Amy: Tell me what you think.
Erica: I see my mom. I see my mom’s car. I see my dad’s truck. I see trees. I see you.
Amy: You’ve told me before that this is one of your favorites. Why do you like it?
Erica: I don’t know. I can see you taking a picture of me.
Amy: Do you like it when I take pictures of you?
Erica: I don’t know.
Amy: How does it make you feel?
Erica: That’s all (shrugs shoulders). I’m done talking.
When my mother gave birth to my half-sister Erica, I was 20 years old. Sitting in the hospital room with my camera, she made giving birth look easy. I photographed as Erica made her way into the world, cut her umbilical cord myself, and was the very first to hold her. In that moment, I gave her a name she inevitably didn’t get to keep. And she peed on me.
Ever since, having a much younger sibling has given me the unique experience of observing the way in which I may have been raised. Photographing Erica has become a window into my own elusive childhood.—Amy Powell
Growing up in a struggling middle class family from the suburbs, Ohio native Amy Powell uses photography to create a telling narrative of her close, personal relationships. The oldest of four children, Powell’s series Erica & I is a poignant chronicle featuring her younger sister as subject and muse. A mixture of wistful photos and playful exchanges, we examine Erica’s world; try to dissect her many thoughts. Gazing at the past through her lens, Powell looks to childhood to answer questions unknown and explore adult fears never reconciled.
This post was contributed by photographer and Feature Shoot Editorial Assistant Jenna Garrett.