Thursday, December 4, 2008

grandpa puente







































when my friend steven asked me to take some portraits of his paternal grandfather, the initial idea he had was to recreate a image of gpa puente in his boxing shorts. I was excited. taking photographs showing life, history or stories of individuals are my favorite type of portraits. we never ended up being able to talk this 80 something man into changing into nothing but mini boxing shorts and then letting a complete stranger take photos of him...but in the end it didn't really matter.

he is a natural born story teller. he just talked talked and told and laughed and flattered and charmed his way into the middle of my camera, where I tried to bottle his charisma. we ate some oatmeal, hit some golf balls, rummaged around in the garage. he blew me kisses, told more stories and explained to me who people were in all the frames. we took a small visit to the community senior center where it was evident he had charmed everyone there as well, and then back to the house to pick some avocados off of a huge overgrown avocado tree looming in the backyard.

this whole shoot really got me thinking about how important it is to do family history...not only in writing but also with photographs! I know before I took some photos of my grandma henriksen I thought, "but my grandpa has already passed away...I should have done it earlier...maybe it's too late..". It's NOT too late! don't wait to preserve memories. don't miss a chance to help tell the story of a grandparent or a family member. I want to remember (probably the number one reason why I am a photographer) and I know you want to remember as well.

I feel honored to have been invited into grandpa puentes home. his life has been rich and full and I can tell and feel that he is loved by many people.

If you are interested in having me shoot a photo story of a family member, friend, or yourself, please let me know! It's great to have a nicely composed, picture perfect photo of your child or your family, but how amazing would it be to also document your family doing what it does, LIVING LIFE! in your home, neighborhood, favorite park, eatery...getting ready for school, making dinner, decorating the christmas tree... I would love to create a family history for you through photographs.

tis the season to remember and feel thanks.

xxoo- rachel

11 comments:

Paul, Missy and Riley said...

You are such an amazing photographer, but you are truly a story teller! Every place/event you photograph is a story in its own.

Becky said...

I have that same thought... remembering with pictures. That has always been my way of reminissing.

Beautiful shots Rachel. I am amazed over and over by your talent.

Tracee said...

Those photos are awesome Rachel.

Kate said...

Makes me feel like I know him a little. Loved it.

Stephanie said...

Rachel~
I've been sitting at my computer in tears for the last 10 minutes. These pictures mean more to me than I can express. These pictures reflect more than just a man, they are the stories from my heart. All priceless images of childhood memories of my grandfather, my family. I wish Steven would have been inspired to do this while my grandmother was also alive, but it's so much better now then never at all. Thank you, thank you!

Stephanie Puente Jarvis
(Steven's sister)

Matt's Blog said...

One of my favorite updates ever Rachel! We just went to my grandparent's who for Thanksgiving who we don't get to see very often due to distance for this very reason. LOVED THE POST!

ALISHA JOY said...

LOVE these. I am pregnant and hormonal but I got totally choked up. Love love love them. What a treasure.

steph thurston said...

Rach, This is so moving. I love history and stories. Grandpa Puente stole my heart. I would love to shoot my grandpa soon at his home in San Diego when we get down there. I love it. Love you.

Anna said...

I love old people. And you with old people. Can't wait till we're old people. And wear purple.

rachel thurston said...

ahhhhhh...I feel the same way all of you do. he is such a dear. I miss my grandpas.

Callisto said...

Longtime lurker, first time to post. This post has moved me more than any other you've done so far, and the first that has made me tear up. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous images.