Joey Solomon spent the past eight years documenting the life of his mother, ‘in the process of taking these monochrome portraits, he attempts to unpack their shared and hereditary mental illness.’ This project is testament to the importance of a connection to the subject within photography as well as how important photography can be as a form of therapy and a way of connecting to others. I’ve always believed that looking outwards with the camera can result in inspiring and aesthetically incredible photography, but only through looking inwards, through dealing with emotion and internal hardship, through following your own passion, can a deep connection between the observer and the observed be formed, this connection is what we call empathy, and in this case looking at these candid portraits we are all left feeling a powerful connection to the subject.
The relationship between mother and son can be seen in these images and the compassion within this project is evidence that understanding and respecting your subject is what is most important in photography. To photograph what you understand and care about most can create some of the most passionate and intense work.
The project consists of several, mostly monochrome, portraits of Joey’s mother all with slightly different styles resulting in an interesting and both visually and emotionally engaging project which conjures up an almost ethereal aesthetic as though the series of images exist almost as memories rather than photographs.
Joey notes that ‘as I took more photos of her, the photo sessions and the photographs themselves broke so many walls down for us personally. We were able to communicate, be so much closer and more raw with each other after every session.’ This connection between subject and photographer is what allows for work which feels as though you are no more than a spectator of his mother's life, that you see her in a natural form, completely comfortable with the camera's presence.