Both memory and the passing of time are key elements in this body of work I made when my husband and I downsized from our large family home to a small condo. We had a lot of stuff to get rid of. It was an emotional time, sorting through all the things we’d accumulated over the years and having to decide what to hang onto and what to let go of. On the first day of the estate sale I strung a backdrop from a tree in the front yard and did what any photographer who is trying to deal with a difficult personal situation would do – I took pictures.

My intention was to simply document the items as they were leaving the house with their new owners, but it became clear pretty quickly that the new owners were colorful and fantastic and needed to be photographed, as well. I ended up making portraits of them holding their newfound treasures. So as not to make a huge production out of it, I shot the pictures with my iPhone. The series was picked up by and published on Lens, the online photo magazine for the New York Times. The pictures resonated with many people on many different levels; maybe it’s because of the nostalgia and simplicity of them. Regardless, the process of making them was a cathartic experience for me. I was able to tell the new owners a little about the things they’d bought, and in turn, they told me what they intended to do with them or who they were going to give them to. As it always does, photography provided me comfort during a difficult time and helped me ride out some rough water.

 

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Estate Sale

Both memory and the passing of time are key elements in this body of work I made when my husband and I downsized from our large family home to a small condo. We had a lot of stuff to get rid of. It was an emotional time, sorting through all the things we’d accumulated over the years and having to decide what to hang onto and what to let go of. On the first day of the estate sale I strung a backdrop from a tree in the front yard and did what any photographer who is trying to deal with a difficult personal situation would do – I took pictures.

My intention was to simply document the items as they were leaving the house with their new owners, but it became clear pretty quickly that the new owners were colorful and fantastic and needed to be photographed, as well. I ended up making portraits of them holding their newfound treasures. So as not to make a huge production out of it, I shot the pictures with my iPhone. The series was picked up by and published on Lens, the online photo magazine for the New York Times. The pictures resonated with many people on many different levels; maybe it’s because of the nostalgia and simplicity of them. Regardless, the process of making them was a cathartic experience for me. I was able to tell the new owners a little about the things they’d bought, and in turn, they told me what they intended to do with them or who they were going to give them to. As it always does, photography provided me comfort during a difficult time and helped me ride out some rough water.