The human face has infinite fascination for me. Although in life we observe a face, with its fugitive identity, momentarily, we are allowed through the photograph to scrutinize expression and gesture in a way normal human interaction does not allow.
This series is titled 13, as I photographed 13-year olds whom I taught. It is a series I worked on for five years. I only photographed my students during the school day when we both had a moment free to relate to each other in the environment we shared.
“Why thirteen?” you may ask. Perhaps it is because thirteen was a magical time in my life. I was so excited to be a new teenager, an age group with cult-like status. I was happy to be at the top of the middle school heap. Everything seemed possible.
For over thirty years I have taught photography to students who are thirteen to eighteen years old. Each year I age; the faces of those before me remain young. I am amazed at the striking and radical change between 8th grade and freshman year. Each year I observe the changes that happen with their bodies, attitudes, and abilities. The freshness, openness, and translucency of my young students’ faces soon change to something else.I do not know whether I am more photographer than teacher or more teacher than photographer. The line has blurred very comfortably in this work.
These images are “tintypes,” printed digitally onto metal, 17” X 17” image size and framed to 24” X 24.”