Sally Mann and her Immediate Family

Post date 2008-09-23
Category Writings

You know how you sometimes get utterly flabbergasted? You stand there, like you've just been hit by Harry Potter's stupify-spell. Unable to speak, like the times when you cram three rice cookies into your mouth while drinking a glass of juice at the same time. (Don't deny it, we all do it.)

That's the feeling I got when I first saw Sally Mann's photography series Immediate Family in person.

She is not an underdog in the world of contemporary photography; quite the contrary. Her work has been seen in countless exhibitions and is discussed all over the place. I myself had seen many of her pictures before in books and on Internet, thinking 'meh'. But, as always, it's quite a different experience to see the pictures in person.

Technically, Sally Mann's photography is interesting. She uses mostly old cameras, lenses and darkroom techniques, but that's not what make her photography great. Immediate Family portraits herself and her children in what feels as very genuine situations. The power and pride of Three Graces seen live can't be described; it has to be experienced.

Moody, professional and unique, it is no wonder that Sally Mann has taken a place in the history books. If you ever get a chance to see her photography in person do so. It's worth it. I recently picked up Immeadiate Family from Amazon as well. Highly recommended, even though it's nothing compared to an exhibit with full screen prints.

Three Graces image courtesy of