A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. – Billy Graham
Almost every woman I consult with tells me, “I just want to see the look on his face, I want to have that memory.” What is it about this that affects us so deeply as women? Maybe its because often men don’t express themselves emotionally in words as much, but their faces and reactions often reveal the depths of what they are feeling. This is especially true for older men of earlier generations who are becoming grandfathers and even great-grandfathers!
So I’ve compiled some of my favorite imagery of men on the day they meet their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Some cry, some are stunned, some beam with joy, some are somberly taking it all in. I’m just a fly on the wall on the day they meet their new little human. And its images like these that show why fathers shouldn’t be given the task of photographing the day because they are not an outside documenter, they are deeply embedded in the experience.
Overwhelmed with Emotion
His daughter just born seconds ago.
A Proud Introduction
A cross generational meeting through the glass, the pride on his face with the tattoos peeking out of his hospital scrubs. It a timeless iconic image. Don’t miss across the glass, a new grandfather proudly capturing his grandson with technology that wasn’t invented when he became a father!
Minutes away From Fatherhood
Awaiting the unknown, the monumental shift to parenthood. His life is about to change…
Joy at First Sight
As a photographer, I almost wish he wasn’t wearing a face mask so you can see the full range of emotion, but the hands and the eyes give it away. His son is emerging into the world before his eyes and this is how he responds.
The Catch of a Lifetime
Catching his first child with his own two hands, the first to usher her into the world. His eyes locked in, his mouth slightly dropped in awe, the rawness of his hands. This is one of those images where you truly freeze time.
The Definition of Beaming
The dads who beam, who can’t stop smiling,…. make my heart crack. Imagine for a moment, 20-30 years from now, sharing this image as an adult of the day “I met my father” and “how proud he was of me”.
Real Men DO Cry
The raw power of a man’s love for his child upon very first sight. What more important reason to release tears, than to know your child is alive and well?
Eyes Locked In
So much going on around these men, and they can’t help but just look and look and look at this new person.
He’s Got His Whole World In His Hands
Tiny fleeting moments of bonding. Her grip grabs on and her eyes lock in. Human connection before there are even words, is a wonder.
Take a Good Look
The super hero shirt, it gets me every time!
Discovering Gender For Himself
She saw but didn’t tell him. She let him find out on his own to see his reaction. This was it:
The Congratulations Hand Shake
A new grandfather congratulates his son in law on becoming a father. The generational pride is palpable.
First time father hands his brand new son every so gently making him a grandfather. I love the contrast of the strength of their arms to the cautious baby-pass. Eyes locked in as to not drop the newest man to bear his name.
Three Men and Their Little Lady
New father to a daughter, he introduces his sons. Their expressions, their faces, their hands, their new love. They are practicing tenderness, and will one day be new fathers themselves.
Bending Over to Meet The Next Generation
The women stand back and let him come through, he leans in to take his first glimpse of his grandson.
The Sentimental Documenter
On the day he became a grandfather he beamed in READY. Balloons floor to ceiling! Check. Camcorder rolling! Check. No shortage of character. As a photographer, I loved the details of this image with his beaming smile peeking through.
Son, Meet Your Brother
The emotions and the tears hit him as he presents his son a brother for life.
Becoming a Great-Grandfather
Most babies don’t have living great grandfathers. Its rare. And few express their joy in such a way that crushes your heart into a million pieces like this image. Think about it, this man has experienced the joy of becoming a father, the pride of becoming a grandfather, and now the legacy of meeting his great-granddaughter.
Eyes Wide Open
Holding his son for the first time, he locks eyes with his dad.
The Tender Thank You
A grandfather tenderly congratulates and thanks her for his grandson. The affection of the hands on her cheeks gets me every time.
The Men You Are Made Of
Two men who once knew nothing of each other now bonded over the shared love of a new little person.
Lost in Wonder
The awe hits him as he takes in his new little girl. She made him a father.
Generations of Good Men
The congratulatory walk of two grandfathers and a new father. I have an appreciation for the many ways men show their affection, pride, and joy to one another at the birth of a child. Its imagery we need to see more of. To all the men becoming fathers, we say we need you! To all the men who father well, grandparent and great grandparent well, we say we are thankful for you!