We all know how strange the last 12 months have been, the photography industry has certainly been hard hit by lockdowns, but I like to try and find a silver lining. With my work diary being quieter than normal, it has given me the gift of time and allowed me to delve into my personal work (something that usually gets pushed to the back of the queue) and tick a few items off my bucket list. I am really proud and honoured to share that 4 personal images, representing my work as a documentary family photographer, have been selected to be part of 2 international exhibitions in April 2021.
Transforming Perspectives, DFP Inaugural Exhibition
Documentary Family Photographers Worldwide (DFP) is hosting its first photography exhibition, entitled Transforming Perspectives, showcasing images from documentary family photographers around the world. The imagery champions true family stories, diverse backgrounds, and celebrates everyday family life – the good, the bad, the funny, and everything in between.
From over 650 submissions, 50 photographs by 44 photographers from 11 different countries were curated by juror Tiffanie Graham, a New York Times Photo Editor. I was so excited to learn that 2 of my images had been selected for the gallery and I was invited to speak at the live opening reception on 5th April 2021. Due to the pandemic the exhibition will be hosted in a virtual gallery from 5th-30th April, 2021, which makes it all the more exciting as visitors can view the exhibition from anywhere in the world!
I have always thought that our work as documentary family photographers operates on two planes, not only are we making beautiful modern imagery but we are also making an important historical record in the true social documentary sense. In Tiffanie Graham’s words ‘This is an opportunity to explore what family is. What it means and looks like to different people, cultures, and generations. Each selected pieces displays a unique perspective that not only reflects the diversity of what family is but also examines the recurring themes seen in family. Struggle, love, tension, companionship, fun, support and so much more.’
If you would like to see the exhibition, watch a recording of the opening reception or even buy an exhibit catalogue, you can visit it at the DFP Virtual Gallery.
Picture (im)Perfect, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
A collective of 46 international photographers from across the world will be exhibiting in the Picture (im)Perfect show curated by photography historian and curator Marieke van der Krabben. Taking place at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts from 16th April to 31st May 2021, over 70 artworks will be displayed featuring a wide array of voices from within the international documentary family community.
As the title suggests, the distinction between perfect and imperfect pictures has disappeared. They can both be viewed as beautiful photographs in their own rights. The one thing every selected photograph has in common is they show that no matter where we live, what we look like, or who our families are, the strongest bonds humans forge are with each other. The time we spend together is worth recording, perfect or not, because this is our legacy.
In the words of FMoPA, this exhibition features a wide array of voices within the documentary family community around the world. Documentary family photographers use raw, unposed, undirected, family moments to create visual narratives that elevate family routines to an artistic expression. They celebrate the beautiful complexities of being part of a family to create emotive, relatable, evocative, and powerful visual legacies.
I am so proud to be part of this international community of family documentary photographers, together we are trail blazing a change in the way the world sees and captures family, promoting a healthy understanding that real is what makes life interesting … real is the new perfect.
There will be a book of the same title accompanying the published works on display, so even if you can’t get to Florida you can still support the show and help to raise funds to take the exhibition on the road. To find out more and to pre-order a copy of the book, please visit Picture (im)Perfect.
My thanks goes to the organisers and curators of these exhibitions for recognising the art of documenting the real life of families.