A Study of Father and Son Relationships

This Typology (study of types) was originally fuelled by my own personal relationship with my father and the understanding of the important role that a father can play in his son’s life. 

My aim with this project was to produce a series of images that comments on the relational characteristics found between a father and his sons. As a result, the series provides a platform from which the viewer can challenge their own personal relationships. 

Within the series different standards of living and different ethnicities are evident in an attempt to reflect on the broader South African society.

The sons captured in these images are all older than eighteen years of age, therefore enabling a study that focuses on more mature relationships. 

In order to keep the images as authentic as possible, each father and son were photographed in their own immediate environment.

Through using a white and neutral background within their environment, I attempted to focus on and capture the way the father and son interact.  

What became evident to me was that the more wealthier subjects seemed more formal in their approach to the interaction. They seemed very self conscious and almost seemed to want to project to me, as photographer, what they thought I wanted from them. 

In contrast, the people with a more simplistic lifestyle seemed to conduct themselves more comfortably within the process, allowing me to perform the task with little interruption. 

Each situation was a unique confluence of father and son exposing some part of what makes their relationship unique and different from others. 

In many cases the fathers’ seemed to show a sense of pride in their sons, although not always comfortable at explicitly expressing it. 

There were some occasions where a deep personal connection shared between the subjects was openly evident. These unique moments that emerged between father and son unveiled the unpretentious truth, showcasing trust and a form of connection that lies deeper than what is perhaps initially perceived.