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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | ‘Father’: how one photographer captured real life as a dad

‘Father’: how one photographer captured real life as a dad

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

Photograph by Eoin Carey

Being a dad certainly isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, for many dads, an average day involves difficult moments, juggling many things at once, stress, mess and some measure of chaos.

Photographer Eoin Carey sought to share snapshots of dad’s lives in a bid to capture the average, everyday moments of family life- the mess on the floor, the responsibility, but all of it coming from a place of love.

Photograph by Eoin Carey

The beautiful moments of fatherhood

Eoin is a father himself, which was the catalyst behind his Father project. ‘I became a dad quite unexpectedly,’ he says. ‘My life changed really quite dramatically. I was totally unprepared and a single dad from the moment my child was born. My experience kind of threw open the curtains to a reality that I’d never considered or known before.

‘When I had my daughter and she was still very little, it was so full on, so busy, but it’s also a beautiful time and there were all these moments that as a photographer I would see all the time- like I’d see little bits of sunlight there, and you’re absolutely head over heels for a baby and they look beautiful no matter what they’re doing.’

However, while giving his daughter the attention she needed Eoin couldn’t manage to photograph those moments. ‘I didn’t have a free hand, and I couldn’t get a camera out. I couldn’t get my act together. These weeks went by and then months, and I had no record of that time. Taking a picture of your child is one thing, but trying to include a bigger story like yourself was really difficult to do.’

Photograph by Eoin Carey

Real men, real lives

Instead, Eoin decided to try and capture the experience of fatherhood for other men in Glasgow. He sought to show the unfiltered, real lives of men with their kids- including the silent moments, the emotion, the loneliness, and the gentle, caring side of fathers.

The idea to for the project was born from Eoin’s own experience and wanting to represent what parenthood is like for men. ‘I couldn’t find any projects that documented the reality of parents the way I experienced it,’ he says. ‘The hardness as well as the good stuff, because it is hard, and it’s draining, and it’s boring, it’s overwhelming.’

Photograph by Eoin Carey

Eoin started asking friends of his if they’d take part. ‘There was this real apprehension from men to be photographed,’ he says. ‘I think one reason is that they felt like they don’t deserve it- “I’ll stay in the shadows here”. Another reason seemed to be that they were wary of being judged.’ Eoin also feels that the way dads are perceived by society affected the men. ‘It’s like dads are embarrassing, or incompetent and they get things wrong all the time.’

‘Father’ shows an unfiltered, realistic portrayal of dads- towels on the radiator, toys on the floor, grating cheese with a baby on your lap, the tears and the pram pushing and everything in between.

To read more about Father and see more of the images, click here.

To find out more about Eoin, click here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Father the book, click here.

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