I have been photographing my sister Emily since the day I picked up a camera. She has been my most constant muse. I have watched her steady gaze through my lens change as she grew up and slowly became more and more aware of herself and her own image. My sister and I are eleven years apart, which allows me to watch her from a distance. I compare and contrast our lives and I study her with special intensity and fascination as she grows into a young woman, losing the innocence of childhood. The older she gets, the more similar we become and the less the years between us separate our growth.
Influenced by Nicholas Nixon and his series The Brown Sisters, which consists of a yearly photo of his wife and her three sisters from 1975 to the present, I began taking a photo of Emily every year on her birthday, starting in 2005 when she turned 15. Emily is now 24 years old and there are ten images in the series. Seeing the progression of yearly photos shows how my sister has changed over time, but in the end, for me, she will always encompass all the images at once, I will remember her equally as the fifteen year old and as the young woman she is now.
Note: Throughout the series I have tried to take the photograph on her birthday, which is noted in the title (ex: "Emily on her 15th Birthday, Mt. Vernon, WA 2005"), sometimes this was not possible and therefore the title lists only her age (ex: "Emily at 17, Mt. Vernon WA 2007"). I have also started including my sister's girlfriend in the series since they started living together in 2013.