Photographer displays Charlotte dads through lens of love

Photographer displays Charlotte dads through lens of love

We may love dad, but when it comes to Father’s Day, it usually seems like dads can be an afterthought compared to the love given on Mother’s Day.

In the time when more dads have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, fatherhood in 2020 has taken a step up for families. When some see a challenge, many dads have seen this time as an opportunity.

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“Dads have the opportunity to know their kids in ways they didn’t know, and with the right perspective, will learn new things and grow in their relationships,” said Kevin Pleasants, a Charlotte dad.

Two years ago, when Pleasants’ son was born, he made the decision to stay home with him two to three days a week, similarly to what his father had done.

Kevin Pleasants III "Tank" with his dad, Kevin Pleasants
Kevin Pleasants III "Tank" with his dad, Kevin Pleasants

“I think this time is invaluable for growth for both the kids and the fathers,” he said.

A brand strategist, photographer and digital marketing professional, Pleasants sees the depth of people through pictures.

When his wife challenged him to focus his camera on Charlotte dads, he hit the road to capture timeless images of some dad love.

Pleasants put a call out to dads on social media. With families cooped up with little to do, he began driving to homes to capture images of families on the front porch.

Social role traits that have traditionally beset dads are starting to fall as fathers engage in more maternal roles. For Pleasants’ project, over and over he saw the beauty of dads who love their kids.

“I saw dads who melt when their daughter walks in the room, dads who beam with pride when they see their boys who are now men standing almost shoulder to shoulder with them,” Pleasants said.

“They’re leaders and listeners who want to give their very best for their families. What dads actually represent is far greater than the stereotypes we’ve conceived.”

The gallery of photos he created is to share joy and encouragement.

“Far too often, I think dads, particularly Black fathers, are given a bad rap,” he said. “This is a small example of what Black fatherhood really looks like.”

Reflecting on the things that dads have done and sacrifices they have made is shown in the faces of his photos.

“Taking time to really think about what our dads did and still do for us can help shift our mindset about Father’s Day,” Pleasants said.

Of the many special things about being a dad for Pleasants are shared with his now 2-year-old son, Kevin III, aka "Tank."

“God trusted me enough to put this ball of potential in my hands to strongly lead to be greater than me,” he said.” And when he gives me hugs, those hugs get me every time.”

On this very special day, there will be a lot of dads who will reflect on the events of this year and stop and see how bright the future will be because the legacy they leave behind is the love shown to their children.

“I hope that with everything going on in the world, we can take these small moments to find happiness, hope, peace and joy,” Pleasants said.

Happy Father’s Day.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.

CLick through the beautiful gallery of Charlotte dad photos below.