Interesting quotes

“By photographing his family, the artist turns his back on remote, public subjects in order to investigate kinship. He makes the most common of projects- the consecration of the family- his own. In doing so, he risks discarding an aesthetic appropriate to the professional photographer and his work may be assimilated to some degree with the practice of the amateur. He observes the people with whom he lives on daily basis, and, in some cases, before significantly turning to the outside world, devotes himself to studying those whom he is so closely involved.” – Henri Peretz

“Unlike any ordinary family albums, this is not exclusively addressed to the family it portrays, but also to the anonymous spectators who give it its status as a work of art.” – Henri Peretz

“Because we know that candid shots are often taken without clear moral or artistic intention, we look at them differently from the way we look at formal photographs. Of formal pictures we need never ask, “Why was this picture taken?” “Why was this picture kept?” The photograph itself tells us; it was taken to immortalize a rite, an event, a possession, a family relationship. Of candid photographs, we almost always ask- and the answers are often far from clear.” – Julia Hirsch

“Such pictures trigger communion between us and our emotions.” – Julia Hirsch

“These emotions are released in us whenever we see a family photograph, even if it is of strangers, or of persons to whom we are otherwise indifferent.”- Julie Hirsch

“Family photographs, so generous with views of darling babies and loving couples, do not show grades failed, jobs lost, opportunities missed; and the divorced spouse can easily be torn up or cut out of a family group.” – Julie Hirsch

“Because we know that candid shots are often taken without clear moral or artistic intention, we look at them differently from the way we look at formal photography.” – Julie Hirsch

“But family photography is also provoking. It invites our curiosity about personalities and relationships but cannot fully satisfy it.” – Julie Hirsch

“Family photographs themselves do not change; only the stories we tell about them do.” –Julie Hirsch

“These are photographs of my children living their lives here too. Many of these pictures are intimate, some of fictions and some are fantastic, but most are of ordinary things every mother has seen- a wet bed, a bloody nose, candy cigarettes. They dress up, they pout and posture, they pain their bodies, they dive like otters in the dark river. They have been involved in the creative process since infancy. At times, it is difficult to say exactly who makes the pictures. Some are gifts to me from my children: gifts that come in a moment as fleeting as the touch of an angels wing. When the good pictures come, we hope they tell truths, but truths ‘told slant’ just as Emily Dickinson commanded. We are spinning a story of what it is to grow up. It is a complicated story and sometimes we try to take on the grand themes: anger, love, death, sensuality and beauty. But we tell it without fear and without shame.” – Sally Mann


“I suppose you’d say I’m a bit obsessive, but there is always love in the taking of these kinds of intimate photographs. Every image I take is about the person before the camera but it is also about me. For a portrait to work, it has to be come kind of conversation that takes place in an eighth of a second.” – Steve Pyke

“It’s not my intention to shock, to offend, sensationalise, be political or whatever, only to make work that is as spiritually meaningful as I can make it- in all these photographs I never bothered with things like negatives. Some of them got marked and scratched. I just used the cheapest film and took them to be processed at the cheapest place. I was just trying to make order out of chaos.” – Richard Billingham

“I was wandering about in the world looking for an interesting place to be, when I realized that where I was was already interesting. There was something in family life, in the development of young minds, that was my subject.” – Emmet Gowin

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