A little while back I reviewed the DVD What Remains which is perhaps one of the best photography documentary films I have ever watched. Heck, it’s worth watching even just for the music! It’s a great film. Anyway you can read the full review in this post.
Before watching What Remains I knew very little about Sally Mann. I had seen a few of her images but had never really taken any notice. That type of photography simply didn’t interest me much when I first came across her work. That has all changed proportionally with my interest in photography!
When I first started getting into photography I was interested almost exclusively in wildlife, nature and landscape photography. Now I’m head over heels in love with virtually all genres of photography. I’m also very interested in the history of photography and the master photographers who helped shape photography as an artform throughout the 20th century.
Anyway, so today the book Immediate Family by Sally Mann arrived from Amazon. This amazing body of work is discussed in great detail in the DVD together with Sally Mann’s new body of work titled What Remains which is also the title of the DVD.
Flicking through Immediate Family and experiencing some of Sally Mann’s famous images again together with many new images that were never shown in the DVD, I’m completely awestruck by this body of work. It’s some of the most engaging, intimate and thought provoking portraits I’ve ever seen. It’s riveting and enigmatic photography.
If I was ever to teach photography in any formal capacity Sally Mann’s Immediate Family would be compulsory for my students.
If you have the slightest interest in portrait photography Immediate Family is a must for your bookshelf. You’ll want to look through these photographs again and again and again!
Yes, there is some nude photographs of Sally Mann’s own young children in this book and this fact is of course controversial and is also being discussed in the film. It should, perhaps, be considered that Immediate Family was shot more than 20 years ago, but even so, for anyone to have been – or continue to be – offended by these photographs of innocent children is simply ludicrous. The absurdity of the controversy is amplified by the fact that Sally Mann never intended for the nude photographs to cause offense. Nudity was part of everyday life amongst the Mann kids, it was natural and innocent, it was part of growing up.