The Portrait in the Family workshop comes to life after four years of investigation that I conducted as a student to support my graduate thesis. The investigation has continued in years to come until today, roughly about twenty years, around the age of my oldest son. When he was born it was when I started to discover in my immediate surroundings a rich environment for creativity with a looking and caring eye. And from then on it was a photography universe unfolding in my most immediate surroundings, as Sally Mann writes “To be able to take my pictures I have to look, all the time, at the people and places I care about”. The photography I was looking for was there, at arm´s reach, the faces I loved, their caring eyes looking back, that connection of deep feelings being shared by sight, recorded in film by the camera.
This is a workshop that deals with the intimate, with whatever is near and proximate, our families, our friends, our houses and the geography we can call our own. With close studies from the history of photography starting with the portrait of Constance Talbot by William Henry Fox Talbot to the collaborations of Edith and Emmet Gowin, to Sally Man´s portraits of her sons and daughters and then of Larry her husband, we will travel through the history of photography with this particular prism, the intimate portrait, that has been practiced from the very beginning of the medium but only started gaining public attention and acceptance around the later years of the 20th Century. Intimacy gives us great access, not only in terms of space but also in terms of emotions, with that access comes responsibility, towards the same people we care about and are representing in the fictional space of photography. Many beauties await to reveal themselves just to the side and sight of our eye.
The length of the workshop is 20 hours, divided in theory classes and then practical exercises based on the examples and discussions made in class, and afterwards group dialogues and conversations about the photographs made by students from these exercises.