The Life of Grandpa Jr.

“The abundance of ordinary things, their convenient arrangement here, seemed for the moment a personal gift to me.  As did my ability to notice this, to be grateful for it.” ~Sue Miller

This past week I watched Kirsten Lewis (documentary photographer) give a 3 day class on CreativeLive about Family Photography: Modern Storytelling.  To say she inspired me would be an understatement.  Her class reminded me of my days in design school– studying others work, critiquing and working hard to be the best that we could.   Her class has motivated me to change, to grow, and most of all, tell stories with my photos.  I am currently trying to figure out how I can take all of the ideas and emotions I have and apply them to my current business.  I think doing so would put me in the position I want to me– capturing real moments, real stories, real emotions in all of my work.

While watching Kirsten’s class she mentioned a photo project she was doing with her grandma.  It made me remember that I still had not gone through the images I took of my grandpa LAST year (sad, I know).  That day I went through his photos, edited them and then selected the finals for my blog.  I have since made some changes based on the helpful critique segment she gave online to others.  I really studied my photos and made sure I included just my best images.  While I don’t have the ability to do a year long project photographing my grandpa, I do photograph him every time I visit.  While working on these photos and focusing on the importance of them I decided that this post will be first in a start of series….. The Life of Grandpa Jr.

I believe that during my trip last January (2013) that I really captured some great moments of my grandpa living his “ordinary” life.  The things I photographed him doing are the the things I will always remember about him.  He is my storytelling, serious thinking, tobacco chewing, fingernail missing, chocolate milk drinking, antique collecting, favorite chair sitting, card playing, farm shed loving, cracker eating, dog “loving”, wood hauling, and farm living grandpa.

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{This is one process that I was glad to capture as my dad & uncle convinced my Grandpa to change his oil stoves to propane and only use his wood stove if he loses power.  For years, my grandpa has always prepared a ton of wood to survive those tough Illinois winters.  For those of you that haven’t done it before.. cutting wood requires a lot of physical work.  For my grandpa it was a process– from chopping the wood, hauling it to house, and then hauling it from the house to the stove.}

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{Our family game card is euchre.  I have SO many fun memories from playing this game with my grandpa & grandma (when she was living).}

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{And in true farmer fashion, he picks up a dead rat to throw it in the field.  No.big.deal!}

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{Mallie was his loyal farm dog.  Sadly, she passed away last year and the farm isn’t the same without her.}

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5 thoughts on “The Life of Grandpa Jr.

  • Brought tears to my eyes & smiles as well. Great job in capturing him. Wish you could have caught Grandpa Louie when he was alive but you weren’t doing photography then. 🙁 Love you

  • You are a lucky girl to have this Grandpa. I never knew mine; they died before I was born. Your pictures are really good! I can almost smell and feel the different scenes! ;o)

  • Lindsey, These pictures make me want to go hang out in Grandpa Jr. kitchen and share some yoohoo. Great pics .

  • I know I’ve told you this before, but I just love your Grandpa Jr photos. Just capturing his daily habits is so extraordinary. It’s a glimpse into the real person and his everyday beautifulness (yes, even the tossing of a dead rat!). Just the other day I was looking at a posed Olan Mills photograph of my grandmother when she was young. I would love to know what she was like then. Her mannerisms, her habits, to see what her hands looked like while she worked… These photos will be such a blessing for your family, and for generations to come! Well done, Lindsey.

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