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One Son’s Photos of the Life and Death of His Mother

Mom, 1979

Mom, 1990

Photographer James Friedman’s mother was, like most mothers, a mystery to her son. She was brilliant, and she was complicated. She encouraged his passion for taking pictures and became one of his first subjects when he was only nine years old. But she had had a difficult relationship with her own mother, and she wasn’t effusive or overly affectionate. Friedman doesn’t recall a time she kissed him as a child.

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