A suspenseful noir documentary examining the effects of the pace of present-day, perpetually networked, wind-grasping, materialistic life on the human soul.
I made these photos a few years ago, portraits of my sister and my brother-in-law. At the time, Amanda had just been diagnosed with tongue cancer, and Kent was going to be deploying to Afghanistan two weeks after this. I wanted to document this stage of their lives with a simple approach, and above all, an honest approach. I told them specifically not to get dressed up, because in so much portraiture, we tend to put on our best clothes and biggest smiles, which often hides what's really going on. For these I simply wanted to capture their at-rest facial expressions, and for those that know them, I think these photographs show the pain they've experienced, and at the same time, their tenacity and determination, which ultimately comes from the hope they have. So many people would fall apart under these circumstances, and no one would blame them, because they're hard. I shot them with a softer focus look, lit them with softer shadows and printed them with a soft developer for a lighter, more charcoal kind of look, to emphasize the fleeting and ephemeral nature of not just our lives, but also our health. We have both of those things for such a short time, and then they're gone. There was no photoshopping of skin imperfections, you can see small light leaks from the old film holder I was using, but I love it, because it's real, and as I was hoping for, I think it communicates with honesty and authenticity who my sister and brother-in-law really are.
After a few long years of fighting it, Amanda lost her battle with cancer on July 8th, 2014. I miss you, sister.