August 4, 2011
What’s your mom like? My daughter answers that question today as our guest blogger. Taken together, her photo essay and artist’s statement create an honest, profound reflection — which is a nice way to say that I don’t come off too good….
We’ll start with a self-portrait of the photographer. Gabi snapped it over the winter, when she was still 15 and enrolled in a darkroom photography workshop. She was really excited about learning the lost art of using various lighting sources, developing her own film in the darkroom and then, printing her own pictures.
During the course, each student had to come up with a final project. Her topic? Our relationship. That photo essay is the basis for the post below.
For the first half of my photography class, I had just been shooting portraits with no real idea of where I was going. Eventually, I buckled down and told myself that I had to come up with something, so I began to brainstorm ideas of what could translate well into my photos.
At first, I decided that I was going to take pictures of people I knew really well, regarding something I don’t know about them, and pictures of people I don’t know well, regarding the little I do know about them.
It was a huge struggle for me to find things I didn’t know about people I’m close to, which is what lead me to the project I’m focusing on now.
One Saturday night I was stuck at home, and decided to experiment with taking pictures of my mom. I ended up using a couple rolls of film, trying different lighting sources, and creating double exposures. I had no idea how it would turn out, but once I started making prints, I realized that this is something I really appreciate and care about. After all, it is my own mother!
There were photos that expressed anger, frustration, exuberance… all emotions that at some point or another, we have felt towards each other. So I scrapped my first idea, and decided to focus on capturing all sides of my relationship with my mom, through photography.
Although my mom and I do get along, and can be happy when we’re together, we spend a lot of time furious with each other.
I think any average mother-daughter relationship, especially during high school, has its many different sides. My pictures, which are all shots of my mother, express different emotions that we have felt towards each other, at some point or another.
If you’d like to see how different mother and daughter can be in our approach to a photo essay about each other, check out this post: How to become a model in Seventeen magazine like my daughter. Lots of glam photos of my baby. :)