Terence Donovan and David Bailey contiribute personal photos

Title: Family: Photographers Photograph Their Families

Author: Edited by Sophie Spencer-Wood, with a preface by Henri Peretz

ISBN: 0714844020

Publisher: Phaidon Press

Edition: Hardback

Review: Describing itself as an ‘exploration of the universal theme of family,’ this book is a collection of family pictures taken by 56 acclaimed photographers including Terence Donovan and David Bailey. In his introduction Henri Peretz remarks: “By photographing his family, the artist turns his back on remote, public subjects in order to investigate kinship… he risks discarding an aesthetic appropriate to the professional photographer and his work may be assimilated… with the practice of an amateur.”

It is the relationship between the family member and the photographer used to taking pictures for a living that makes the images so interesting. From images of grandchildren taken in 1865 by Julia Margaret Cameron to more recent photographs by Gautier Deblonde of his heavily pregnant wife and newborn son, the photos span the ages, illustrating the stylistic changes of family photography. Many of the pictures are incredibly emotive such as ‘Heaven and Hell’ and ‘Life Support’ by Colin Gray, two very different images of a couple – presumably his parents – taken ten years apart.