Family Photo Albums #3

The family photo album project is gaining momentum and over the past month I have been documenting family albums within my studio and creating my own archive. The images provided is are examples of what this project is aiming to create a entire collection. Although each album contains unique photographs to each family, the albums themselves develop a history of their own.For those of you unfamiliar with this project and those that might become interested in assisting me in this project I will give a reintroduction for you.

Late last year I began a series of photographs that examined family snapshots and body language within each image. I have since moved onto examining the albums in which snapshots are contained within. I am asking for your help in order to collect albums from all over to begin documenting them in my studio. I am not looking to have the photographs themselves, but your old albums or shoe boxes to photograph them as part of this project. They will be within my possession for no more than two weeks and will be returned as they came to me. This project can only go so far without help from other outside of my area.

I believe that these containers may have the same inherent value as the items we place in them. Through this project I want to discover what importance we place on them and perhaps uncover what happens when I remove them from their context of their home. By placing them in my lighting studio, I am removing all external ways of perceiving the owner and its history. When we look at them in this space, we can begin to develop a profile and character for their owner. In a way, these albums may be stand-ins for us as we allow others to view our albums.

If you are interested in contact me and assisting this project please email me at: info@justinscwhab.com

Twitter: @justin_schwab

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A Request For Your Family Albums

As I continue to work with family as a part of my recent work, I have stumbled across a new series of images that I would like to pursue. Unlike the first part of this project where I recreated past family photos, I want to look at the places where we put photos. After handling so many of my own family images, I discovered that the shoe boxes and albums they were kept in were just as interesting as the images themselves.

I look at these containers as a geologist might see a core sample of rocks. As the old boxes fall part and new ones are added, we can see the layers of history unique to each family. This personal archive exists in all families that collect their own images. Whether it is in an album or a tin can, these containers become an intimate item within the family.

Now to the part where you come in, I would like to ask for these containers from your family so that I may document them. I do not expect to have the family photos in these when given to me, but the boxes and albums themselves. As I understand these are precious in some cases just like the photos, all care will be taken to ensure their safety. Whether I pick them up personally or you wish them to be shipped to me, I will cover all expenses in this processes. These images of the albums will be for my professional practice and they will part of my larger body of work dealing with family.

If you are interested in allowing me to documenting these boxes and albums, contact me through email at info@justinschwab.com or find me on twitter at justin_schwab.

 

 

 

Family Photos Part 1: Installation

After the amount of responses from friends and supporters, my project using family photographs expanded and incorporated new elements. This project was created in response after examining many family photos. What you see in these photos is only a small part of the installation which uses a sound clip projected out of the chair at a low volume.

After sitting in the chair, the viewer begins to hear a telephone ringing near them at a volume that can be heard only while sitting in the chair or standing next to it. This is a constant part of the chair, looping continuously and without the viewers control of stopping it.

Although the family photographs are of my own family, the project is not intended to be autobiographical. The focus remains on the uncomfortable sound projected around the viewer and the interaction with the photos displayed on the wall that act more as objects than photographs.

Not familiar with my project using family photographs? Check out the project here and learn more.

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.