Gradually/Suddenly/Family by Blake Andrews

Issue 15

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.

Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR.
To view more of Blake's work, please visit his website.
He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com

  Emmett, 2008 

Emmett, 2008 

  Slide, 2009 

Slide, 2009 

  Shipping Container, 2009 

Shipping Container, 2009 

  Emmett in December, 2008 

Emmett in December, 2008 

  Tabatha with Annie, 2009 

Tabatha with Annie, 2009 

  Trampoline, 2009 

Trampoline, 2009 

  Cousins, 2008 

Cousins, 2008 

  Emmett's Third, 2008 

Emmett's Third, 2008 

  Zane and Annie, 2009 

Zane and Annie, 2009 

  Zane's Room, 2009 

Zane's Room, 2009 

  Leo and Zane, 2009 

Leo and Zane, 2009 

  Annie Over Tabatha's Shoulder, 2008 

Annie Over Tabatha's Shoulder, 2008 

  Rear View, 2009 

Rear View, 2009 

  Emmett, 2009 

Emmett, 2009 

  Maine, 2009 

Maine, 2009 

  Coin-Op Car, 2009 

Coin-Op Car, 2009 

  Back Porch, 2009 

Back Porch, 2009 

  Leo, 2009 

Leo, 2009 

  Zane, 2009 

Zane, 2009 

  Emmett Offering Blackberries, 2009 

Emmett Offering Blackberries, 2009