When Charlie Engman first photographed his mother, Kathleen, he noticed there was a stark difference between his mother in real life and the woman who appeared in the photographs. “I couldn’t really recognize her in the images, or rather, I recognized her in unfamiliar ways,” he explained in a recent interview. He began photographing her more frequently, and over time his mother has become something of a muse for Engman. It wasn’t until years later, when commissioned for a fashion editorial shoot by Hungarian magazine The Room, that he decided to cast his mother as the model, in a series simply titled, MOM.
Dressed head to toe in high fashion, Kathleen Engman plays the role of model well. Striking mannequin-like poses, she is a mother re-imagined, in front of her son’s lens. Typical of Engman’s style, the edges of backdrops are left visible and intentionally imperfect. Perhaps to suggest the series is centred on the subject and photographer relationship, rather than the finer details.
Images © Charlie Engman