Connect with us

World

‘I see people getting old, I don’t always see us’: a family, 30 years, 30 photographs | Family

Published

on

‘I see people getting old, I don’t always see us’: a family, 30 years, 30 photographs |  Family

I.n the summer of 1991, photographer Zed Nelson, then 25, invited a couple of new parents he knew to visit his London studio. Oh, and bring your baby, he said. At the time he had the ambition to be a traveling photojournalist. Over the course of a year, he would fly the first of a series of visits to distant conflict zones. But for that, Nelson had a calmer and more domestic project in mind. He set up a backdrop and lights, and encouraged visiting parents, an affable couple named Sue and Frank whom he had met at a party, to pose with their newborn, Eddie. The parents held hands, wide-eyed, visibly pierced by the terror and excitement of parenthood. Eddie, weeks old, unconscious, considered his own fingers and drooled. It could have been any other family portrait.

Except Nelson invited Sue, Frank and Eddie to his studio for more portraits, at the same time of year, every year, for as long as they agreed to come. It would trace the evolution of a father’s life, with Sue fixed in position to the right of the image, Frank to the left, Eddie slowly walking between his mom and dad. “The same backdrop every year, the same lights, the same camera, the same angle,” explains Nelson, recalling the complicated logistics of a project that has been running since 1991 without interruption. “Every year I measure the distances per inch. It drives us all a little crazy. But we keep coming back.”

During the early years of this project, which Nelson calls The Family, the photographer’s own life was hectic and stressful. On commission abroad, he would follow dictators and document famines, aware that this regular portrait session was an anchor date on his calendar. He once invited Sue and Frank to his annual session when he had just gotten off a plane from Angola and was shaking with malaria. “I liked the reassuring continuity,” says Nelson.

1992: Frank and Sue, 37, and Eddie, one. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission
1995: Frank and Sue, 40, Eddie, four.
1996: Frank and Sue, 41, Eddie five.

  • 1995, left: Frank and Sue, 40, Eddie, four

  • 1996, right: Frank and Sue, 41, Eddie five

In 2010, The Guardian published images from the first two decades, showing Sue and Frank’s progress from minor parents (36 years old) to empty nests (55 years old). At the time, the family felt too shy to talk about it. They had hardly admitted to anyone that this was something they had done. Sue works as an artist, Frank as a support teacher. They are private persons; When the images appeared in print, colleagues and friends were amazed. People asked the reluctant couple, “Is it really you?”

“Neither of us had any idea it was going to last that long,” says Sue, over the phone from the family home. She and Frank have agreed to share their views on this unique and priceless record of their adult lives.

1998: Frank and Sue, 43, Eddie, seven.
1998: Frank and Sue, 43, Eddie, seven. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission
2001: Frank and Sue, 46, Eddie 10.
2003: Frank and Sue, 48, Eddie, 12.

  • 2001, left: Frank and Sue, 46, Eddie 10

  • 2003, right: Frank and Sue, 48, Eddie, 12

“When we started, it was a pre-digital, pre-internet era,” says Frank, “and we didn’t think about what would happen in the future. There are not roadSo many years ago, we would have asked ourselves: ‘What will all this be like in 2021?’ “

When Sue looks back at the first photograph of Nelson’s selection, which shows Eddie in his car seat, she remembers the intense sense of parental duty. “When you have a child for the first time, you think it will last forever, just because of that intensity,” says Sue. “Actually, the three decades since then have passed in an instant. Like a fast-forward movie. These photos make me realize how quickly time passes. “

2005: Frank and Sue, 50, Eddie, 14.
2005: Frank and Sue, 50, Eddie, 14. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission
2008: Frank and Sue, 53, Eddie, 17.
2009: Frank and Sue, 54, Eddie, 18.

