The Young Photographer


After Vitaliy’s mom, dad, and little brother Daniel passed away in 2005, pictures have become even more valuable to us.

Vitaliy has recently been in a bit of a panic because he can’t locate his baby album. We’ve made a bit of progress in the search and have figured out the last time and place it was seen. We’re in touch with his sisters who we’re hoping will continue the search on our behalf in Ukraine.

There are so many things you take for granted when your parents are alive. Like, hey mom, where did you put my baby album? But aside from practical matters like this, there are more emotionally driven questions that you never think to ask until you’re much older. Like, what was I like as a child, dad?

People often ask Vitaliy if he had formal training in photography. Aside from one class in college, Vitaliy is completely self taught. When I look through the pictures we take on a given wedding day, I can see that he has something I don’t. I’ve always known it, but its often quite difficult to convince him of it. Artists always doubt their gifts and abilities. But I can tell when I look at his photographs that he sees the world differently then the rest. People can learn photography and become great photographers, I’m not suggesting otherwise. (Obviously, he’s taught me!) But you can’t deny when you see someone’s God given gifts on display.

The last time Vitaliy’s baby album was seen was back in 2006, the year we were married. Our brother-in-law Vasiliy emailed Vitaliy a few scanned photos from his baby album. We just re-discovered them this week and I about died when I saw this picture of Vitaliy. He’s the child on the left with the camera in hand photographing his neighbor.

This picture means so much to us for so many reasons. Most importantly, it connects us to the photographer, Vitaliy’s father. He loved taking photos and even developed them in his own dark room. He had a real passion for photography and often took portraits of his family. I can see that same passion in Vitaliy.

While we may not be able to ask Vitaliy’s parents all the questions we wish we could, I’m thankful for the answers pictures can give us. It’s evident that Mr. Prokopets’ gift and passion for photography has been passed down to Vitaliy. And thanks to this photo, we can see it started at a very young age. As his wife and best friend, I can’t wait to see the photographer he grows into 20 years from today.