Photographing my Parents

This is something I have pondered for a while in the background.

I want to savour the memories and the people who have supported me for what will be the majority of my life. For me to hold on that little bit more to have physical photographs of them as they enter their last stages of their lives. It’s really important for me to remember them and seize every day that goes by. I want to start a project photographing my parents.

This idea came up again when looking at the insider-outsider view from Abigail Solomon-Godeau essay Inside/out in 1994 to refer in my 3000 word text.

I then found a piece on Mirrors and Windows by John Szarkowski (illustration below).

http://www.photopedagogy.com/mirrors-or-windows.html

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“The two creative motives that have been contrasted here are not discrete. Ultimately each of the pictures in this book is part of a single, complex, plastic tradition. Since the early days of that tradition, an interior debate has contested issues parallel to those illustrated here. The prejudices and inclinations expressed by the pictures in this book suggest positions that are familiar from older disputes. In terms of the best photography of a half-century ago, one might say that Alfred Stieglitz is the patron of the first half of this book and Eugène Atget of the second. In either case, what artist could want a more distinguished sponsor? The distance between them is to be measured not in terms of the relative force or originality of their work, but in terms of their conceptions of what a photograph is: is it a mirror, reflecting a portrait of the artist who made it, or a window, through which one might better know the world?”
— John Szarkowski, 1978

The last bit of that paragraph ‘is it a mirror, reflecting a portrait of the artist who made it, or a window, through which one might better know the world?”’ by John really got my thought going and engaged.

This made me think about the portraits I produce specifically of my parents.

What am I doing?

Photographing a mirror of myself reflecting myself in the image at the same time photographing the person who contributed to making the artist taking their photograph.

Inspired by Taryn Simon, I also have thought about making a body of work that maps my family tree for the same reasons, to remember and savour my family. Being so far away from them at uni and with that never stopping in my career has wanted me to remember this support system whilst never actually seeing it anymore or maintaining it.

Therefore everytime i come back to visit them, I want to photograph them.

Visual Reference of a huge celebrity portrait photographer who did the same thing is called Timothy White who shares the same importance on time and family.

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Photograph by Timothy White,
Portrait of Mary and Joseph White.

Interview here: http://www.nextavenue.org/capturing-memories-photographers-images-his-aging-parents/

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