Ana Rosenberg isn’t interested in the “rules” of photography. Her coming of age story, starring her two children, is at once timeless and fleeting.
The photographer has two constant muses: her daughter Analis, age eleven, and Alexander, age eight. Animals too are part of the immediate family, and the lives of Analis and Alexander are colored by the love and responsibility that comes with caring for a family of furry companions.
Perhaps more than anything else, Rosenberg intends these photographs as a time-capsule for her son and daughter, who is now on the precipice of adolescence. She remembers vividly the way her grandmother-in-law cherished family photographs, the pictures she carried with her throughout her life.
Inspired in part by photographer Alain Laboile, Rosenberg’s images do indeed have a similar kind of wildness about them. She lives in New Jersey, but her children, at least in her eyes, exist within a world of their own, a world they share only with the little creatures who inhabit their home. Time speeds up and halts according to their whims.
These pictures could have been taken in Laboile’s hometown of Gironde in Southwest France; they could have been taken in Sally Mann’s Virginia. But they weren’t, and that’s part of what makes them unforgettable. These are seconds spliced from ordinary suburban life; it’s the mother’s longing— her insatiable need to preserve them— that makes them glitter.
Analis and Alexander will someday grow up— we can start to see it sometimes, edging its way into the picture in a tiny gesture or a sideways glance— but with her camera, Rosenberg and her camera ask kindly for them to stand still, even if it’s just for another minute.
All images © Ana Rosenberg