Annie Leibovitz talks about how important photographing her family was in shaping her craft. Her view (paraphrased & summarized here) was that being taken for granted allows for a closeness that no outsider would see or document.
In parallel, my whole passion for photography, starts with my family.
Photo Albums & photographs were a place I turned to very frequently growing up, they provided me with an anchor in knowing who I might be given what I understood through our past documentation. I attribute this also to being a first-generation Canadian, with almost all of my family overseas and left unknown. On my Father's side, they were devastated by grief and addiction, death overriding my ever knowing one grandparent; addiction consuming the other and almost taking her children with her. It's a history rife of question marks, so photographs... like the one photograph I have of that grandmother as an adopted child with her adoptive parents gives a glimpse (and such a small glimpse) of what I imagine her childhood might have been.
So that was my history lesson -- the stories that I invented around those photographs, they etched a patchwork history with visual cues. And it's from there that I always had a camera, documenting family and life events along the way. My family is used to it, so I can be a part of the conversation or the furniture and gain access to interactions in ways that would feel intrusive elsewhere.
The photographs you see posted here were taken last weekend, there was a celebration of several achievements with family visiting from out of town. In the photos below, I like the tableau of family dynamics and personalities seen here before the camera timer was set and after. I can't decide which one is my favorite.