Relative Moments, a series I began in 1986 and continue to work on, chronicles ordinary moments of my extended family’s activities. I am interested in the significance of the commonplace routine of their lives—the personal moments that define for each of us a sense of home, security, and belonging.
I began by photographing my parents’ home in Iowa. It was a personal documentary effort, starting when my parents sold the house we lived in when I was a child. They moved, and subsequently I realized that their new house was now home. So I took pictures of that. My scope expanded as I started taking pictures of my aunts and uncles and their houses and yards. After my son was born, he appeared in the images too.
Although the project started out as nostalgia and documentation, I discovered that the pictures comment on more: a glimpse into an intimate detail of an everyday world that otherwise might go unnoticed. This project captures a visual history of one family’s life, yet I feel there is an ongoing narrative embedded in these photographs that conveys larger, more universal truths about American culture, familiarity, and the endless source of everyday wonder that surrounds us.
The black and white images are from medium format film and were printed as fiber base silver gelatin prints, on 11x14 inch or 16x20 inch paper. All black and while and color images are now cotton rag ultrachrome prints, various sizes, editions of 25.
To view the complete Relative Moments portfolio, click here.