Looking to start a long-term photography project? Then you should see this powerful photo series by photographer Zed Nelson titled, “The Family.”
Photographer Zed Nelson’s portrait series, The Family, is a project that started from an idea that he had when the wife of a friend of his was nine months pregnant back in 1991. The photos were taken “on the same day every year, forever” and “at the same time, against the same backdrop, under the same lighting.” On the surface, the 22-piece series offers us a glimpse in the life of an average family. But a longer and closer inspection would certainly evoke feelings of nostalgia, seeing how the members of the family have grown up and aged together.
The body language fascinates me, between the growing boy and his parents. At first the son stays close to his mother, then he gains independence, and then increasingly bonds with and even mimics his father. These aren’t quirks of the photographic moment, but cycles of the aging process, clearly played out in the contact sheets. – Zed Nelson
Looking at Nelson’s series calls to mind that famous quote by Ted Grant about photographing people’s souls in monochromatic photographs. Although comparably simpler in appearance, portraits in black and white almost always bring out more powerful emotions than their color counterparts, and “The Family” certainly is a very good example. The absence of colors makes the onlooker focus on the more important aspect of the photographs, that is, “only the miracle of growth and the changes of time and age.”