Photos that Draw Me In: “Leaving and Waving”

Leaving and Waving, 6/1992. © Deanna Dikeman.

It all started in 1991. As Deanna Dikeman left her parents home in Sioux City Iowa to drive home, she took a picture of her parents waving goodbye. She didn’t start with the intention of it becoming a series, a photographic project. But it became a thing. She created images every year for 27 years.

Leaving and Waving, 12/1999. © Deanna Dikeman.

The series caught my eye and I was soon captivated. These are mostly happy images with happy faces. But they are more than that. And there are some special touches, like a baby in the car in the early photos, and a teenager in the car later on. There are surprises too, which I will leave you to discover.

My parents were big wavers, and especially my mother. She would wave and then she would stay out in the yard watching us drive off. She would not turn to go inside until she saw our car disappear around the corner at the end of the block. I watched my parents age over the years through a long series of goodbyes. I never thought to take pictures of them waving goodbye. What a great idea on Deanna’s part.

Leaving and Waving, 12/2006. © Deanna Dikeman.

There is sadness too. There comes a time when Deanna’s dad is no longer in the pictures, and then the series ends with an image of an empty driveway, poignant with meaning and longing and loss.

The whole series of photos is here. I invite you to peruse the images. Take some time and let them speak to you. The images are about our common humanity, and the things that happen to all of us with the passage of time. But they are also about the uniqueness of our own stories and personalities.

I don’t usually want to meet people in photographs. I just enjoy the images and what they say to me. But I find myself wondering what it might have been like to meet Deanna’s parents.

A special thinks to Deanna Dikeman for permission to share some of her images here.


Deanna Dikeman, Photography

Series: Leaving and Waving