Photographing both my sons Jack and Duncan from twenty minutes old and consistently since, I have been mapping the way human faces evolve.
The quotes below are taken from an interview on the series with Sean O'Hagan of The Observer, Sunday January 8, 2006
The images can be seen on the website including the full interview and slideshow here
Duncan 1990-2006 ©STEVE PYKE
'I suppose you'd say I'm a bit obsessive, but there is always love in the making of these kinds of intimate photographs. I have another series of less formal family photographs which I call "Acts of Memory", in a way, every photograph is. Every image I make is about the person before the camera but it is also about the photographer. For a portrait to work, there has to be a connection between me and the subject. A conversation that takes place in an eighth of a second.'
'The more you make portraits, the more aware you become of that crucial instant and all that is contained in it. I tend to work quickly nowadays, it often seems to help provoke a spontaneity. Instinct is not all in photography, but it's a big part of it.'
Jack 1988-2006 ©STEVE PYKE
The earliest photograph of Jack included here was taken when he was just 20 minutes old. ('I'm actually surprised he waited that long,' says Jack, only half-jokingly.) If all goes according to plan, the last photograph Steve will ever take, in the very face of his imminent death, will be a portrait of Jack. 'If that happens,' he says, as if he has given this some considerable thought, 'and who knows what might occur in between to stop it happening, it will then literally be a life's work. But more than that it will be a project that began when his life began and will end with my death. It's an odd one to take in sometimes.'
Jack on the images
'The really strange thing about these photographs, apart from the most recent ones, is that I don't remember any of them being taken,' says Jack. 'I might vaguely remember a shirt I was wearing, or a haircut I had, but that's all. Sometimes my dad will say to me, "Oh, that one was taken in Ireland or London in such and such a year," but I don't remember anything about the time or the place. It's odd because they're evidence of me growing up but they're also a bit unreal. The more I look at some of them, the more it feels like it never really happened.'