01 July 2009 ~ 0 Comments

(Book) Family by Lauren Dukoff (photography)

I’m giving this one 3 stars only because if you are a fan, you might find some of the snapshots interesting. From a photography fan, I didn’t see a lot here that wowed me. Granted, I’m no art critic or anything like that, but I know what I like. These are definitely family photographs, a music “family”, but a family nonetheless.

The problem is that the photographs lack depth. Most are posed, some are badly lit (and not in an artistic kind of way in my opinion), some are badly angled, some are downright awkward, while others lack any context whatsoever. Some could have been excellent if they had been handled differently in post processing.

I know people will argue that family photographs don’t have to mean anything to other people – this is true. However, if you publish your work, you need to make sure the photographs say something to a general audience. There needs to be a connection with the person looking at the photo. The artist succeeds with a few of these. Others I looked at and wondered why she didn’t do XYZ to bring more interest to the subject, why clutter up the lens? Show us what’s going on, how the subject feels, give me some insight into their eyes, their brain, wonder what they are thinking, see what they are thinking, something. You can take family photographs that appeal to a wide audience, but you have to look deeper at the subject and not just surface photograph.

Fortunately, the few photographs that had the “oomph” I was looking for were very very good and this photographer has quite a bright future if she can bring more of that to her work. Unfortunately, unless you are a fan of the subjects, you probably won’t “get” a lot of these.

I do look forward to seeing more of her work as she grows as a photographer.

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About the Author
Lauren Dukoff’s photographs have been featured in a wide range of publications and projected at L.A.’s Armand Hammer Museum. She lives in Los Angeles. Devendra Banhart is a musician and artist whose most recent album is Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. He lives in Los Angeles.

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