  • 2008, left: Frank and Sue, 53, Eddie, 17

  • 2009, right: Frank and Sue, 54, Eddie, 18

His son’s teenage years seemed especially cruelly fast. “Eddie started high school one day and boof – The next thing we knew it was a man. “In the photograph taken when Eddie was 12 years old, Sue and Frank have their heads bowed. It is as if they are being whipped by the tailwinds of their son’s dramatic growth spurt. At 14, Eddie is almost his father’s height. At 17 he’s a little bit taller. At 18 there’s no competition. “He’s a complete, independent individual who doesn’t need us,” says Sue. sadness attached to that for me, there is also great joy and pride. “

It was around this time, when Eddie was preparing for college in the late 2000s, that Nelson presented the family with a portfolio of the photos he had taken thus far. Previously, they had never seen more than a few Polaroids from last year’s shoot to help get their bearings. “Zed didn’t want us to look at the photos and make plans for next time,” recalls Frank. He never wanted us to dress up, what I think he was trying to avoid was that annual family photography sensation. He often told me not to smile. He would order me not to sink my stomach. This may sound strange, but I always felt a bit detached from the whole process. I felt like we were models and we just illustrated something. “

Sue agrees. Remember having received the first photos and feeling away from the figures that appear in them. She still feels that way. “There is a feeling that we are characters in a plot. I look at people getting older, Eddie getting older, and I think, ‘Who are they?’ I don’t always see U.S in them. They don’t quite look like us. Another artist is making the decisions. It is your project. They represent a story about change, about aging, not a story about our personal lives or about us and who we were at the time. “

2010: Frank and Sue, 55, Eddie, 19.
2010: Frank and Sue, 55, Eddie, 19. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission
2012: Frank and Sue, 57, Eddie, 21.
2014: Frank and Sue, 59, Eddie, 23.

  • 2012, left: Frank and Sue, 57, Eddie, 21

  • 2014, right: Frank and Sue, 59, Eddie, 23

Perhaps the images are a canvas onto which we project our own experiences and expectations. As a father on the verge of 40, I am particularly fascinated by the story that seems to unfold on Frank’s face and posture as his son outgrows it. Eddie becomes the strongest, most handsome, and healthiest man, almost displacing Frank. He begins to throw his shoulders back and look into a future somewhere beyond Nelson’s camera. To one side, Frank seems to sink into himself. Hey lose weight. The face becomes leathery. When your son is 23 and Frank is about to turn 60, he seems to be committing to a new, fancier wardrobe. Suddenly elegant in tailored vest and shirt, thicker glasses on trend, Frank looks more comfortable again. It is as if the inward and outward passage of a mild midlife crisis has been captured. But these are just my impressions, based on Nelson’s selection from hundreds of photo rolls.

“I can’t really remember one of those years the next,” Frank says cheerfully, thinking of the period I’ve interpreted as one of collapse and renewal. “I am not very sentimental. I tend not to look back at things. What interests me the most is the day in front of me … Obviously, as you get older, I have some ideas about the passage of time. Sue and I are 66 now. These days, 60-something seems pretty young. But I have a growing feeling that it won’t last very much longer. “

Eddie was always a willing subject for Nelson photographs, but prefers not to be interviewed. Instead, I know him as a changing figure in photographs, the student years shedding him as he flares out, does gymnastics, his bangs begin to recede, and reveals a rounded forehead like his father’s. Finally, “Eddie almost took us out of the box,” says Sue. “If you want to read the photographs this way, you could say that we only had one child, and that is a very close relationship, but we have had to learn to give it space. As you grow and change, so does our role in your life. We have to back off. “

In subsequent photographs, Sue continues to change her outfit and hair color, as she always has, reinventing herself. Over a long period, it appears to age subtly, almost invisibly. She recalls: “There were a few years that we posed for photographs and I would ask myself, ‘Do I want to see myself getting older? Do I want others to see that? A thing of vanity. “In 2016, she has disheveled, bleached hair and looks at the camera with more poise and defiance than in any other photograph, as if she dares to capture it. here aging.

