What am I photographing now?
Hold The Dog
My oldest son Isaac and I went on a long-distance road trip to Mongolia. We attended the Nadam games (which are like Nomad olympics) and stayed with Mongolian families in Western and Southern Mongolia. While the trip was an adventure in and of itself, I was mostly thrilled that my 16-year-old wanted to spend time with me.
Mongolia was a somewhat random destination, yet one oddly well aligned with Isaac's coming of age. 'Nokhoi Khori' is a traditional greeting in Mongolia meaning 'hold the dog' and is said when guests arrive at someone’s ger/yurt/home before getting off a horse.
Isaac had a morbid fear of dogs when he was young so taking the 16 year-old pretty-well-adjusted (and not longer afraid of dogs) version of him to a place where people traditionally greet each other by saying ‘hold the dog’ was just kind of fantastic.
Below is a photo I made of Isaac (age 10) when he was doing exposure therapy and learning how to confront his fear of dogs.
Our trip began in Beijing, spanned three weeks of travel along very rough roads and among even kinder people. Most harrowing moment involved Isaac being dragged by horse far from anywhere in remote Western Mongolia and highlight was his fearlessness - a true testimony to how much we all grow and change.