FAMILY PORTRAIT PROJECT
The series explores alternative realities for former gang members by looking at their lives within their family context.
For the project, two family portraits were created to show what the former gang members' family portrait could have looked like in two very different versions of their life. The first showing a full family portrait and the second an empty chair where the former gang member was seated in the first portrait. The empty chair symbolizes the loss many families of gang members deal with and becomes a symbol of what could have been.
It was important for me to show these men who are often portrayed in a harsh light within a family context. We can all relate to the idea of family and by photographing the men with their families the viewer gets to see them as someone’s father, husband, brother, or son.
Exiting gang life is near impossible and very few people manage to leave successfully. With these portraits, I wanted to highlight the remarkable change these men made and the impact this had not only on their lives but also the lives of their families.