You’ve seen his photographs all over Free People, from the website, to our emails, to the blog.
His images encapsulate romance and easy living. Beauty so deep it’s almost surreal. Now it’s time to meet the man behind the lens, Graham Dunn, not only as a talented photographer but as a father to his three year old son, Golden. I have had the pleasure of being on location with Graham a handful of times now and at each shoot I am blown away by his kindness and humility. He works with an admirable balance of calmness and deep focus, composure and coolness.
Now we see him as a father to lively Golden and husband to beautiful Jess. He shares what makes him most proud, weekend traditions, and more. Keep reading to get a glimpse into the good life of Graham Dunn and his family. And, from all of us, we wish you a big Happy Father’s Day!
I love Golden’s name! How did you guys come to name him?
We were racking our brains for a “G” name (my dad, grampa, and I all have “G” names) and finally we settled on the line from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton—“Stay gold, Ponyboy”—to never lose your childlike wonder about life.
What makes you most proud as a father?
I just really enjoy his company and hearing how he views the world. This morning he said, “Momma, I’m gonna open up my stomach and you can see my pancakes in there and also my large intestines.” It’s always this hilarious combination of big vocabulary and kid observations that aren’t always based in experience yet. Mostly I’m just proud to watch him grow and learn to navigate the world and I’m proud of how curious he is, a lot of which he gets from his Momma.
Do you have any funny father/son stories that you want to share with us?
When my wife and I were going out on one of our first “parent dates” when he was about two and leaving him with a babysitter. We were making sure he was settled and getting all mushy and he just turns to me and says, “Leave. Why you still here? Leave.” Then goes back to looking at his book. Mister independent.
Favorite time of day is…
Probably first thing in the morning when Golden hollers our name and Jess or I go and scoop him out of his crib and bring him to our room to “lie down in the big bed.”
What’s something your father passed down to you that you want to pass down to Golden?
Ideally I’d like to pass on traits my dad exhibits — the idea of following your bliss, and also how to deal with all things in life rationally and gently.
What would the soundtrack be to describe the Dunn family?
Well, Golden’s favorite song is “Sweet Jane” AKA “Sweet James” (which he thinks is written about his friend James from school), and he also likes Talking Heads, Freddie Mercury, “David” (he’s on a first-name basis with Bowie apparently), and Grimes so those are definitely on the soundtrack to our lives.
What’s your favorite thing to do together?
Jess and I each take a morning on the weekend to let the other sleep in. On my day I really look forward to getting Golden ready and tiptoeing outside where we walk to Starbucks to get hot chocolate — it’s our yuppie, Santa Monica ritual. We say hi to every dog and check out every plant on the way. Then he eats the whipped cream but not really the hot chocolate because “he doesn’t like too much sugar”…I’m like, “are you sure you’re my kid?”
Thank you so much, Graham, and Happy Father’s Day!
Now take a look at some of Graham’s favorite shots from a few of our favorite shoots!
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