There’s a saying: “As things get worse, the better they get for photographers.”
And this was sort of a rule I followed in my photography for many years – photographing the cliche doors, windows and other “decaying”-type items. And for a while, I felt as though I was successful.
Setting my photography aside, there is no doubt that some of the most powerful images captured today include starving children, the struggle of mankind and many other topics that are difficult to swallow.
So when I returned to school, I began to photograph a topic close to my heart and one that was consuming my family at the time.
But recently reading Sally Mann’s “Hold Still”, she came to a point when she touches on a family illness. Mann stated that there came a point in her photographing of the illness in her family, that it became degrading for that person, and in return, herself.
I’ve been lucky enough to still have that person in my life, and much healthier, but I still struggle with these images. Are they good? Are they degrading? Should I even have them? What do they mean to me? Do I even want to remember this time in my life? What would they say if they saw the images? – Are they embarrassed? Or is it just as important to have these images in order to share?