2016: Frank and Sue, 61, Eddie, 25.
2016: Frank and Sue, 61, Eddie, 25. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project
2018: Frank and Sue, 63, Eddie, 27.
2018: Frank and Sue, 63, Eddie, 27. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission

Then all of a sudden it’s the same year your baby grows a beard, Sue looks so much older. Leave patterned clothing for stately and somber dresses. In photograph 29, he seems to have accepted that an interesting new phase is imminent. “I have to say,” says Sue, “I’m not aging the same way inside my head. I don’t actually feel like I’m getting old, because I don’t deal with it every day. My mind works as it always has. I don’t think of myself as getting old, I think of myself as having gone on this incredible journey, still doing things, feeling, thinking, doing things. I am proud that Frank and I have come this far as a couple and as parents, and still be able to do the things we enjoy. That is why I have to disassociate myself a bit from these photographs. Because for me, I don’t see myself in decline. I see myself always striving to do more. “

In the final photograph, taken by Nelson, 56, this year, Eddie is 30. He has a partner and a daughter. For the first time in years, Frank smiles. Grab a toy dinosaur like he’s ready to jump at any moment and pacify his granddaughter. Sue is a little down, as if she has been reminded once again of that intense parental responsibility. Eddie’s hands are clenched around his son. The baby has his eyes on Mom. “And the cycle begins again,” sighs Frank.

2021: Frank and Sue, 66, with Eddie, 30, their partner, and their baby.
2021: Frank and Sue, 66, with Eddie, 30, their partner, and their baby. Photograph by Zed Nelson, The Family Project. Copyright © may not be reproduced without permission

Everyone has wondered, from time to time, how this project could end. Frank says, “Visually it would make sense if … Well, I guess, if one of us, or both of us …” It trailed off. “It is not a very appetizing thought.” He wonders if, deep down, he, Sue, and Eddie have always kept this careful distance from Nelson’s project because they can imagine how it must end one day. Most likely there will be a photograph with a missing person, then two, and Eddie will be without his parents in that family background.

“Analyzing 30 years of your own life certainly awakens feelings of mortality,” says Frank. But I suppose we will continue with the photographs for as long as we can, until one or both of us stay on the road. Zed is much older than Eddie. Either way, “says Frank,” it’s not going to last forever. ”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Lifestyle

LifeStyle15 hours ago

5 Tips To Write Your Essays Before the Deadline

Deadlines are not easy to deal with. When there is an approaching deadline, one tends to get overwhelmed at the...

LifeStyle2 weeks ago

How to Prioritize Self Care as a New Parent

A bundle of joy has joined you in your life and you couldn’t be happier. But, at the same time,...

LifeStyle2 weeks ago

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Asleep

You have likely heard it most of your life: getting a good night’s sleep is important for your overall health....

LifeStyle2 weeks ago

4 Ways to Spread Joy This Fall

Traditionally, many people strive to spread as much joy as they can in the weeks leading up to Christmas. But...

LifeStyle1 month ago

Tips to Boost Your Energy and Ensure Life Longevity with NMN Supplements

Australia’s median age limit increased by two years recently. Higher NAD+ can improve your metabolism rates and prolong natural aging....

LifeStyle2 months ago

5 Tips on Writing APA Research Paper

When students reach college education, they understand that it won’t all be flowers and sunshine. There are different courses with...

Support group for businesses to overcome challenges Support group for businesses to overcome challenges
LifeStyle3 months ago

Support group for businesses to overcome challenges

All-day brunch and soup kitchen Cafe Coco suffered as walk-ins dwindled significantly. It’s a tourist-dependent cafe that’s nestled in the...

S’pore startup Shiok Meats acquires clean red meat company Gaia Foods S’pore startup Shiok Meats acquires clean red meat company Gaia Foods
LifeStyle3 months ago

S’pore startup Shiok Meats acquires clean red meat company Gaia Foods

According to Technology in Asia, Shiok Meats has acquired a stake of more than 90% in Gaia Foods for an...

Marianna Hewitt’s home proves that neutral decor can be full of personality Marianna Hewitt’s home proves that neutral decor can be full of personality
LifeStyle3 months ago

Marianna Hewitt’s home proves that neutral decor can be full of personality

If anyone understands the importance of maintaining your brand, it is Marianna Hewitt. The trusted influencer and founder of the...

