At the age of forty, photographer Phillip Toledano became a father. But as Toledano discovered in the minutes after his daughter was born, "There's how you feel, and then there's how you think you should feel...Was I overwhelmed in a tsunami of love? Not really."  Toledano's book, The Reluctant Father, follows one man's journey at the beginning of fatherhood. Over the course of his child's first eighteen months, Toledano goes through torment, dismay, and confusion. He loses sleep, finds his relationship with his wife radically altered, and gets to know the ins and outs of the "baby industrial complex". And throughout this process of self-doubt and guilt, we watch as he falls in love. 

The book is personal, honest, and, most refreshingly, entertaining. The Reluctant Father is equally worthwhile for a serious photography lover and someone who's never picked up a photobook before. Some photobooks are justifiably difficult, the kinds of objects that painfully reveal glimpses of the irresolvable contradictions of the human predicament. This isn't one of those books and that's perfectly fine. In fact, its straightforward simplicity is what makes it such an uplifting joy to read.

—Alexander Strecker

 

The Reluctant Father
by Phillip Toledano
Publisher: Dewi Lewis Media
Hardcover: 64 pages