One of the single most powerful photo projects I was ever part of, happened (is happening), as an unexpected and wonderful part of my life. Years ago, in another lifetime, I was teaching gymnastics and came across these two adorable girls in my class…sisters. They were 4 and 6 years old. I got permission from their mother (the most amazing supporter ever of my entire career), to do photos… It turned out so sweet. The next year, their mom Renee asked me to come back and do it again around the same time of year. Then along came little brother. The photos were always black and white, medium format film, and we got some amazing results. Back then, I did my own printing in my darkroom. I discovered fiber papers and created artistic prints of these little cherubs. Mom decided that we should photograph the kids once a year, every year at the same time and document their lives. So we did. I can’t believe what we created. We managed to keep the project going despite moving to different towns, etc. Now these kids have grown up… A.J. 25, Skyler 23, and little brother Sam not far behind. Renee’s wall is a gallery of 11 x 14 black and white prints. Each child has their own moments of growth documented in black and white. Its beautiful and I can’t believe I got to do it. This summer, I will be photographing one of the girls’ wedding. An honor for me. Here are some of the highlights of our work over time. (obviously I’ve left out a few). Thank you to my star models and supporters, A.J., Skyler, Sam, and the woman who made it all possible…Renee….xo
Those photos are beautiful, I wish you had followed my kids on their journey, it seems to be going so quick!!!
I’ve know the Nelson family since they moved to Bend. Doug taught Math at COCC in with my husband Jack! I had Skyler as a student in 2nd grade and also worked with A.J. as a 5th grader down the hall. Sam was just a little one! We helped them find a house near us in our neighborhood. We were honored to be at Skyler and Jake’s beautiful wedding. I remember seeing your photos on the wall at the Nelson home but never knew the story behind them. What a wonderful record Renee and Doug have of their kids. I hope that you’re able to continue taking pictures of this family in the future!
Thanks so much Barb for your feedback and kind words. I hope to continue photographing them as an annual tradition and photo study as long as I can. This is definitely a project from the heart. Glad I could share it with you.