I am interested in the representation of the family and the conscious construction of reality that surrounds it. If all photos are fabrications, what does that say about the people in them?
We have grown up learning acceptable behaviors for specific situations; the family portrait being one of them. What happens when someone is placed in a situation for which there is no learned behavior; posed alone for a family picture?
There is a façade that one puts up when they are photographed. This is known as camera face. It is the public face that we hide behind; a barrier behind which we can be ourselves. I may not have succeeded in defusing this but I have done away with the group façade with this project.
By photographing each member of the family separately and collaging the result later I make the photographer's presence impossible to ignore and destroy the idea that a photograph is an objective document.
Family portraits usually tell us very little about the families they represent, but they do tell us a lot about the contemporary cultural expectations. Is a family portrait more than just a document to prove the parents are doing a good job?
Families are the building blocks of any culture. They come together out of love, necessity and sometimes obligation. They come in all shapes, sizes, formulations and colors.
Families do not come together for political reasons yet they are a highly politicized topic of conversation and legislation.
Sometimes it isn't possible to get everyone on the same day so I've gone back later to finish shooting. What a relief it is too, not to have to have everyone cooperate at the same time.
Ordinary rooms become extraordinary as they become surrealist frames for the families that inhabit them. Families may seem ordinary to the outside observer, but they are rarely anything but.
I've photographed over 90 families in the past decade for this project. I'm always looking to do more. If you're interested in posing get in touch.