Like many parents, the photographer Emer Gillespie loves photographing her daughter, cataloging her family’s growth through a family photo album. Her daughter, 11-year-old Laoisha, who happens to have Downs Syndrome, took an active interest in her mother’s ritual of peering through her lens at a pair of shoes, an open field, the bedroom.
While many family photos include posed children staring at an authoritative parent behind the camera, Gillespie invites Laoisha to participate in the image-making process for a collaborative series titled Picture You, Picture Me. As soon as mother snaps her shot, daughter instructs her to take her place, resulting in a powerful series rich with one generation’s nostalgia and another’s hopeful experimentation.
As the girl grows, her images become more clearly-seen, and the two engage in a playful exchange of power and self-expression. Laosiha places the artist in the new position of being the subject, and roles are beautifully intermingled, revealing deeper meanings behind the idea of mother and daughter. Where the mother began as the photographer, the daughter takes her place, emerging in her own right as a collaborative artistic mind.
Thanks to Lenscratch
Images via Lenscratch