/ Valery Poshtarov / Photo story

Father and Son

As a father of two growing boys, I’ve come to realise how quickly the day will arrive when they will no longer need me to hold their hands on the way to school. Inspired by this thought, I initially set out to photograph my 95-year-old grandfather and my father holding hands. The project soon evolved into something much larger than I had anticipated.

In a world that is already growing apart, holding hands becomes a silent prayer, a way to come together again. While posing, fathers and sons hold hands for the first time in years, sometimes decades. It’s a powerful moment, often filled with hesitation or even resistance, that reveals the universal appeal of connection, legacy, and vulnerability in our human experience. The essence of the project lies in this intimate act, the photos standing as a witness to the profound, yet often unspoken, love between fathers and sons.

“Father and Son” highlights the singularity of identity shaped by family and cultural heritage. In these interactions, we see individual identities emerging within shared familial narratives, illustrating how deeply personal and culturally influenced our life paths are. By leaving the narratives behind these portraits open to interpretation, I invite viewers to add their own layers of meaning, making us all contributors to this evolving story of humanity.

Valery Poshtarov (1986) is a photographer from Bulgaria who has studied at the National High School of Arts in Varna and Plastic Arts at the Sorbonne. Has exhibited abroad and published photobook The Last Man Standing in the Rhodope Mountains.