Since becoming a parent, my work has become a kind of visual eavesdropping on moments of childhood that transport me back to the emotional terrain of my own childhood. Most of the time I find myself trailing behind, or off to the side of, my daughter and her friends as they navigate the world of childhood: of small wonders and early heartbreak, of wild freedoms, of old-fashioned fear of the dark, and of the moments between the moments that make up a day.
As a photographer, I’ve come to realize that my favorite images are those that I find. The images I make from the scenes I carefully orchestrate never sustain my interest. It’s the images that sneak up on me– capturing the quiet moments of contemplation of the tired teen as he spaces out the window, or the uninhibited moments of screeching hilarity between play-fighting siblings, or the gaze full of thin confidence of the no-longer-kid before she heads off to the far away college campus. It’s these moments that conjure my nostalgia for the world of childhood beyond the reach and knowing of the world of adults. These are the moments I love, and the moments I lay in wait for with my camera.
Before I became a parent I worked in antiquated photo processes and spent long stretches of days in the darkroom. But a kid will drag you out of the dark and into a fast moving world where bulky cameras just bounce around and more often than not get lost or left behind. And so I shoot with the camera that’s always with me, my phone, and I edit as I go, wherever I am, standing in line at the post office, or sitting in the pediatrician’s waiting room. I take what I’ve shot and transform the images through applying layers and layers of apps until I make an image that looks like the captured moment felt to me when it all first caught my attention.