PDN Photo of the Day

The Reluctant Father

The Reluctant Father (Dewi Lewis Media, 2014) is named after a series photographer Phillip Toledano made that focuses on his experiences as a first-time dad. In a statement on the website about the book, Toledano says, “I was never particularly interested in having kids. I liked them in an abstract sense, in the same way that exercise seems appealing, but in practice, utterly tedious.” Toledano offers to PDN via e-mail, the following advice to new fathers: “If you don’t like it now, it gets better. But don’t feel bad about not liking it. Lots of people don’t, they just don’t talk about it.”

Toledano previously released Days with My Father (Chronicle Books, 2012), a photographic diary of his father’s last living years. “In some ways shooting personal projects like ‘Days’ or ‘Reluctant Father’ is easy to do. The subject is right in front of me. I don’t have to go somewhere to do what I want to do. The really difficult part is figuring out how to shoot such fantastically well-worn topics in an interesting and new way. The Reluctant Father sat in a drawer for three years, because I didn’t think it was either good or original. In fact, it took Mary Virginia Swanson, who’d seen it, to persuade me to show it (reluctantly) to my publisher.”



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