Around 20 years ago my dad started taking photographs of our toothbrushes. Then it was the pile of shoes near the backdoor, or my homework papers bursting out my backpack, or the sink after dinner, filled with dirty dishes. This was pre-Facebook, pre-Instagram, and we teased him about it, but he told us it was an important project-- the "Days of our Lives" series, he called it. Hands on the piano. A half-eaten piece of toast.
Now that I go to other people's home to photograph their families each week, I realize that, more than other of the other photographers I gawk at online, more than Ansel Adams and Vivian Mayer, my greatest influence is my dad's "Days of Our Lives" series.
It's such a gift when a family lets me photograph them in all their domestic glory. It's rich and dramatic and full of little narratives, most of them stories I can only guess at, unfolding right in front of my lens. When I went to my friend E's house to take pics of her with her husband and children, I asked if we could leave the stuff on the bedside tables. E was getting dressed. The baby was making outfit suggestions from the bouncy seat. E's husband was winning the Dad Hair-Doing Olympics in the bathroom. It was just right.
I love that the idea of family photos that nestle into a larger narrative that only the family itself can understand. It was Easter Sunday, the second real weekend of Spring. The magnolias has just gone crazy. There was candy-eating, hair blowdrying, bed jumping, artwork, lots of snuggling, and a walk around the neighborhood. All in all, a perfect slice of time. I'm so lucky to have been there, taking the kinds of photos I believe in most.