2011 - 2015
A photo of my son with a solitary tear running down his cheek was on the cover of The Sun in September 2015. It was the first cover of a magazine I’d ever been on, so naturally I was thrilled. A week or two later, I was contacted by the magazine and asked whether I would like to respond to a criticism of the photo. A regular reader had written in to let them know she didn’t think it was appropriate to have a crying child on the cover. What kind of mother would stick a camera into a crying child’s face and take a photograph when the child was clearly in despair? Initially, I felt a little ashamed of myself and bad for my son. Maybe I was in the wrong for doing such a thing. That feeling was very fleeting however.
A photograph is only a split second of time. The viewer has no idea what occurs before or after an image is taken. I have never, and would never put my photography before my child’s happiness or well-being. Small children will cry at the drop of a hat…literally, and anyone with children knows this. As a photographer, I’m going to capture all of my son’s many moods. He isn’t a one-dimensional being. He’s a myriad of emotions and thoughts and feelings. It sometimes seems that people only want to see one side of these interesting little beings; the happy, joyful side. Not me. I appreciate every nuance of my child’s personality and I photograph him as such. He’s so used to the camera at this point, it doesn’t faze him one bit when I take photos of things that most wouldn’t. He even encourages it at this point. As he ages, he’s not just the subject, but a collaborating partner.
Most of these photos were never meant for anything other than to have as our own, just for our family, but the letter prompted me to put them together as a project. I want to show kids for what they are; amazingly complex beings with a lot more to offer the world than giggles and smiles.