“Mom” by Jindřich Beneš

For the past few years, I’ve been driving to visit my parents every Sunday. There I met their life story. I listened, I asked. I put together a mosaic of their answers. Full story. I wanted to retell it in its entirety. And not just for myself.

I currently study photography at the Silesian University in Opava. I fell in love with photography at the age of fourteen and I still enjoy finding out new ways how to look at things around me. I prefer to photograph my immediate surroundings. I don’t travel throughout the world to take photographs. That’s why I once could say: “Mom, I want to take a picture of one of your blouses. We have such an assignment at school, I have to take a fashion photo.” And my mother happily agreed: “So how about this one. I wore it twenty-two years ago at a photograph you then took. I was sixty at that time.”

Recently my mother died. I’d like to gather all these Sunday fragments into a book. For myself, my sons and grandsons. And also as a school project for subject named “narrative photography”. I hope I can do it.

Photography helped me a lot to get over departing of my parents. At these moments my mom came to other thoughts. And she often took an active part in the process, as well. Today, I am still looking for further pieces of the puzzle of my mother’s life.

Nowadays I take pictures of my dad, who was left alone. Sometimes he asks about mom and then we are talking about her.

Eliott Erwitt said: “The whole point of photography is that you don’t have to explain the situation with words. ” I modified this idea a bit for myself. I take photos to tell a story. Sometimes I almost manage to illustrate a short one-paragraph narrative with a photo.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

One is color. I can’t see colors very accurately. My doctor also confirmed it. That’s why working with color is a big challenge for me. The second is poetry. I try to tell a poetic story with the image, but at the end I leave an open space for the viewer. Or at least I try to.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

Perhaps I wouldn’t want to take this photo differently, I would rather try to take advantage of mom’s good mood and take more photos in which I would let her speak through her wardrobe.

Jindřich Beneš shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Jindřich Beneš, Svitavy, Czech Republic

Equipment and settings

I shoot on Pentax, digital and analog.

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