Emily

Emily at 15 / 2005

Emily at 15 / 2005

 
Emily at 16 / 2006

Emily at 16 / 2006

 
Emily at 17 / 2007

Emily at 17 / 2007

 
Emily at 18, 2008

Emily at 18, 2008

 
Emily at 19 / 2009

Emily at 19 / 2009

 
Emily at 20 / 2010

Emily at 20 / 2010

 
Emily at 21 / 2011

Emily at 21 / 2011

 
Emily at 22 / 2012

Emily at 22 / 2012

 
Emily at 23, with Sarah / 2013

Emily at 23, with Sarah / 2013

 
Emily at 24, with Sarah / 2014

Emily at 24, with Sarah / 2014

 
Emily at 25, with Sarah / 2015

Emily at 25, with Sarah / 2015

 
Emily at 26, with Sarah / 2016

Emily at 26, with Sarah / 2016

 

I have been photographing my sister Emily since the day I picked up a camera. She has been my most constant muse. I have watched her steady gaze through my lens change as she grew up and slowly became more and more aware of herself and her own image. My sister and I are eleven years apart, which allows me to watch her from a distance. I compare and contrast our lives and I study her with special intensity and fascination as she grows into a young woman, losing the innocence of childhood. The older she gets, the more similar we become and the less the years between us separate our growth.

Influenced by Nicholas Nixon and his series The Brown Sisters, which consists of a yearly photo of his wife and her three sisters from 1975 to the present, I began taking a photo of Emily every year on her birthday, starting in 2005 when she turned 15. Emily is now 26 years old and there are 12 images in the birthday series. The last few sometimes include her girlfriend Sarah, who she started dating in 2013. Seeing the progression of birthday photos shows how my sister has changed over the years, but in the end, for me she will always encompass all the images at once, I will remember her equally as the fifteen year old and as the young woman she is now.