Iconic Photo Series: Uncle Perry

Sometimes no amount of planning can prepare you for a story.

A few weeks ago, I was prepped and ready for what would be a trip filled with high expectations. I’d gathered questions I’d wanted to ask my Uncle Perry along with a mental check-list of things I’d like to document while there, (i.e. Colby riding a horse on my family’s cattle farm, my grannie’s old house, my uncle in-front of the dry cleaning business he owned most of my childhood). I mean this was the first time i’d be seeing this side of my family in over 20 years!

This would be the first time my children would meet their great uncles in Arkansas.

And though I didn’t get most of what I had in mind,
I did leave with a pretty meaningful photo.

Literally from the time we got off the plane my uncle had plans for us— where to eat, what to see and do.

Every morning, for us and the kids, began with the continental breakfast and then heading off to Uncle Perry’s house to scoop him up before heading out for the daily activity he’d planned.

After the second day of pulling into his driveway it hit me: this is something he does every day.

Family memories in pictures

I love this image not because it’s the most gorgeous shot I’ve ever taken. It’s for the story.

There he was, sitting in his chair with his morning cup of coffee, his Follow Jesus Polo (that he has in just about every color) and of course his “Ball Cap,” as he calls it. Beyond what can be seen in the photograph are the little details I learned of him while there. He lives at the end of a cul-de-sac and not a busy one, either, but this is his TV.  

For breakfast every morning he eats a NUTTER-BUTTER (seriously!?). His love of all things Wal-Mart, he is after all in Bentonville— the home of Wally World.

I have no doubt that his neighbors think of Mr. Stamps sitting out in his garage, watching the day go by, or that his face is the first thing that greets company as the pull in the driveway.

This is forever ingrained in my mind.

Story contributed by photographer, Dreama Spence.


Hey, I’m Dreama, a visual storyteller for people who can’t stand the thought of forgetting their little, golden nugget stories.

I have first-hand experience and can tell my mind isn’t as clear as it used to be. Through photographs, I give my clients the power to keep memories alive and breathing for their families and children.

When I’m not out documenting, you can usually find me enjoying a french vanilla, iced coffee, wiping snotty noses or baking something delicious from scratch (I kinda have a MAJOR sweet tooth).

Want to say hello? You can find me at www.dreamaspence.com or over on instagram @dreamaandco.


Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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