Photographic memory

A father chronicles his daughter's life in its most intimate moments. When my daughter, Alison, was born in 1975, I began to photograph her, just as all new parents do. Initially, I kept those pictures private, separate from my commercial work. But in the process of documenting Alison's growth, something changed profoundly in the way I went about my work and thought about my subjects. I developed a more passionate interest in human relationships and in capturing the strength of those relationships in intimate moments. My photographs of Alison, because of the nature of our relationship, are very much a father-daughter collaboration -- Alison permitting me access to private moments of her life, which might, under different circumstances, be off-limits to a parent. The camera, early in her life, became part of our relationship, necessitating in me an acceptance of her behavior, a quietness. We've never had long photographic sessions, but rather moments alone or with friends. The significance of these pictures emerges in retrospect. I realize, as I look at them, that I created a visual life story of Alison, capturing moments in her metamorphosis from infant to woman -- her relationships with friends, her rebellion and, underlying it all, her relationship with me, a constant throughout her life. I wanted to photograph her in all her extremes, and to be part of these times in her life without judging or censoring. Only in this way would I have a true portrait of Alison. Jack Radcliffe is a photographer.
By Jack Radcliffe
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