We bought our youngest daughter a camera for Christmas and seeing the images she makes highlights the huge difference between producing images of a person, in the hope that something of them can be revealed, and the images produced by that same person. As a keen student of photography, and in particular photography with a social conscience,I’ve photographed my daughters with patience (letting them go about their business), attention to the light (often using natural light, coming into a frame from the side) and also with minimal post production. Almost as if there is a recipe which can be followed, and, if it is followed, will lead to better, more truthful images.
And the images are sweet, and lovely, but no more who they are than a brief, written description offered to a faraway grandparent in an email. Or a quick sketch of them, abandoned when I remember I don’t have the patience for drawing. In short, my pictures don’t do what I thought they did, which is to speak wholly and truthfully of my daughter’s lives, for how can they, if they don’t include their perspectives?