In honor of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day this past Sunday, I’ve decided to reveal something I’ve been thinking of/working on for quite sometime.
The question of how to photograph somebody who’s not there/an event that never actual happened has come up several times this semester as I’ve thought about my work. More and more, the older I get, I am realizing that I am becoming highly aware of missing relationships – mainly siblings. There seems to be a place in my life for them to exist, but they are simply not there.
I began to tackle these feelings a little over a year ago with my photo series Sibling Rivalry and although I believe that those images are successful at showing this absence in their own right, a newer element seemed to be missing. There needed to be a way to show my interaction with the nonexistent. It occurred to me that I was on the right track with using a physical movement to make my imagery (splashing in the water), the idea just needed to be further pushed. I began to question how I could become a bigger part in capturing the image. During a moment of clarity, I realized that I needed to view this process as making a record, not a photograph. After much thought, I decided to record my breath. This was achieved as I clung to a pinhole, pointed it at life and breathed. Each exposure is four breaths long representative of the four siblings I never got to meet.
Four Breaths is a work in progress, but I believe it has a lot of potential to be a very powerful series.