The 16 best stuffed pepper recipes for every occasion The 16 best stuffed pepper recipes for every occasion
LifeStyle3 months ago

The 16 best stuffed pepper recipes for every occasion

Something you may not know about me is that I absolutely adore a pepper. Raw, cooked, marinated, bathed: each and...

Advertisement

Sport

Sports2 months ago

5 Tips for Setting Up Your PC for Online Gaming

Due to advances in technology, online gamers can enjoy a gaming experience that was unthinkable even a decade ago. High-resolution...

Sports2 months ago

How to Succeed in Poker Tournaments

Perhaps your first big poker tournament is coming up, or you’ve been gathering skills ready to enter – no matter...

Sports2 months ago

Is The Olympics Still Relevant?

As the Tokyo Olympics has come to a close, competitors must move on from the excitement of experiencing an Olympic...

Fernández reflects on the game against Dart: ‘Honestly, I can’t think of anything positive’ Fernández reflects on the game against Dart: ‘Honestly, I can’t think of anything positive’
Sports3 months ago

Fernández reflects on the game against Dart: ‘Honestly, I can’t think of anything positive’

var adServerUrl = “”; var $ el = $ (“# video_container-985707”); var permalink = $ el.closest (‘. snet-single-article’). data (‘permalink’);...

Tammy Abraham to Roma – Mourinho is the perfect coach for the striker Tammy Abraham to Roma – Mourinho is the perfect coach for the striker
Sports3 months ago

Tammy Abraham to Roma – Mourinho is the perfect coach for the striker

It seems that not too long ago, a young English Target Man was a troubling prospect for most Premier League...

Explanation: Why Barcelona had to let Messi go Explanation: Why Barcelona had to let Messi go
Sports3 months ago

Explanation: Why Barcelona had to let Messi go

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi cries during a press conference at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on August 8, 2021. –...

Are Arsenal and Spurs left out of the top 6 in dispute as the 2021/22 season approaches? Are Arsenal and Spurs left out of the top 6 in dispute as the 2021/22 season approaches?
Sports3 months ago

Are Arsenal and Spurs left out of the top 6 in dispute as the 2021/22 season approaches?

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal are the teams that are widely regarded as the top 6...

What should team Canada’s men’s hockey roster look like? What should team Canada’s men’s hockey roster look like?
Sports3 months ago

What should team Canada’s men’s hockey roster look like?

We have sent an email with instructions to create a new password. Your current password has not been changed. We...

Haaland, but staying in Dotmund, can BVB get the title on 21/22? Haaland, but staying in Dotmund, can BVB get the title on 21/22?
Sports3 months ago

Haaland, but staying in Dotmund, can BVB get the title on 21/22?

There are almost twenty days left in the transfer window. The window is in full swing as deals that would...

Knicks agree to deal with Dwayne Bacon: reports Knicks agree to deal with Dwayne Bacon: reports
Sports3 months ago

Knicks agree to deal with Dwayne Bacon: reports

Dwayne Bacon # 8 of the Orlando Magic shoots as John Collins # 20 of the Atlanta Hawks defends during...

Advertisement

Entertainment

Venice adds Doc ‘Ennio’;  Netflix Confirms Sanjay Leela Bhansali Series – News Block Venice adds Doc ‘Ennio’;  Netflix Confirms Sanjay Leela Bhansali Series – News Block
Entertainment3 months ago

Venice adds Doc ‘Ennio’; Netflix Confirms Sanjay Leela Bhansali Series – News Block

Venice adds Giuseppe Tornatore’s Ennio Morricone film The Venice Film Festival incorporates the Out of Competition screening of Ennio Morricone’s...

The Jeffrey Epstein Victims Fund has finished paying $ 121 million The Jeffrey Epstein Victims Fund has finished paying $ 121 million
Entertainment3 months ago

The Jeffrey Epstein Victims Fund has finished paying $ 121 million

After awarding more than $ 121 million to about 150 applicants, a compensation program for survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual...

