I’m honoured and delighted to have had an image selected for the ‘Life in 2021’ juried photography exhibition. The collection showcases images by documentary family photographers from around the world, visually depicting true stories from 2021. Collectively it is shows the universal, multi-faceted experiences of a year where the globe experienced a domino run of lockdowns. It’s a truly inspiring anthology demonstrating the beauty of real life through artfully composed captures. I am sure that you will see real moments and emotions you can relate to – joyful, bad, funny, and more.
The art of documentary family photography
Because documentary family photography has its roots in photojournalism and social documentary, fine art photography, the purpose is to say something in the images that we make.
As artists, we aren’t simply taking pretty portraits, but observing a scene to establish what piques our interest. Our aim is to intentionally construct images that tell a story through careful use of technique and composition. We make decisions about which elements to include and exclude from the frame, to layer up meaning. Above all we want the viewer to linger and ask themselves questions about what they see. It’s great that organisations like the DFP recognise and understand the importance and beauty of the genre, celebrating it in an exhibition, because I know how hard every photographer represented has worked to develop their bodies of work.
In my image, titled ‘By the side of the radiator’, I wanted to capture my daughter’s expression. I felt that it summed up a feeling of resignation to the boredom of enforced isolation. At the same time I reference my discovery of the doll’s head, and by focusing on her I give her more importance. I chose to do this to emphasise that she had become my main muse, counteracting the dwindling inspiration I felt towards photographing my family after months of lockdown.
How to find out more
The exhibition of 40 inspiring works by 26 photographers from around the world, runs from January 21st – March 6th, 2022. If I’ve tempted you into wanting to see all the full collection, you can visit at the DFP Virtual Gallery. You can read the stories behind each image and vote for your favourite image for the People’s Choice Award. If you are interested in understanding more about interpreting images, there was an interesting discussion during the opening ceremony between judges Niki Boon and Samantha Hines, the recording is well worth a watch. In addition, you can buy copies of the beautiful exhibition catalogue photo book.
If you have enjoyed this photography exhibition by the DFP, you can read about their first exhibition here.