Gradually/Suddenly/Family by Blake Andrews
Parenthood snuck up on me. I never consciously set out with the goal, "Have X kids by age X", as I know some folks do. But one thing led to another. I met and fell in love with my wife, married, began having children, and now family is the center of my life. The nine years I've been a father have passed rather suddenly.
Photography is the same for me. I never intended to be a photographer. Until I was 23, I'd hadn't taken a photo in my life. But one thing led to another. I felt an attraction, took a class, bought a camera, and slowly fell in love. Since then photography has become the focus of my creative life. I know the affair has taken years but looking back it seems to have happened all at once.
It's curious the way these two things --photography and family-- have found me independently. At this point they seem so ingrained they must've been fated. I can't imagine life without them. But neither was planned any more than you can plan a cloud.
These photographs are the byproduct of that fate. I never set out to take any of them, but somehow they found their way into my camera. I'm around my wife and kids a lot. I look for in-between moments which are local in subject and outlook. When I find them I try to be alert and not think too much. The Diana is helpful because it doesn't accept thought. It is spontaneous and pure and occasionally prone to fits, like a child.
Like all my photos, after I take them I make work prints which I throw in a box to consider. Gradually they accumulate. When I searched through my "under consideration" box recently for work to show Fraction, I thought I was searching for an entirely different project, one based on natural forms and local artifacts. That was the "serious" work. But these family photos kept cropping up and cluttering my thoughts. They snuck up on me. Finally, I realized these are my project. This is my life. The realization happened like a snapshot all at once, though it had probably been building gradually for some time.
This series is dedicated to my wife Tabatha and my sons Zane, Leo, and Emmett, all of whom I love very much.