Photography and Family

A young girl draws on a younger child with felt tip pens

Photography and Family

Family. What does it mean to us today? The definition of "family" in our language has shifted significantly in the 21st century. This has become apparent due to changes in communication, migration, wealth distribution, family law and the institution of marriage.

Alongside this, new developments in technology and social media mean we can now easily share family moments and memories with our nearest and dearest, in an instant. Photography has therefore become, with respect to family and more generally too, a ubiquitous hobby in which personal snapshots of everyday moments are a shared digital and networked phenomenon.

In 2016/17 The Photographers’ Gallery embarked on an ambitious forty-week digital photography project Family Photography Now that explored the concept of a contemporary family, inviting people to share the myriad ways in which a family today can be made up.

A father and child go swimming

2. Faraway

Federico Alfonzo photographs a framed picture of him and his son

A child has a tantrum while wearing Minnie Mouse ears

4. Tears

Patricia Pulido shares a picture of tears in a happy place.

A Polaroid Selfie of the Photographer's Oldest and Youngest Daughters

5. Sisters

Debbie George shares a picture of her oldest and youngest daughters together.

A photograph of the photographer wearing matching socks with her girlfriend

6. Family

Diane Creel shares a photograph of a funny and touching moment with her girlfriend

A photograph of a red teddy bear hanging on a washing line

8. Token

Patricia Silva shares an image of a sentimental item drying on the washing line

A photograph of the Misa Hamasaki's three children having a picnic on the beach

9. Born

Misa Hamasaki shares a blissful image of her three children on the beach

A black and white photograph from the photographer's family archive of three ancestors in a garden

10. Remember

Diane Creel pulls a photograph of her ancestors from her family archive

A picture of the photographer's kids on the floor having snacks

11. Holiday

Chi Smith shares a moment of calm on a family holiday with the kids

Bindi Vora shares two photographs of her with her grandfather, at different stages of their lives. On the left is her and her grandfather when she was a child, on the right is them more recently when she is an adult.

12. Role Model

Bindi Vora shares two photographs of her with her grandfather, at different stages of their lives

An image of two kids drawing on each other with felt tip pen

16. Imagination

Cetin Burcu shares an image of children getting creative with felt tip pens!

A photograph of an old, disintegrated makeup compact with powder puff.

17. Loss

Nadia Peters shares an image of her late grandmother's makeup compact

An image of a family gathered round a table for dinner in a garden

18. Meal Time

Jessica Berry shares an image of family dinner at her mum's house

An image of a man cooking, accompanied by a little girl standing on a stall cooking next to him. Both are topless and wearing blue jeans.

19. Housework

Michele Lee Golden shows us a shared moment of cooking between father and daughter

A photo of the photographer and her dog, both wearing party hats

21. Pets

Grace Armitage shares a photo of her beloved family dog.

An image of a house bathed in pink light, with a rainbow over it

23. Home

Mariana Salazar shares a picture of a rainbow over her home

A picture of a mirror with the reflection of an older woman's lips, wearing bright red lipstick

24. Inspire

Varvara Shinkarenko shares a picture of her mother's iconic red lips

A photograph of an old lady, standing at a window and peering out

25. Health

Fiona Bailey shares a tender portrait of her neighbour Olive

A photograph of two sets of legs on lilo's in a swimming pool. One lilo is green, the other is pink.

26. Moment

Julia O'Brien shares a stolen moment of fun when the kids weren't looking

A photograph of a small child with a Christmas hat on, sat at a Christmas dinner table looking tired and a bit grumpy, head in his hand.

28. Christmas

James Cunliffe shares a photo of a child worn out after a big Christmas Day

A photograph of a little boy's face peeking out from a mountain of toilet roll in a supermarket

29. Shopping

Alex Djordjevic shares a photo of a funny moment in the supermarket

 A picture of a father bottle-feeding his baby while sitting at a kitchen table

30. Equality

Vavara Shinkarenko shares a picture of a father bottle-feeding his baby

A photograph of a closed bathroom door with a child's toes poking underneath it

31. Sanctuary

Kellie French shares a moment of peace being interrupted by tiny toes

A photograph of a group of young girls, including the photographer's mum, taken in Poland pre World War 2

33. Invisible

Nadia Peters shares a photo of her mum as a little girl in Poland

A man and a young boy read a children's book together

35. Books

Dee Miller shows a treasured book being read by its new and former owners

A woman lays face down out in the sun, having a midday snooze

36. Sleep

Varvara Shinkarenko shares a picture of her mum snoozing in the sun

The photographer's family frolics on the rocky shore of her favourite beach from childhood

37. Special Place

Jo Ellicott shares a picture of her family frolicking on the rocky shore of her favourite beach from childhood

A picture of a sideboard in a house, crowded with framed pictures, lamps and other items.

38. Childhood

Clarisse D’Arcimoles shares a picture of her grandmother's house after she passed

A portrait of the photographer's daughter 10-month old daughter Camila

39. Beloved

Mariana Salazar shares a portrait of her beloved 10-month old daughter Camila

A photograph of a playful scrum between siblings of different ages

40. Family

Jo Ellicott shares a photo of a scrum between siblings