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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Shannon Smith

SPE Member since 2005
Member Chapter: Southwest

Doing It Domestic

When I began photographing my family, I thought of it as a study of something foreign to me. Starting a family was the farthest thing from my mind, yet somehow, here I was with a 14 month old, pregnant with another at the age of 26, and also beginning my final year of graduate school. It seemed as though all of a sudden I blinked my eyes, and there they were. I created something I never thought I would want in my life, this little unit with a mom and dad. It wasn't what I had planned for myself.

I didn't grow up with my father in my everyday life, so watching my husband be a father to our children is the most fascinating thing to me. I'm witness to something I missed out on in my childhood. I always thought I was fine with never having my dad around, however, watching this role of "dad" play out by my husband for over the last ten years, I think I did miss it. Creating this body of work has been a way for me to capture all of this while it unfolds before my eyes, then ponder these relationships within our family, and finally prove to myself that something like this CAN indeed exist.

My childhood had many ups and downs from the day I can remember, and honestly, there are quite a few things I'd like to forget, almost erase from my mind if I could. Yet here I am, capturing as many moments as I can of my own children's childhood, in the hopes that they will never forget. I want them to see their memories, long after they may have been forgotten. I feel like in a sense, having children has opened up the possibility for me to have a second childhood, and I'm loving every second of it. I can only hope that they are too.

Green Room

Changing Table

Blue Room

Red Room

Morning Sickness

Baby Room

Sun Room

Gotta Love Swamp Coolers

Morning Ritual

Broken Water

Public Transportation

Date Night

Record Destruction

Purple Room

Kiddie Pool

Drawing Session

Balancing Act

Picture Day

Day at the Salon

First Day of Kindergarten

Living Room

Movie Night


Pumpkin Pickin'

The Night Before Xmas

Down on the Backyard Urban Farm

Anderson Farey

Dinner Time

El Tiradito

Preparándose para el Día de los Muertos

Merry-Go-Round Broke Down

Brother and Sister

Lines of Communication

Red, White, and Blue

Last First Day of Kindergarten

Bed Time

Laundry Day


Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Greetings From the Salton Sea

Roadside Attraction

10 Year Anniversary

Husband and Wife

Saturday Morning


Looking for Lizards

Mommy's Little Helper

I Love You...


Hide and Seek

In the A.M.

Self Portrait With My Daughter

First Day of Middle School


Self Portrait With My Son

12 Year Anniversary

Doin' Dad's Hair

Hair Dye

Breakfast of Champions

Weekend Getaway

Remember When We Used To Listen To Records, Talk About Art, Life, Our Dreams...

At Twelve

I Saw a Middle Aged Woman Looking Back at Me

Car Sick

Almost Out Of Baby Teeth

Mother Daughter

Sunday Sunset Ride

Last First Day of Middle School

Roller Derby Girl

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