In My Father's House

In My Father's House (2010-2013)

While visiting my parents in the fall of 2010, I photographed a napkin on which my father had inscribed two Elvis song titles, ‘In My Father’s House’ and ‘I Was the One.’ This small note was an insight to the private introspections of my father, the intimacy of which motivated me to investigate our relationship through the medium of photography. I expounded upon this by documenting various elements of our home and eventually asking others in my family to sit for portraits and to participate in constructed narratives. The majority of these images were captured using a large-format camera requiring a slower, more meditative process of photographing my family members while also conveying the quiet, unaffectionate tone of our relationships at that time. These images blurred the lines of what I recalled, what I wanted to admit and perhaps what I wanted to see. 

On July 26, 2013 my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer that had already spread to his bones. He was with us for seven days after the diagnosis. In his last days of consciousness, my father began to lose touch with the world. Gripped by a sense of urgency, I acted on the desire to preserve these last moments in the time we had remaining. In those final hours, I grappled with my own disconnect as I slipped between the roles of active participant and documentarian. Although I had other photographic formats available, the phone camera became a discreet device of capture that allowed me to document without overly interfering with this fragile experience for myself and my family. These small images are fleeting yet also very intimate, showing my family engaged in an affection that we’d never allowed ourselves to express before.