CNN Photos

A father’s view of boyhood

For 20 years, Paul Treacy has been a photojournalist and street photographer. In his project "Boyhood," Treacy aims to apply his journalistic approach to capturing the essence of boyhood through pictures of his two sons.

From New York to London, Treacy has photographed the boys in a variety of natural situations, endeavoring to reveal the innocence and freedom of childhood.

The birth of Treacy's sons  Eoin, now 10, and Connor, 7  affected him deeply. His natural inclination was to document their lives.

As an adopted child, his firstborn was the first blood relative he’d ever met, he said.

“This had a big impact on me,” Treacy said. “Like for all fathers, my world changed instantly and dramatically.”

Treacy volunteered to put his career on hold and be a stay-at-home father when his wife returned to work after Eoin was born. He said photography is such a critical part of his life that he had to find a way to incorporate it into fatherhood.

While Treacy accomplished that through this series, he created it without the ambition of making his images into a cohesive project.

"I had been making the usual sorts of photographs that all new parents make as their youngsters go about exploring the world with gusto," Treacy said. "But when our second one started to move around and watch his older brother, something clicked."

Treacy saw the interaction between his children as something more profound and representative of the journey all children go through.

"It was as though I was seeing the world anew," he said. "Sometimes I felt like a wildlife photographer watching raw, unpredictable nature."

Documenting his children's lives through photography allows Treacy to engage with them on a different level. He will continue to photograph his children, he said, but it is becoming more difficult as they age. They are becoming more self-conscious of being photographed, and the pictures will reflect that.

"I have no idea when boyhood will end," Treacy said. "Only time will tell."

- Raymond McCrea Jones, CNN