If my father were still alive he would have turned 91 last week, on Wednesday September 10. My father had a very difficult childhood, and I had a very difficult relationship with him. But there were some positives. He taught me how to ride a bike. He built me an indoor trapeze. He taught me how to use a jigsaw and rewire a lamp. He proofread my school essays. And he was the most gentle splinter-remover ever. I have come to believe that he did the best he could with what he knew, at the time.
But the greatest gift he gave me was to share with me his passion for photography. He gave me my first SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) camera when I was in middle school, the same age as my twins are now. I was Sports Editor for the school yearbook and wanted to take photos of various sports. He taught me what film speed to use, how to use f-stop and shutter speed, and the technique of panning to photograph people in motion.
My father was a professional photographer with his own studio, for a while. He was considered the finest wedding and portrait photographer east of Montreal, back in the day. And he did some of the first motion picture commercials for television. I remember him having a treasure chest that he had used in a commercial for Lifesavers. He later painted it red and made it into a toy box for my brother.
|Lifesavers ad from the 1940s|
On the first anniversary of my father's death in April 2012, I purchased the camera charm in his memory, and had it engraved with his initials and a heart. I wear this camera charm on an all-silver bracelet with my Pandora timebead.
I usually stack the timebead bracelet with a colourful bracelet and a matching leather or cord.
The camera charm reminds me to "pursue my passions" - one of which is photography; another, of course, is Pandora.