I sensed a turning point in my late 20s. Those around me were making strides in their careers, becoming prolific in their artwork, finding partners, buying homes, and having children. Others were directionless, some scrapping everything to start fresh. With the stakes higher than they’d ever been before, all of us were in the throes of finding our voices as we embraced adulthood. I felt like the next few years would inform the rest of our lives—it seemed a perfect time to begin a document of my peers, and by extension, my generation.
Inspired by Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters and the BBC's 7-Up series, two years ago I shot the first iteration of this project—portraits of 28 other 28-year-olds. They were close friends, and friends-of-friends in varying fields: artists, actors, musicians, scientists, corporate managers and municipal employees. The following year I added one more subject, making a group of 29 at 29. Now that I'm 30, I've shot the same subjects, and added one, making it 30 at 30. I'll continue this same format, and follow this same group, documenting each year of change.
In the first three years of shooting this project I’ve seen lofty hopes in my subjects tempered only by a quiet resolve to take on this difficult historical moment. Not only am I interested in recording the changes wrought by aging, but I want to see how this group realizes—or looses sight of—its potential. In iterations to come I will work to document its defining traits and work to distill its ambitions. My hope is to not only record the passage of time, but to explore how knowledge, perspective, and sense-of-self evolve with age.
Over the years, I aim to create familiarity and intimacy with the subjects and document the way my relationships with them evolve. I assume that the way I see my photography will change as well. So, besides the literal self-portrait I make of myself each year, the entire set of photographs becomes a figurative self-portrait. As I change course in my portraiture, the project will change course too, and it will be a years-long document of my development as a photographer.
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