Project info

I grew up surrounded by photography, so it’s hard to say how much of my passion for it is nurture vs nature. My daughter is now growing up in the same way, and on an even more intense level thanks to modern technology and camera phones, but my expectations for her embracing it as a huge part of her life are very low. She doesn't need to be just like me; in fact, I wouldn’t want her to be. At age 9, she is a strong, intelligent individual, an interesting, wonderful combination of genes and environment.

Since she had shown some interest in photography, and since I had always been curious about the camera myself, I had Santa bring us a joint gift of a Holga 120N. We immediately decided to start making a series of photographs that are double exposures: I photograph her, then she photographs me, on the same frame of film. We started almost right away; the first image we made with the camera became the first image in the series.

This project, like motherhood, is all about letting go and accepting flaws. Using a camera like the Holga as a creative tool requires a lot of that anyway, since there’s very little control you can exert over it. This is something new for me in photography; I am not a control freak, but I do like to be able to properly set exposure and focus. My daughter, on the other hand, is not detail oriented in any way in her life in general, so the fewer controls the better. Letting go: letting go of my own child, as she grows and follows her own path, letting go of creative control since I have no way to predict exactly how she will choose to frame her shots, letting go of the inconsistencies that the camera delivers, and accepting the flaws that come along with all of that. In some of the photographs, I am little more than a hint of a ghostly figure, but I like it that way. I may be difficult to see, but I am there, and in a way that’s how all of us mothers end up in our children’s lives.