Kids Were Here

As someone who takes photographs of her own children nearly every day - occasionally portraits, often documentary, but nearly always shots that include a child or two - I find it a struggle sometimes to take photos of environment sans people.

When I took the first photo in the spring, I was surprised by how I loved it. The dirty window, the rainbow, the smiling-but-menacing person. I began to occasionally take note of scenes before me that did not include a child - or did not include a child-specific area (toy corner, bedroom, etc.) - but told me that Kids Were Here. It is not a novel concept and not a new project. But it was new and novel to me, someone who shied away from photos depicting the echoes of children rather than the face, right there before you.

I did not look for these photos. I did not want to sort through hundreds to find a few gems. I did not want to miss my usual photography of my children in favour of something else. In fact, I only had to narrow this down from less than twenty photographs taken since spring. I waited for the images to come to me. Quietly, usually after a front door has banged loudly, kids leaving, moving on to something else. Or when they have gone to school and I go outside for the first time since the night before and see what they’ve left. Or when we have been together and they’ve run ahead, onto the next adventure. Simple moments, where I’ve felt the pull to get my camera because the scene is comforting and familiar in an active way, and not just in a there-is-kid-detritus-everywhere kind of way. I don’t quite know how to explain it, except - Kids Were Here.