Dodge & Burn: Creative Dads

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Michael brings Alexandra to Atlanta Photography Group's Outside the Frame opening.

Michael David Murphy: Photographer and Artist
Alexandra—four months
“I only have four months experience, so no one’s handed me the golden notes describing how creativity intersects with parenting, but in the last few weeks I’ve seen how becoming a dad requires stepping into an unscripted role demanding flexibility, attention, patience, decision-making, and luck to make it “work.” It makes me think that if you’re parenting creatively, you’re probably parenting well, right? Let’s hope!”

SCAD - Derrick Adams

Atlanta’s art world is blessed to have so many dedicated parents involved in the arts scene. For Mother’s Day I shot environmental portraits of various creative moms, and so for Father’s Day it seemed fit that we would bring back the same idea. The following photographs show a handful of creative dads who take pride in both forms of their progeny, human and creative.

Oli prepares to attack me from his Andy's shoulders in front of his dad's Four Coats mural.

Andy Moon Wilson: Artist
Oliver—3 years
“A kid is sort of a long-term, collaborative art project that you never finish.”

Fehamu poses with Oji and Ngozi in front of a work in progress.

Fahamu Pecou: Artist
Oji Nyasa—9 years
Ngozi Fahamu—3 years
“I’m grateful for my role as a dad and what it means to my practice as well as my aspirations. My children are what inspires me and I hope in return that what I do, inspires them… that the work I do affords them the fuel to pursue their biggest dreams.”

John watches over as Blaise draws on Reid's first cast.

John Tindel: Painter and Designer
Blaise—6 years
Reid—3 years
“Being a dad is hard as hell but awesomely rewarding. Since I am in a field where creativity is supreme, I am privileged to watch little brains develop ideas in the rawest, freshest way. A way that only a child can do.”

Jason takes a break from work to play with Averil in the backyard.

Jason Parker: Photographer and Blogger
Averil—3 years
“As far as being a creative dad, this girl is the creation that I am most proud of. I love talking with her about why we’re looking at things, and what it means to be an artist. She’s always wanting to go ‘to the art show,’ but the opening reception cookies might have a lot to do with that.”

Ford suspiciously stares at me while playing with some of Scott's foam cinder blocks that will be featured in a new work.

Scott Ingram: Artist
Ford—16 months
“Being a dad has created a greater focus in my work. If I’m not on the clock as a dad, I feel that I should be working on something more meaningful. Its pretty amazing to see how plugged in Ford is, he is already seeing relationships in shape and color in a way that many adults would struggle with. He reminds me daily that I need to see things for what they are.”

Lola and Daniel discuss her summer plans.

Daniel Biddy: Artist
Lola—10 years
“As all parents know, having a child impacts life ubiquitously. The work doesn’t escape this phenomenon, thankfully. I couldn’t say how precisely, but i am a different, better human because of her; hopefully the work absorbs this trickle down.”

Matilda shows off some of her photography skills to Matt and Adrian.

Matt Haffner: Artist and Educator
Adrian—22 years
Matilda—4 years
“There are the obvious challenges of managing family time and studio time, but having my kids come out to my studio and talk to me about what I’m working on is always a big reward.”

I decided to change things a little for this piece. Shooting the creative moms piece, I used two cameras, a digital Nikon D7000 SLR and a film-based Mamiya C330 TLR. This time, I only used the digital camera, for a number of reasons. First, although I love my Mamiya, I feel that often I use the style as a crutch that can interfere with my interaction with the subjects. Additionally, I need to be more comfortable with my Nikon; although I feel sure I can grab the shot I want out of the camera, there is still a little bit of fumbling that happens when switching back and forth from film to digital. One final note, during the Creative Moms shoot, I noticed there were a lot of digital pictures that got pushed aside in favor of the film images. I wanted to see how I would react to only seeing digital, and I believe that the piece worked out just as well as the other.
Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light.
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