I was so excited when my friend Betsy Pourvakil from Essentials Salon called and said she would like me to photograph her uncle. Betsy's uncle is Cecil Cross, a Lakota elder from the Pine Ridge Reservation. His Sue name is Has White Face Horse. Cecil was such an amazing character to meet and photograph. I loved listening to his stories about living on the reservation.
Betsy hoped to capture Cecil in his Chiefs Bonnet which was a gift from his extended family to honor him.
Cecil mentioned an old photograph that he somehow wanted to incorporate into our shoot. It was of his great grandfather and was very small and a quite a bit worn. We wern't quite sure what we were going to do with it, but I thought some how blending it into the texture of the background might work. I noticed he kept looking up when he was recalling the image. Then, it hit me! I had a vision of Cecil with all this negative space to one side and he would be looking up to his grandfather. I titled the image, "My Father Before Me" in celebration of his ancestor.