About the Celebrate Fatherhood Project
When my son was younger, he said to me: “I wish my daddy were a fireman, a policeman, or a soldier. Then he would be a hero.” After hearing his innocent wish, I smiled and explained to him that there were many kinds of hero dads.
I see hero dads assist with my children’s sports teams—dads who sacrifice their spare time and enthusiastically and wholeheartedly coach their own children’s sports. I see hero dads who leave their loved ones before dawn to go to work and come home in the dark, who work industriously day in and day out to be the primary earner to financially support their families. I see hero dads who exemplify integrity, diligence, and commitment and contribute to the society through their professions. I see hero dads who, after a long exhausting day, listen patiently to their children, play with their children, put them to bed, kiss them good night, and lovingly watch them fall asleep. And I see hero dads become the strong shoulder for the family to lean on when their children are sick and their wives are worried; they provide the safety and security to the family that no one else can.
I see the love, strength, and resilience of many fathers; I also see the sorrow and vulnerabilities of fathers who deal with the loss and pain that life throws at them. I would love the privilege to capture what fatherhood means to you by using my lens and my heart to share your unique fatherhood story with the world!
Mothers and fathers play different roles and have different impacts on their children’s growth. My father was my soul mate. Someone I respected, loved, and appreciated greatly. He has had a huge impact on my life. Unfortunately, I lost my father in the summer of 2013 due to heart attack. When I learned my father had passed away in a phone call received from the other side of the globe, my world collapsed. I learned the hard way that life can take unpredictable turns. And most of the time there is no UNDO button to make things go back to the way they were.
When I was a kid I liked to play a fortune telling game with my father. I remember reading the lines of his palm and happily announcing that his life line was so long he would without a doubt live into his nineties. He was very healthy and rarely got sick. His good health made his departure in his 60s that much harder to accept. This is the only picture I have of my father and my son together. He never had the opportunity to meet my son in person. We often think we will have time to meet and spend time with our loved ones in the future. Sometimes that tomorrow never comes and is suddenly taken away from us...
The first time I met my future father-in-law I said to him: “Brian tells me you were an engineer.” Brian’s father, long since retired from work, chuckled and corrected me in a kind tone: “I still consider myself to be an engineer.” I immediately started to like and respect this person – a gentleman who takes great pride in his work. During this first visit, in my notoriously direct and undiplomatic manner, I asked my future parents in law: “What are Brian’s weaknesses?” His mother immediately in a protective and defensive manner answered: “I don’t think Brian has any weaknesses…” His father chuckled again and answered with a sense of humor: “Oh, I think he snores…”
I noticed that when my father-in-law and husband greeted each other, they seldom hugged. They would typically shake hands in a solemn manner – it was their way to show their respect and admiration for each other. I still remember their last handshake when Brian’s father was laying frail in a hospital bed. I remember the beautiful eulogy Brian delivered at his father’s funeral service. I remember being told that Brian’s mother would often listen to a recording of this eulogy in the quiet solitude of her living room, with tears streaming down her face. On subsequent visits she mentioned to Brian on several occasions: “I wonder what you will write about me at my funeral?...”
I often wondered at that time wouldn’t it be better for a parent to be able to read their children’s eulogy and heartfelt words about them when they were still alive? An eulogy often expresses the deepest emotions shared between parent and child – and it is spoken to an audience with one of the parties absent. The person who cares most about what is being said is not there to hear it.
Over the years I have learned that love needs to be expressed, letters need to be written, and portraits need to be taken with those special people in your life. It is called a celebration of love! It is a timeless gift from your heart and you will never regret taking the time to do it.
I invite you to take part in my 2020 personal project: The Celebrate Fatherhood Project. Define what fatherhood means to you, and you could be one of the fifty-two participating fathers. Whether you are a fireman, policeman, soldier, engineer, educator, doctor, businessman, or stay-at-home father, I would love to hear from you, learn about your story, and translate it into a precious portrait to accompany the story in a legacy book!
You will be qualified to participate in this project if:
- You are a father, a grandfather or an adult child.
- You have a strong desire to have beautiful studio portraits taken with your precious children or grandchildren. Or as an adult child, have portraits taken with your own father.
- You would be willing to write a letter to your children/or father and to publicly share it.
- You have a beautiful fatherhood story to tell.
- You are also willing to write a paragraph defining what Fatherhood means to you.
If you have overcome major obstacles in your fatherhood journey and your stories are inspiring, I would especially love to hear from you!
At the end of the project, a book will be produced highlighting your portraits and stories. One chapter will be devoted to each of the 52 unique portraits/stories. In addition to having the privilege of being included in a published book, you will receive a free customized portrait session with Jiang. You will also receive one beautiful black and white relationship 16’’x20’’ wall size portrait (or $450 studio credits) as a gift for your participation in this project.
This is an experience you will cherish and a legacy you will be able to pass down to future generations. If you are interested, please fill out the form to apply! I am looking forward to hearing your story, capturing your love, and getting to know you!
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