Family Portraits

black & white film, 2016

Food has always been a central element in my family. My parents, who both work in the food business, have always placed an emphasis on the importance of cooking and eating together. In our house, the kitchen is a hub of activity. It is a place of collaboration and conversation. Our kitchen is both a public and private space. In Family Portraits, I focus on the more private side of this room, exploring the unique dynamic between my parents when they are cooking together. Although our kitchen has hosted its fair share of guests, I find the moments with solely the members of my immediate family most authentic. In this series, I photographed my parents preparing a meal. By documenting my parents in the cooking process, I hoped to reveal the sense of intimacy and comfort that comes from the act of making a meal. However, I wanted to avoid a glossy lifestyle magazine aesthetic that is used so often to idealize the domestic space. Rather than producing a series of airbrushed, Photoshopped, and perfect-looking digital photos, I used harsh flash photography, reminiscent of the 1980’s nightlife photos by Derek Ridgers. This juxtaposition puts a unique and almost humorous spin on the traditional family portrait.