In Praise of the Nation's Dads

4th June 2015

At this time of year the pictures of children which cross our desk are seriously outnumbered by pictures of men. In recent weeks we've closely examined photographs of hundreds of Dads, encountering plenty of hair gel, lots of designer stubble, sunburnt skin, cheeky smiles, bashful smiles, forced smiles - and all in the name of producing our Father's Day book.

Processing orders involves isolating just the face which is then dropped into the illustrations. We're used to dealing with children's faces - photoshopping out lolly pops or dummies, carefully cropping wild curly locks or beautiful plaits so we keep the personality of the child. But for three or four weeks of the year children's faces take a back seat to adult faces. And it's fun.

The photographs we receive fall broadly into three categories:

  • Dads cradling a new-born child, normally in a hospital and normally looking ridiculously proud but also self-conscious (and a bit shell-shocked).
  • Dads on their wedding day, freshly shaved, hair gel applied and wife by their side. Or solo, awkwardly leaning against a tree or pillar in some pose you know the professional photographer has insisted on.
  • Dads on holiday, often sun burnt and nearly always holding either a large glass of wine or pint of beer. They often look so relaxed you think this must be a pre-children holiday. There's no smile broader I've discovered than the smile which accompanies a large plate of food.

Our observations don't stop there. In this book we ask for additional bits of information including the adult's favourite food. So we can reveal (with total authority) that 95% of men like either steak or curry. They're a predictable lot when it comes to food, though hats off to the Dad whose favourite food is Tangtastic Haribos and custard creams.

The question of the Dad's favourite colour is often used to reveal the football team they support. So we regularly have ‘Chelsea Blue' or ‘Liverpool Red' and even black and white stripes (a Newcastle United supporter).

But perhaps best of all are the messages given for the front of the book, such as the Dad who is thanked by his child for "lying on my bedroom floor at night so I don't feel scared" and the countless men who are described as "the BEST Daddy in the WORLD!!".

With Father's Day looming, we can't help but feel very fondly towards all the Dads out there - who may be united in their love of steak and curry, but are unique in every family and deserve a day to be celebrated.

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12th June 2015 - John
"we can't help but feel very fondly towards all the Dads out there - who may be united in their love of steak and curry" Ouch....I hope I never apply such outrageous stereotypes to women :-) "...and deserve a day to be celebrated" I think a week would be better. A day's short to boss everybody about to the extent I'd like. A week should do it, but that would include both weekends of course - nine days.
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