A Northamptonshire based photographer is fighting back against negative images of fatherhood by unveiling an ambitious project to celebrate great dads.
Jo Blackwell from Brixworth, also a writer, blogger and proud grandmother, aims to photograph men of all ages with their children for a major exhibition and book in 2017 to show fathers in their positive caring roles.
“The Fatherhood Portrait Project is a way of countering all the negative images of fatherhood that bombard us – from the ‘deadbeat dads’ portrayed in the media, to images of the hopeless and the derided in advertisements, to shocking inequalities in the family court system,” explains Jo.
She adds: “I have been truly blessed in my life to have been surrounded by good fathers – my son, my husband and my own dear Dad, whose love and strength outlived him to sustain me even now.
“This project is a perfect initiative to unveil on the eve of Fathers’ Day and a real chance for fathers of all ages and from all walks of life to celebrate their role as caring dads.”
To complete The Fatherhood Portrait Project Jo wants to hear from 50 dads of all ages and stages in fatherhood – from new dads to those with young children and teenagers through to fathers of grown-ups and those who have become grandfathers or even great grandfathers.
Fathers who get involved in the project will have the chance to take part in a photographic session with their child or children and spend time with Jo talking about their experiences of fatherhood.
The images and words put together by Jo will form the basis of an exhibition next year with an accompanying book of photographs and interviews.
She explains: “I’m looking for 50 fathers to come forward and join me on this exciting adventure where I can chat to them about their roles as dads and capture some beautiful images of them with their children which can be enjoyed for generations to come.
She adds: “In a world where ‘manliness’ has almost become a taboo word, I want to celebrate men who flourish in their caring roles. Good dads who are competent, responsible, conscious parents, who cherish their unique role in the lives of their children.”
To take part in The Fatherhood Portrait Project email Jo@joblackwell.co.uk, telling Jo a little about yourself and your children, including your location.
You can follow the Fatherhood Portrait Project on Facebook www.facebook.com/FatherhoodPortraitProject/