Photographer Stephen DiRado on Documenting His Father’s Battle with Alzheimer’s

No matter the topic of our photography project, there’s always a personal affiliation with it. It becomes even more personal when it is centered around the people we love the most.

“…to answer your question, there was no real separation, this was and is how I function,” says Stephen DiRado about documenting his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Stephen has been taking photographs since he was 12 years old. From early on, his friends and family became accustomed to him pointing a camera in their faces. The camera was the bridge that brought him closer to those around him. In the late 1980s his father’s (Gene) health became the focus of his lens. Although it was first thought to be depression, Gene was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Until Gene’s death in 2009, Stephen visually documented his journey with the illness. We caught up with him to explore the impact the process had on him and their relationship.

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