Photographer Dave Engledow has been taking humorous, irreverent, wonderful photos of and with his daughter throughout her (currently four years of) life. Working with his wife Jen, his aim is to depict fatherhood and capture life with a baby / toddler. The Engledows’ project has achieved far-flung fame: apart from newspapers, magazines and websites around the world, their work has appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning Germany, and a book titled Confessions of the World’s Best Father was published in May 2014.
The photo that started it all:
They also take irreverent photos like this one:
Mr. Engledow explains how it all started:
“In February 2011, my wife Jen and I created a photograph that would literally alter the course of our lives. Our daughter Alice Bee was 66 days old at the time, and even though Jen and I had gotten over our initial amazement that 63 days earlier the nurses at the hospital had allowed two such obviously ill-prepared people to walk out with a newborn child, we were both still feeling an almost constant anxiety about our total cluelessness around raising (or is it rearing? I always get those mixed-up) an infant. Additionally, we were both exhausted, constantly afraid that we were screwing up (a fear, I’ve since learned never really goes away), and completely and totally in love with each other and with our wonderful, amazing, beautiful daughter who we both agreed was the most perfect thing either of us had ever seen.
“The sleeplessness combined with the cluelessness and constant fears of failure were causing me to do what I always do when confronted with things I don’t understand or don’t like—find a way to make fun of those things. The constant joking about these feelings of inadequacy ultimately led to my decision to create an image that captured new fatherhood by showing exactly how out of it I felt as a new father.”
“Jen and I are grateful for all of the unexpected attention and subsequent exposure given to our images, but for us the most pleasurable aspect of all of this is the continual support and encouragement we receive from people all over the world. I genuinely had no idea that so many people would connect with our family’s offbeat sense of humor, and for me, this has been by far the most rewarding aspect of having a much larger audience for our work.”
Because why couldn’t art emulate the imagination of children. Because playfulness and curiosity are how the human race has gotten this far.