For a lot of us, family has been top of mind these past few weeks. For me, it feels more relevant than ever before--maybe even as exponential as these curves we can’t seem to get away from.
I think about my wife, my mom, my kids, my grandson, my siblings. And as always, I seem to conceptualize these important people in my life through the lens of photography. Unlike any other art form, photography takes these people, these moments, these stories and captures them in real time, forever.
Fortunately, I no longer have to sift through old negatives and soak them in chemicals to reminisce. Nowadays, familial nostalgia is a bit more accessible. I scroll through my camera roll, viewing travel photos from past years, noticing the little things I didn't think much about at the time the photo was taken.
I look at the recent photos we took of each other in the fall when we were in Boulder--the entire family unit in one place, which seems to be a major feat nowadays. It was a great time, I’m sure, but I know this for certain when I look at the photograph. That moment was captured perfectly. It is now not only suspended in my living room, but suspended in time forever. As an empty-nester, and admittedly forgetful in my older age, I turn to these photographs as reminders of these moments and visual tellers of these stories.
I’ve been making photographs nearly all my life. I was in middle school when I discovered those darkrooms and cameras and film. And for over 30 years I have supported a family by making photographs for families. Now, after all these years, I’d like those families to be the storytellers.
My sister-in-law came up with the idea: I should reach out to families and ask them to take a photograph of the photographs I made for them. My all-too literary son wants to call it a, “crowd-sourced retrospective.” (I think he’s a bit too into fine art photography amidst his quarantine.)
The idea is simple, send me an image that I made, that you love. Pair it with a story. Reconsider that moment in a new perspective. Once you do that, send it my way to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, we’ll decide how to compile the project.
Who knows where this will go, but if you're like me, family is at the heart of everything you do, and the family picture has had new meaning lately.