The fatherhood lens | TheUnion.com
Diane Dean-Epps
Special to the Sunday Express

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The fatherhood lens

The first thing you notice is that he’s pointing a camera at you, but you don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable. As a 15-year news photographer veteran working at KCRA-TV, Channel 3, it’s no surprise that viewing the world through a telephoto lens is second nature to him, the fatherhood lens being no exception.

Jorge Velasquez is all about family and his 3:00 a.m. start time for work provides testimony to that fact. (Yes, you absolutely read that one right. Three o’ clock in the morning.)

He voluntarily works the 3:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. early morning news shift at the Sacramento NBC affiliate television station, so that he can spend time with his offspring in the afternoons.

Whether he’s coaching them, helping them with their homework or just being home every night for dinner, he wants to be around and not just a little bit.

Jorge’s paternal devotion was made possible by what he deems the “best decision I ever made,” marrying his beautiful wife of 25 years, Rose Capaccioli, who he met at the College of San Mateo. (It would take a few more schools, years and meetings before he actually got to seal the deal.)

They settled in Nevada County, moving away briefly when a San Luis Obispo television job beckoned, but they returned to the place they love to start their family. It wouldn’t be long before the dining room table sat four kids; Elle, Clare, Abbey and Chris, bringing the Velasquez clan to a bounty of six. In fact, Jorge considers his kids “dessert” in the full-flavored meal that is his life.

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As you would imagine, Jorge doesn’t have a whole lot of time for hobbies, but you might say his family is his hobby. He spends his treasured time with them, offering useful advice like, “everything in moderation,” served up in a meaningful way. Daughter, Abbey, said her priceless memories include, “waking up the first day of school, everyday since kindergarten, with a note written from my dad about how proud he is of me and something about growing into a beautiful young woman.”

He is a visual kind of guy who makes everyone else look good, effortlessly providing the backdrop they need to shine. Being a dedicated father, he chronicles his personal life as scrupulously as he does the subjects in his professional life, generating mountains of joyous, celebratory family pictures.

Jorge’s favorite thing about being a father is how much his brood has enriched his life. He said, “I’m an observer by nature, and I’ve been observing what my kids have become. You get to experience all this different side of your life; different emotions and decisions. You get to see it in a light right in front of you, from the beginning.”

True to form, Jorge feels “every day is Father’s Day” and that his greatest achievement is the composition represented by his kids captured in a close-up shot, the focal point in their parents’ lives.

They know that he leads by example, giving back to the community as he has done over the years, by donating countless hours to youth, both in teaching them about television and sports. His children also know that his unconditional love will guide them, through the school years and beyond, during the journey that is their lives.

Jorge agrees with the well-known quote, “The first man a little girl falls in love with is her Dad,” saying, “The most magical thing about being a dad to three girls is I’m their first male love.” This is not to say that raising his son, Chris, is any less magical and, in fact, it is Chris who stepped into the frame last, completing the family picture they had always wanted.

This is a father for whom patience is elevated to an art form. Clare’s favorite recent memory details one of the many moves her father has assisted her with. “I had to move quickly to be back in time for my sister’s senior ball. He told me to be ready to load the car at 11 a.m., and when he arrived at 11 a.m. to help me pack up and move out, I had neglected to pack any boxes or any of my stuff at all. (I slept through my alarm.) Without complaining at all, he climbed up and down the three flights of stairs to my apartment over 30 times, bringing all my stuff to the car, while I frantically tried to grab my things and pack and afterwards he took me out to Chipotle for lunch.”

If Jorge represents an ordinary father, we would all benefit from a little more ordinary in our lives. Like all great fathers he doesn’t define being a father, being a father defines him.

Clare expressed this succinctly when she said, “My dad makes our family strong because he is able to be calm, consistent and grounded while encouraging us all to try new things and be better people. I try every day to be more like him.”

Diane Dean-Epps is a published author with a background in broadcast journalism. To comment on this story, e-mail kmidboe@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4251.