Leaving and Waving

For 27 years, I took photographs as I waved goodbye after visiting my parents at their home in Sioux City, Iowa.

I started in 1991 with a quick snapshot, and I continued taking photographs with each departure. I never set out to make this series. I just took these photographs as a way to deal with the sadness of leaving. It gradually turned into our goodbye ritual.

In 2009, my father passed away. My mother continued to wave to me. After she died in 2017, I took one more photograph, of the empty driveway. For the first time in my life, no one was waving back at me.

Deanna Dikeman

Sioux City, Iowa (USA)

She has photographed her Midwestern family and surroundings since 1985, when she left a corporate job to try a photography class. She received an Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship in 1996 and the United States Artists Booth Fellowship in 2008.

“A Photographer’s Parents Wave Farewell” was one of the top 25 stories of 2020 in The New Yorker. Her book “Leaving and Waving”, published by Chose Commune, won the Prix Nadar in France in 2021 and was shortlisted for the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award.