Matt Roloff and Karyn Chandler move in together, discuss marriage Matt Roloff and Karyn Chandler move in together, discuss marriage
Entertainment3 months ago

Matt Roloff and Karyn Chandler move in together, discuss marriage

Small people, big world star Matt Roloff and his girlfriend, Karyn Chandlerhave revealed their big summer plans in a new...

Mike Shouhed wants Reza Farahan to apologize for being a ‘traitor’ Mike Shouhed wants Reza Farahan to apologize for being a ‘traitor’
Entertainment3 months ago

Mike Shouhed wants Reza Farahan to apologize for being a ‘traitor’

Shouhed says his Shahs of Sunset co-star “cuts deep and says things that are hard to forgive.” While a sexting...

Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope are engaged Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope are engaged
Entertainment3 months ago

Joey Lawrence and Samantha Cope are engaged

He put a ring on it! Joey lawrence is engaged to the actress Samantha cope one year after filing for...

Christine Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis Christine Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
Entertainment3 months ago

Christine Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

August 10, 2021 Christine Applegate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Christina Applegate The 49-year-old actress took to Twitter on...

UK advertisers form tapestry with clients Coel, Fassbender, Foy – News Block UK advertisers form tapestry with clients Coel, Fassbender, Foy – News Block
Entertainment3 months ago

UK advertisers form tapestry with clients Coel, Fassbender, Foy – News Block

EXCLUSIVE: UK advertisers Donna Mills and Emma Jackson, longtime representatives of London-based Premier Communications, have launched the new advertising agency...

Christina Applegate: actress reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis Christina Applegate: actress reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis
Entertainment3 months ago

Christina Applegate: actress reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis

prime time Emmy-winning actor Christina applegate has revealed a multiple sclerosis condition through a Twitter post late on Monday night....

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to move to New Zealand in 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to move to New Zealand in 2018
Entertainment3 months ago

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to move to New Zealand in 2018

Prince harry and Meghan Markle according to Queen Elizabeth IIRepresentative to New Zealand, Governor General Patsy Reddy… She said Associated...

Alarming new UN climate report says humanity has really screwed itself up Alarming new UN climate report says humanity has really screwed itself up
Entertainment3 months ago

Alarming new UN climate report says humanity has really screwed itself up

The last evaluation of climate science is a “code red for humanity,” the United Nations chief said on Monday, while...

Advertisement

Tech

Tech1 week ago

How to Provide Cybersecurity for Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is one of the first browsers that come to mind when thinking about the best privacy-oriented browsers available...

Tech4 weeks ago

6 Important Questions to Ask Your Internet Provider

Choosing the best internet provider can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what questions to ask. You want to...

Tech1 month ago

How Serious is Plagiarism in College?

Studying in college often demands writing essays and course papers. You may study technical subjects and do not have many...

Tech1 month ago

Three Possible Ways of How You Can Transfer Contacts from Outlook to iPhone

MS Outlook plays an important role in putting daily life in order, especially with regard to email management. If you...

Tech1 month ago

Importance of Email Validation

According to recent stats, 30% of users change their email every year. Therefore, if your mailing list is more than...

Tech1 month ago

Before Doing Virtual Staging, Here’s What You Should Know

The majority of people today go online to look for homes. When a potential buyer spots a house online that...

Tech1 month ago

What Technologies are Online Casinos Using?

Online casinos have become an ideal choice for a lot of players, especially because they let players take their games...

Tech2 months ago

Grow Your Brand With These 5 Social Media Tips

Whether you’re operating a new business or working to grow your brand, social media is an excellent place to start....

Tech2 months ago

Is Mining Ethereum Still Profitable in 2021?

Globally, there have been lots of innovations and modernization in different aspects of life. This fact has contributed to the...

Tech2 months ago

Popularity Of the Blockchain Technology: How Familiar Are You with It?

Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currency that stands out because it is decentralized. Cryptocurrency also stands out because it...

Advertisement
Advertisement