than anything on the planet. He helped nourish my sisters and I as young kids. He encouraged us in the things that we loved. He was there for every belt test, birthday and big event in our lives. He was there for the small things like taking me golf lessons every Saturday morning, to karate class and to the skate park.
Poppop passed away in 2002, when I was 13. I don’t think I could’ve fully grasped the loss that I had just experienced at that time. Sure I lost my grandfather, but I don’t think I would fully understand what I lost until I was dumped by a girl for the first time, I got married, or the day my daughter was born and he wasn’t there for me to ask him for advice, or to ask him how he did it.
I’m sitting here, writing this, and thinking about how he has an impact on my life, even right now. My grandmother, or “Mommom” as we all call her, would tell me that he would always say “Do the right thing”. I listen to the stories that my grandmother shares about him and I hear this reoccurring theme of doing the right thing. I try to incorporate this philosophy of doing the right thing into my marriage, my family and my business.
I’m amazed that the legacy of a man, that I only knew for 13 years, has an enormous impact on my life.
When Abigail and I first got into photography, Mommom gave us a few cameras and lenses. I found this awesome 35mm SLR. A Nikon FE2. I recently got it back into working condition and have been using it a lot on my everyday shoots and a few weddings.
When Mommom told me that she was going to Poppop moved over to one of the local military cemeteries, I instantly knew I wanted to take some pictures. I wanted to do it with his camera. It might seem like a silly gesture, but it was my way celebrating him, his life and all that he has taught me.
So here are a few shots I was able to capture from the ceremony. All shot with a Nikon FE2 on Lomography 800 film.
Poppop, I think you’d be proud of the family I’m raising. I wish you were here to see it. Love you.