Birth studies

Fathers Day

The traditional early images of parenthood are of mother and child, where is the father in this scenario, in modern times he’s probably left holding the camera and not the baby.

Has this long history of the image of mother and child helped create the construct of the absent father, the non-involved father, and the father as provider, thus reinforcing the traditional gender roles?

As part of my work as artist in residence for the Born In Bradford genetic research project I decided to challenge this stereotyping with series of portraits of fathers with their new-born child set in the context of a 21st century multi-ethnic urban community.

I started visiting the maternity units and delivery suites on a regular basis requesting only to photograph fathers with their babies. The response I received was both enthusiastic and surprising, most fathers were eager to be photographed, those that were reticent were often encouraged by their partners/wives to be photographed.

Ian Beesley