A Request For Your Family Photos

A Family Portrait, Daguerreotype circa 1840's

Since the development of the camera and the use of studio portraits in the first half of the 19th century, there has been a particular interest in portraying families. Although the technology was limited and the exposures were too long to pose naturally, the way a person/family would present themselves would be a large part in viewing their personalities.

Does the kid on the right look familiar? Probably not since I used to have blonde hair. I guess it was an early phase.

This history of portraiture, and my own families photographs have lead me into developing a new body of work. Since starting the research involved in this, I have to come to realize that I could use a new area to research. Currently my work(excluding my cat portraits) is exploring the significance of family portraiture and images. Those that I might find from my own album and redevelop their intention and significance. In this body of work I have been using myself as a surrogate for my entire family. This meaning I am playing a character that represents my family in a series of photographs that evaluate human body language and closeness to the photographer.

I have always been a little camera shy.

This is a call to all those who want to help in the development of my current body of work.  I am looking for people to send me family snapshots and picture from their family albums. These do not need to be ideal or well composed but are just images from their families. I will not be using these images directly in my work, but use them as study for the work I am developing. I am interested in the body language and composure of the family and composition of the photographs. This nonverbal communication is important when looking at family photographs during any time period.

My use of these images is strictly involved in the research of other families and their images. Anything from a birthday party to a funeral will give me a glimpse into the attitudes and minds of those within picture and that of the person behind the camera.

Methods to send me your family photos are:

Email: info@justinschwab.com

Twitter: justin_schwab

Prefer snail mail? You can let me know if you would like to send a hard copy of family photographs. Although I don’t expect this method, developing a collection of these photographs would do great things for my research.

Images can be sent in any format and will not be shared with anyone else. All of the images will be used only as research material and will not appear anywhere else. Any assistance in this will be greatly appreciated and recognition will be given to those that submit their photographs.

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