Stuart and Poppy – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Stuart and Poppy – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor has spent the last year documenting the experiences of early fatherhood, both by capturing different men with their sons and daughters while sharing their personal stories. If you think about it, it’s not something we often hear or read about.

Called Present Fathers, it was inspired by watching her own partner adjust to becoming a parent and a desire to spark a conversation around fatherhood and masculinity. It follows on from her recent series Milk which offered an honest account of motherhood and breastfeeding. Now Harris-Taylor wants to hear from the men and her images offer a truthful yet sensitive account of what it’s like to become a dad.

“Often I’ll begin a series because of a personal experience or preoccupation,” she says. “This is a bit different, I’ve of course only seen fatherhood as an observer. To open a conversation with new fathers about their experiences felt quite liberating, for me and I think in some cases for them too. So, in that spirit, I asked my partner to write something about his experience as a kind of introduction.”

In Harris-Taylor’s series, we meet Harri who says in an accompanying interview: “When I think of the way I feel about Nara now, it gives me a completely different appreciation of how my parents must feel about me. I am also aware of how much harder it would have been for them to raise my sister and myself, as immigrants in a country that was still relatively foreign to them. I think I am now much for forgiving of aspects of their parenthood that in the past I disagreed with.”

There’s also Tiago, who shares: “Finding out about how deeply you really get to know, connect and bond with Lark. Only after becoming a dad, I got to understand many things that my mum did for me.” While Matt says: “I found myself looking back at my own childhood a lot and the things that had made me happy during that time, and feeling the need to emulate that in Rowan’s childhood.”

All participants were styled in their own clothes with Natasha Freeman. You can find out more about Sophie Harris-Taylor and Present Fathers at sophieharristaylor.com.

Nathaniel and Nova – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Nathaniel and Nova – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Harri and Nara – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Harri and Nara – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Finn and Genne – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Finn and Genne – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Joe and Eli – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Joe and Eli – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Casper and Sid – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Casper and Sid – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Matt and Rowan – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Matt and Rowan – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

John and Esme – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

John and Esme – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Bola, Jasmine and Ocean – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

Bola, Jasmine and Ocean – From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

From the series, Present Fathers © Sophie Harris-Taylor

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