Sisters are an interesting subject to me. I have an older sister and seeing how other sisters get along has always been a little fascinating to me. My daughter Lucia, has 3 sisters on her Dad's side and I often photograph them. But on this day, I am posting about these 2 lovely girls who happen to live literally right down the road from me. Sisters as you may have experienced, can have a wide variety of relationship types. Some need to be separated like mares at a horse barn. If you have ever been around horses you know mares don't often like each other and when riding in the ring it is safer for those involved to not let them get to close. But on the other hand, sisters can be the best of friends, giving each other support and a friendship like no one else can. I only had an hour with Abby and Kelsey so I didn't get to witness too much, but I still enjoyed what I did get to see. Looking at the two of them together, I see similar faces, similar temperaments but different people 10 years apart. I am interested in what you see as well, so please leave a comment.
This is Jill with her two girls; I insisted she get in a photo with them. I told her this was for them because years from now they are going to want a photo with their mom. Truthfully, we know they will. She, after driving back to get Abby some more clothes, saying she wasn't picture ready, while the rest of us saying she was, finally got in the photo. It took only 2 minutes and it was so worth it. Jill is the secretary at the elementary school my daughter went to. She was so good at taking phone calls from us and keeping track of everything, that I am happy to get this shot for her.
These two images are inspired from the studio portraits of the 1950's and 60's. Can you recall looking at senior portraits from that era in your family? I really love that style of portraits. They were black and white and the people in them often didn't look at the camera and sometimes didn't smile but had a pleasant soft look on their face. One of the reason that I like those type of portraits is because it always us the viewer to simply look at them without engaging with them. Call it objectifying if you like, but sometimes when you love someone you find yourself looking at them, studying them. A picture where you can simply look at them without engaging is easier in some ways. Far too often I find our culture puts out an expectation that the best portrait is that of someone looking at the camera and smiling. That is fine, I like those too. They are especially important when going on vacation and taking pictures to remember the trip. But as for portrait work, there is so much more to enjoy. I believe we should challenge our ideas of what great portraits should be.
This is Kelsey. She is studying to be a Dental Hygienist at Southern Maine Community College and after our shoot she was heading out to some sort of young adult social night LL. Bean was sponsoring.
This is Abby. Abby is 8 and rides at the same barn as my daughter. There are girls like my daughter who are quiet and like to ride for lots of reasons, one being that riding is more about having an intimate connection where you don't have to compete or talk loudly. Yet there are other girls I estimate ride because they like the idea of controlling a big animal. I think Abby maybe more like that. Abby is a character, and I think she solidly may not be the type of kid another kid wants to mess with! Abby may have gotten more camera time... I think... it happens. When you are 8 you can roll in the grass and when you are 18 you take more time changing outfits. Abby and Kelsey have a brother but he surprisingly (sarcasm) he wasn't into the idea of taking pictures.
Walking back through the field to my house when the shoot was done Abby said, "Mom will you carry my boots?" Jill was already carrying two bags of clothes. I quickly replied, "Well now Abby, a girl who wants to work at the horse barn and shovel poop shouldn't be afraid of carrying a little pair of horse boots should they?" Kelsey piped in "Shoots fired!" Abby carried the boots, which is what I wanted because I wanted this image of her with my neighbor’s barn in the background.