I Took A Picture Of The Back of My Dad's Head Every Day For Two Weeks

What started as a funny project turned into a lesson in storytelling...

For the past few months, I've been in northern Florida while my wife and I have been preparing my immigration packet into Canada. While it's been difficult being away from where I want to be in Toronto, I've gotten a chance to spend time with family and a unique glimpse in getting to know my father better. After a long time not really knowing him, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him on a daily basis in Gainesville, FL.  As anyone, we're complex people with our habits, neuroses and routines that help us get from one point to the other. For me, this was important to see in my father. We got to know each other as adults in my time of transition.

Every Monday, my dad and I go to the laundromat and one time while we were waiting for the dryer to finish, I saw a perfect photo and took a picture of the back of my dad's head, posted it to my Instagram and titled it "Dad meets laundromat." It was mostly just funny to me to take a picture of my dad inspecting the dryer to see how hot it was, but I really enjoyed it as a portrait of our time and experience. So I kept taking more pictures...

"Dad meets laundromat."

"Dad meets ducks."

"Dad meets the dawn of a new day."

Every day for the past two weeks. I've been taking pictures of the back of my dad's head in different scenarios. Unintentionally, this not only was a documentation of our time together, but told a story of my dad and his day to day life. I didn't mean to make this into anything, but the one guiding element that kept everything going was that it was fun — something I enjoyed creating and putting out into the world. This turned into a daily journal. After a few days, not only was my dad a willing participant, but started saying, "take a picture of my head here!"

"Dad meets overgrowth."

"Dad meets bus."

"Dad meets the vast landscape of the soul."

"Dad meets the vast landscape of the soul."

While we're looking for something meaningful to share, often the most interesting story is right in front of us. Waiting for the "right" story can lead to missed opportunities to share something genuine. Your daily experiences will resonate most with your audience.

While you may never meet my dad, or ever even see his face, this is still a story of our relationship and our experience together. Each day we had a moment where we stopped and took a portrait and shared something. When you're looking for ideas, look for moments and go from there. Keep it fun and don't try to force it. Stories are always there, it's just about not trying to tell them, but to let them happen.


Homework: Take one picture every day for a week and post it to your Instagram account with the hashtag #sparkflamestories. Share your story with us.