The Image Behind the Story

Article and photo by Al Perry

A few years ago, a magazine interviewed me about my photographic pursuits. We discussed my beginning in photography and evolution into nature photography.

While in the U. S. Army during the late 1960s, I interned with a commercial photographer working in the color lab and studio in addition to assisting with wedding photography.
After discharge from the Army, I went to graduate school and helped pay part of my expenses by setting up a photography business. I contracted with many of the sororities and a few of the fraternities to shoot social photography. After graduation, photography became a hobby.

Twenty years later, I decided to improve my photographic skills and update my equipment. At this time, I decided to pursue nature photography.

The last question asked by the magazine interviewer was: “Al, you have been to most continents and shot many photos. If you had to describe your favorite photo, which one would it be?”

90-year-old man greeting me at the door during a snow storm
90-year-old man greeting me at the door during a snow storm

Without hesitation, I described the circumstances of my favorite photo. I departed before dawn one December morning to photograph a farmer at his farm house on his 90th birthday in northern Indiana. After driving for about two hours, my wife called to say the farmer called off the birthday celebration because a snow storm and wind were causing drifts on rural roads. Not following sound advice, I continued on and arrived at the family farm.

As to the answer to the magazine interviewer asking about my favorite photo, I replied: “My favorite photo is of a 90-year-old man greeting me at the front door as snow blew in the house. Technically, the photo is not the best, but he is my father.”