Steven Brokaw Photography

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Tribute To A Photographer

A Young Photographer, Husband, Micro Biologist, Man of Faith, Fireman & Family Man
My father passed away this week after 84 great years.  While it’s been a difficult week for the family it’s also been an opportunity to celebrate his life.  One of my Dad’s legacies he passed down to me was his love of photography and technology.  I would have never picked up my passion for photography if it weren’t for him.

My dad always had a camera around his neck capturing life’s moments.  He weaved photography into everything he did from his professional work as a microbiologist, church activities, vacations, as a volunteer fireman, family get-togethers, photos of all of us kids & our children, and much more.  Not only did he photograph everyday events but he also did photography for the art.  I was looking at some of his photographs today and am amazed at how good they are.  I’m convinced he was a photojournalist at heart.

Always had a smile on his face, and a camera around his neck

Getting ready to process some photos he shot
I remember constantly waiting for him to take “one more picture” of us kids.  I found I did the same thing with my kids.  I remember him using vacations as an opportunity to shoot photos.  I find I do the same thing.  I remember to this day the first SLR film camera I purchased with his help, a Canon TX with a Canon 50mm f/1.8mm lens.  All of my friends were in awe of my cutting edge camera.  I still have that camera today.  

Although I don’t remember all the cameras my dad had, I know he had some great ones.  Not only that we had our own DARKROOM!  He built it in a spare bathroom in one of our houses.  My brothers, dad and I spent many hours developing, dodging and burning and processing photos.  

When digital started to overtake film he jumped onboard.  He had a digital camera way before most people did.  He also loved computers and was an original Apple fanboy.  He loved the fact he could combine his love of photography into his passion for computers.  Although based on most of our standards he used pretty basic digital processing software, it suited his purpose.  He loved creating photo cards, award certificates, photo collages, and presentations.  He created his own personal line of photo cards / certificates called Brokards, get it, Brokaw Cards…. He would celebrate all of our kid’s accomplishments with a Brokard, like the cleanest closest award. 

For a guy at his age, although physically he wasn’t able to do as much photography recently, he still talked about photography with me all the time.  I’m sure most of my Flickr views were from him.  He religiously read my blog posts and would comment on what I was doing.  Although I tend to shoot more on the darker side of life he always gave me very constructive comments.  He really enjoyed sharing his views on my images and wanted to know how they were taken.  He was dazzled by my kit and always wanted to see my latest purchase.  I would regularly bring over my equipment and show him how it worked.  He always wanted to know what I was planning to shoot next.

Technology was starting to get ahead of him, but he was not afraid of it.  Just last week I upgraded his laptop computer to a bigger Apple desktop my brother had purchased.  He loved it.  He was even talking about trying out Aperture.  People; please understand he was 84 years old!

I think one of his true passions was being a photographer during his years as a volunteer fireman and shooting everyday objects very artistically.  I was going through a box of his photos today, many I had never seen.  Some of his photographs documenting crash scenes, fires, and training events are amazing.  Some of the photos he took of my mom or everyday objects were great.  He was no noobie when it came to DOF or composition. 

From inside of a firetruck arriving at a motorcycle crash scene

Burning barn at night
From inside a firetruck arriving at an overturned truck fire

I am richer in all ways because of my Dad.  The world is a better place because of my Dad.  I am a passionate photographer because of my Dad.  I’ll miss him.

Spark Art Photography Party & Photoshoot

Dia De Los Muertos