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‘Life After Death: How Murder Affects A Family’ by Photographer Noelle Swan Gilbert

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

I see my nephews as often as I can, and I am amazed at their resilience. They are strong, loving boys with deep connections to those around them. But every once in a while I see one of them staring off in deep thought and I wonder what they’re thinking. Or if they’re remembering her.—Noelle Swan Gilbert

Life After Death: How Murder Affects A Family is a documentary series by Los Angeles-based photographer Noelle Swan Gilbert. In 2007, Gilbert’s sister Laura was murdered by her ex-husband in the home they shared with their two young sons, then age two and four. The two boys’ lives instantly changed—their mother gone and their father in police custody. After a stint in foster care, the boys were eventually released to Gilbert’s parents in Seattle after an arduous five week fight with the state of Colorado.

The series is Gilbert’s poignant document of her two nephews living in a world they didn’t anticipate. Of it, she also says, “It started out as a way to deal with my grief. I couldn’t look at my nephews without crying, so I did what I always do, I looked through a camera. I documented. As the years pass, I continue to document our family as the dynamic shifts, unfolds and ushers in revelations, celebrations, sadness and fear.”

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

NoelleS_Gilbert_Photography

Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Julia Sabot is the Associate Photo Editor at Dwell.

  • Matt Feher

    Meh. The images don’t reflect the statement at all. They are almost all kids playing, not dealing with anything difficult or traumatic. Let’s see some emotion.

  • trent

    these images are just beautiful…love this series!

  • Bob Lazzarini

    These images are heartfelt.
    I wish these boys a beautiful life.

  • http://www.example.com JohnPH

    To the first commenter – would you have the children crying over their mother’s grave in each image? These images are subtle and poignant (though IMHO, could use a tighter edit) and their worth isn’t revealed in a quick glance.