Photographing Family

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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.

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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.

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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.

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