The "family" theme has been one that I have worked with since I began photographing in the late eighties. In my earlier work, I photographed my immediate family in the aftermath of my father's death and the impact it had on an unintended single-parent family dynamic. In doing so, I found an artistic vision that was uniquely my own.
Now as a mother myself, my current work is driven by my desire to document my children's dreams, vulnerabilities, and fears in the hope of revealing who they are in this ever changing and complex world. While this work intimately reveals their personas, it also evokes universal themes of birth, religion, spirituality and societal influences. This series and these representative images contain narratives, which weave fantasy and imagination with current issues that impact our society.
As for the process I use, the Ambrotype is a historic wet-plate collodion process (i.e. antique process dating from the mid 1800's) using glass plates exposed in a view camera. I have combined this historic process with digital imaging. I am drawn to the pictorial and dream-like effects created through the use of long exposures and hand poured chemistry that the Ambrotype process offers. Combining this hand-coated process with digital imaging gives me the opportunity to adjust for color and contrast and allows me to work in larger sizes without the restriction of plate-size. The combination of processes helps me to capture the beauty and drama intrinsic to the Ambrotype while allowing me to control some of what, pre-digital age, would have been left to luck and circumstance.