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Family: Photographers Photograph Their Families

Hardcover: 208 pages
123 Duotone Images
6 Foldouts
Publisher: Phaidon Press (May 1, 2005)
Language: English

Drawing from the very same impulses that compel us all to capture on film the members of our family, this book brings to light the entirely unique response that photographers have through their work towards their own families, and the significance of this work in the broader context of their photographic work.

Family is an intimate compilation of almost 200 photographs taken by a wide range of photographers, that reflects consciously on the emotions and experiences wrought and woven into the family unit. It includes the work of established photographers such as Sally Mann and David Bailey, as well as rarely seen images from the families of iconic figures such as like Dorothea Lange. It presents the work of some of the earliest photographers to focus on the subject of family, alongside that of photographers taking pictures of their family in the twenty-first century.

This book is far more than a sociological exploration of how the concept of the family has evolved with the passage of time: it signifies a timeless curiosity about the notion of the family, as well as the strongly personal element of autobiography that feeds this intrigue. Family embodies an extensive reflection on the diversity of meanings behind our own family photographs and pays homage to the long-standing relationship between family and photography. The typically private and introvert sphere of familial relationships is revealed to us through this compilation of photographs, through whose vision we are reminded of the underlying energies that drive our most intimate and personal emotional ties.

The book is organized neither chronologically nor by theme and chapter; rather, many of the ideas and themes we associate with family photographs are discernible through sequenced stories and the juxtaposition of individual images. Each selection of photographs is consolidated by a succinct commentary at the end of the book. Thought-provoking, intensely evocative and softly poignant, Family is both sensitive and stigmatizing.


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