“For children, childhood is timeless. It is always the present. Everything is in the present tense. Of course, they have memories. Of course, time shifts a little for them and Christmas comes round in the end. But they don’t feel it. Today is what they feel …”
- Ian McEwan
In the early part of my career, while servicing clients, I didn’t take the time to make many personal family pictures, nor did it seem pressing, it appeared as though childhood would last forever. Now that the children have their own children, and the passing of time is very much more apparent, the impulse to document these young lives has become significant to me.
The necessary ingredients for any photo essay are present - access and acceptance. The serious business of play unfolds, and the mystery of make-believe prevails. The images are candid and made of unremarkable moments in everyday life, never staged. I watch, observe, and on occasion, the gestures, shapes and forms are arranged in the moment, and a picture is gifted to me. An unrecoverable fleeting moment in time.
Besides the narrative and the legacy, this work is, for me, a small antidote to the bad news and tidings that flow ceaselessly out of daily news broadcasts. The world seems to be going through a very difficult time now, politically, socially, economically, and with regard to the environment. While I sincerely respect those that bring us documentary photographs of the hard social issues of our time, I am compelled to record a little poetic and romantic story, a notion that all is well in this small world. To cast my gaze at the joy, trust, and soaring spirits of these unfolding young lives. To show that affinity and love can provide hope and courage, warmth and reliable relationships, and induce a positive feeling.
It is important that the images maintain a lasting artistic integrity, not concerned with fashion and passing trends. An authentic attempt to look at the world through the children rather than at the children. The images deal with a commonality that is at our core, an inner life, that crosses cultural and generational boundaries. No matter where in the world you are, no matter how old you may be, we can all relate to our own childhood, the joys and challenges. The images hold up a mirror to show us that we are all more similar to one another than we are different. Part of each one of us is still the child that we once were, and my hope is that we can see or feel something of ourselves, and others, in these pictures. The personal being universal.
"It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless" - L.R. Knost