Organized by: Kristen Kidd
EVENT DATE Jan 07, 2017
I would like for you to take a moment to close your eyes and consider all of your photographs. Think of your favorite image. What comes to mind? Is it a beautiful picture from your wedding day or a casual snapshot with your best friend? Is it a photo with a loved one who has since passed? Consider how important that image is to you and the simple truth that every photo allows us to capture an ephemeral moment.
The importance of a family photo and the fact that countless people in the world will never have the dignity of a preserved memory is easy to forget. I would like to change that, one family portrait at a time.
In 2009 I visited Honduras as a photojournalist for the grass roots organization, MAMA Project (Mujeres Amigas Miles Apart). MAMA Project has spent decades providing healthcare, education, nutrition and a myriad of other necessities to remote villages in Honduras. Through this experience, the gravity of a personal image first resonated with me. I saw the emotion that filled each face as I shared each moment captured by showing them the image on the viewfinder of my camera. This was a poor substitute for the "real thing" - an image they could hold and keep. However, it was enough for each person to know that a portrait of them exists somewhere in the world and that they are preserved in a moment; existing there and unchanging.
In 2017 I’m working in collaboration with MAMA Project to provide over 400 families with the only family portrait they will ever have. I will be traveling to remote villages throughout the country and photographing each family that MAMA provides assistant to. I am also donating my time and services to the organization to ensure they have images that support the vision of their work.
The expenses for the project are very high. I’m humbly asking that you will consider donating when you are choosing from holiday gift giving options. The gift of a family portrait is a gift that will never be forgotten.
- Kristen Kidd
I am given the distinct pleasure of photographing families, couples, and individuals in their greatest moments of joy. Yet, I am acutely aware that these family portraits – experiences and objects that my day-to-day work positions as basic rites of passage – are an unattainable luxury to a vast percentage of the world.
The vision for this project stems from the deep rooted memory of what it meant to the individuals and families that I photographed in Honduras. To see their faces illuminated on the tiny screen of my camera brought them such joy. They relished the confirmation that their likeness was saved in space and time. They asked for nothing in return. The joy of knowing they were preserved, somewhere, served as elation enough.
These families will never know preserving a memory of their family in a moment in time. When loved ones pass on, they strain to remember faces when we hang portraits, scroll Facebook and flip through albums. I want to consider what happens when we take an object that is intrinsically a part of our society, an icon; such as the family portrait and we place it in an environment in which it is a privilege, typically left only to the elite. I want to wrestle with what it means to the viewer who receives this image of their family juxtaposed to the viewer who receives these images to behold on display in a gallery setting. It is worth considering this because it’s good to give and because it’s good to reflect, with gratitude, on the gamut of what he have, what we take for granted and what is valued sharing in the human experience.
The family portrait, be it casual snap shot, polaroid, disposable camera or an image preserved on archival canvas, captured by the most revered photographer of our time; it is not food, water or shelter, but it is the one possession that most people agree they would consider running back into a burning building to save, once all loved ones made it out safely.
Description of the work
“Retrato/Portrait” will capture what is likely to be the only portrait that these families will ever have in the remote regions of Honduras. Up to 400 families will be photographed on Fuji Film Instax 3.25”x4.4” instant film. One image will be provided to the family and second image will be retained by the photographer. The second image will be brought back, mounted and framed for a gallery exhibition.