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Images of the Day
“Picture You, Picture Me”: Mother And Daughter Collaborate On Beautiful Photo Series
January 15, 2014
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Couch, 2008

Plenty of photographers feature their children as subjects — this series by Irish artist Emer Gillespie flips that on its head. Since her daughter Laoisha was six, Gillespie's been collaborating with her on "Picture You, Picture Me." For each pair of shots, mother and daughter direct how the other poses, down to the facial expressions, with many of the ideas for settings coming from Laoisha, who's now 11.

"Its interesting to watch her interests change as she grows up," Gillespie told "For instance, when she was six and seven, jumping on beds and flying kites were important to her. Now, as a young lady, her focus has switched to creating hairstyles and playing with makeup."

Laoisha has Down syndrome, and Gillespie said that working on the series has helped improve her confidence as she expresses herself. "Laoisha’s verbal and visual language, especially at the beginning, were quite limited, and so this was an invaluable way of spending time one-on-one, and allowing her to choose positions, facial expressions and activities," she said. "Since this project began in 2008, her skills, abilities and creative input have increased each year, making her more autonomous and independent."

In the years since the series started, Laiosha has broadened her artistic interests as well — she's now learning to knit and sew. But she's still interested in photography. "She was given a digital camera as a Christmas present, so she now has her own camera to snap away on."

For more about the project, see Gillespie's website and this profile in the Irish Times.


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