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Deanna Dikeman Leaving and Waving

For 27 years, Deanna Dikeman captured photographs of her parents waving goodbye as she drove away from their home after visiting.
3 min read

Have you ever thought about the quiet traditions that your parents have been following for years? The routines they carry out without even realizing it, the ones that make your heart ache with nostalgia and longing for a simpler time? Photographer Deanna Dikeman has captured these moments in her stunning portrait series “Leaving and Waving.”

From 1991

Dikeman’s series documents her parents’ farewells as they leave their home in Sioux City, Iowa, over the course of nearly three decades. It’s a simple concept, but the resulting photographs are a powerful testament to the depth of familial love and loyalty.

In these images, we see Dikeman’s parents waving goodbye from the driveway, receding into the garage on rainy evenings, and standing behind snowbanks. The series spans various seasons, capturing the changes in the environment around the family home, but the heart of the images is the constancy of the farewells. Even as the years go by and Dikeman’s parents’ age, their departures remain the same.


As viewers, we witness the parallel progress of Dikeman’s own life alongside that of her parents. We see the visible aging of her parents, the presence of her old dog, and the growth of her son from baby to grown adult. These details bring an extra layer of richness to the photographs, turning them into a family album that compresses a lifetime of memories into a poignant and affecting chronology.

She’s alone now

Looking through “Leaving and Waving,” it’s impossible not to feel a sense of familiarity and connection to the scenes depicted. Perhaps we recognize these moments from our own lives, or maybe we’re simply moved by the universal nature of familial bonds. Whatever the reason, there’s a profound emotional resonance to Dikeman’s work that stays with you long after you’ve finished viewing it.

It’s fascinating to contemplate the role of photography in capturing these fleeting, ephemeral moments. Without Dikeman’s series, these farewells might have been lost to the passage of time, their significance fading as the years went by. Instead, they’ve been immortalized in these images, inviting us to reflect on the power of family traditions and the unbreakable ties that bind us together.

Last Pictures

As we gaze at these photographs, we’re reminded of the beauty that can be found in the everyday moments of our lives. The things we take for granted, the habits we don’t even realize we have – these are the things that make our lives rich and full. By documenting her parents’ farewells, Dikeman has given us a precious gift: a glimpse into the heart of a family, and a reminder of the enduring power of love.

Deanna Dikeman Leaving and Waving

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