The first day of twelve with the grandchildren was today. I'm hoping to post a photo a day, along with a quote from a children's book.
The first one was taken during nap time. Luckily this grandchild sleeps like a rock... didn't even budge during the loud Hasselblad shutter. Thunk. "Sometimes," said Pooh; "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." - A.A. Milne
San Francisco-based photographer Timothy Archibald began photographing his autistic 5-year-old son Elijah as a way of dealing with the young boy's diagnosis. Noticing how his son behaved, different from other kids, and knowing that as a parent he was desperately eager to raise his child as best as he could, he felt the need to pour his frustrations into this portrait project titled Echolilia. What he didn't realize was how much closer it would bring him to his son and allow him to understand Eli better.
Image after image, Archibald's collection reveals the socially withdrawn child's unique perspective. The way he interacts with objects offers an alternative approach to communicating with the world around him. The photographer says, "I never wanted [Eli] to think that he was normal. I wanted him to be aware of how different he was and see that as an asset."
Through this series, Archibald not only got to appreciate his son's quirks but he was also able to release his desire to control situations (as a professional photographer) and learn to follow his son's lead. Together, the father-son duo bonded over photography and collaborated on a series they can now look back on and recall fond memories.
Echolilia has been turned into a book and signed copies are available to purchase directly through Archibald's website.
“I have done what I wanted to do, I have seen
everything: misery, celebrity, the beautiful people, the wicked ones,
generosity and hatred. But I think I have gone beyond my vision.... in the
heart of my own life, in the heart of other people's lives. Perhaps that is the
most important thing I have done.”
– Bruce Davidson
Bruce Davidson, born
in 1933, received his first camera as a gift from his mother at age seven. He
used it to take photographs in his suburban neighborhood, Oak Park, Illinois.
“Most boys my age had a dog. I had a camera.”
By age 10, he’d
convinced his mom, an independent single mother, to build him a darkroom. He
worked as a photographer throughout high school, at RIT and Yale, in the Army,
and afterward, as a freelancer. Some 75 years after his first photos, Davidson
is considered one of the most influential photographers of the last
Davidson cites Henri
Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus as influences. When he left
military service in 1957, he did freelance work for Life Magazine, and in 1958
he became a full member of Magnum (having been invited by Henri Cartier-Bresson
himself). From 1958 to 1961 he created such groundbreaking and influential
works as “The Dwarf,” “Brooklyn Gang” and “Freedom Rides.” He received a
Guggenheim in 1962 and created a body of work about the civil rights movement.
Davidson was given a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1963.
In 1970 he published
East 100th Street, now
considered a classic. He worked on the project for two years, documenting with a 4x5 large-format view camera, life on one block in East Harlem. In 1980,
he published Subway, a book of color pictures made on the New
York City subway during a time when the subway was a dangerous place to be. Davidson directed two award-winning short films: a documentary
called Living Off the Land and a more
surreal piece titled Isaac Singer’s
Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard. In 2010, his book Outside Inside, a three-volume boxed set, was
published by Gerhard Steidl.
to work today as an editorial photographer. What makes a good
photograph? He has a simple answer: “What makes a good picture is almost
subliminal. It could be a look on a face or a detail on a piece of clothing.
You just have to go with the flow sometimes.” His influence on
countless photographers who have worked on the street is immeasurable. He’s a
photographer’s photographer; his work and his persona are beloved by legions of people, myself included.