Dad dot info
Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | DAD BLOGS: Ben | single dads

single dads

Earlier this year a lovely man called Harry Borden turned up on my door step to take some pictures of my son and me. As one of the country’s leading portrait photographers, he’d heard about Jackson and me through a piece I’d written for The Guardian, a newspaper that regularly features his work. He wasn’t afraid to talk to about what had happened – in either his or my life – and we immediately got along. Jackson, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so ready to open up. He was deep in his phase of rejecting unfamiliar company, he was frequently tired and he didn’t much care for sharing my attention with other people.

Harry wasn’t phased though. As well as being a great photographer, he’s also a loving father. He has older kids and a son the same age as mine. Although I was a little disheartened by Jackson’s reaction to Harry’s company, I had no desire to push my son into doing anything that left him ill at ease. As an empathetic and caring father, Harry felt the same. He came back to visit again twice before my son was ready to really get involved. And I’m pleased that he did because I’m delighted and deeply touched by the results.

The reason Harry contacted me in the first place is because he has embarked on a project that celebrates men who are the primary carers for the children. His intention is to produce an exhibition that focuses on single dads and their kids. A number of other widowers who I’ve got to know through this blog have already participated in the project, and the resulting shots I’ve seen so far are wonderful.

Not all of the men involved are widowed though; in fact Harry kicked off his project because of his divorce. Here he explains a little more about his single dad project:

‘The year that followed my divorce was the most difficult of my life. Overwhelmed by panic, despair and confusion, the hardest thing for me was the possibility of it having a corrosive effect on my children. However, through acceptance, forgiveness and love of my ex, I found a way to celebrate our time together and truly become friends. Although involved in my children’s lives, I am not the main carer. This project aims to celebrate the men who are. My intention is to stage an exhibition and ultimately produce a book. Every participant will get a print and will, I hope, enjoy the process of being photographed. My approach is very low-key.  Just using available light, a film camera and a tripod. If you’re a single dad and interested in being photographed, please get in touch.’

Here are some of the shots Harry captured of Jackson and me. If you would like to get involved email

Image: Harry Borden.

This is syndicated content from Life as a widower

Content reproduced with the kind permission of Benjamin Brooks-Dutton

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of

Related entries

Board Games

Board Games

I used to play snakes and ladders with my family when I was a child. Being the youngest of three boys, it was one of the few games that levelled us all out. Winning tactics couldn’t really be deployed and experience mattered little in determining the final result... I...

Board Games

tell them

The eighty-five-year-old driver who killed my wife, Desreen, was jailed just before Christmas for eighteen months for causing her death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for life. I suspect he, his family and friends are feeling really quite...

Board Games

los muertos

“Life can be really tough for the living.” – Mary Beth, The Book of Life It was Halloween this week and as I tucked Jackson up in bed late that night I realised that, of the two of us, I was the one that had spent the day scared. In fact these days I spend a lot of my...

Latest entries

The secret to child development… play

The secret to child development… play

... and before you skip past this, racing out the door to work. Stop a moment. Let me explain how play can affect your child's development. Play. Isn’t that just kids mucking about. Well, no... This is what play really means for children.   First, playing is...

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Ask Debbie – No one told me about my 14 year old son

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad shocked to find...

Pin It on Pinterest