17.3 - A Year with the Willetts

For the past year I’ve been traveling throughout the country shooting various projects, and documenting my journey. I’ve found myself in Seattle 4 or 5 times and each time I stayed with the same family. It seemed I was just photographing them as I had the rest of my journey. But a year later, as I sat down to collate them all, I realized I had something else. These photos comprised a very personal look at a year in the life of one particular family. We had never set out to make a single photo, but I had pictures of playtime, daily trips to the park, tired parents, tired children, visits from grandparents, illnesses, naps, and even the addition of a new member to the family. 

Throughout my career I’ve photographed many families, but rarely on such a repeated basis, and never without strict time constraints. These are pictures that are impossible to achieve in a 3hr planned photoshoot, and with a pre-conceived outcome in mind. 

I’ve always said that taking a good photo is primarily a matter of trust. These pictures are a testament to that. They’re full of secrets: circumstances the viewer isn’t privy to, the things that made them laugh, or worry — and yet for all their secrets, they openly display those shared moments and nuances that bind families together. 

These are not my family pictures, though I wish more than anything I had pictures like this of my family. They are, however, comprised of the same elements as my memories: the way my grandfather would sit in his chair every evening, the feel of my living room, the myriad possibilities held by a grocery shopping trip with my mom.

This is not a departure from my other art: the seas, airscapes, planes, and nudes that you’ve seen before; rather it is the same application of my vision to understanding the types of beauty available to us. 

Now I’d like to introduce you to them. This is Amber and Mischa, and their two children: Lucca and Sebastian.

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