Family Recipe Series
Family and food are essential to everyone’s lives. Family is the foundation of who we are as people, it’s our background, and without our family we wouldn’t exist. Food is also important to maintaining our health and wellbeing, without it you can’t continue to live. But to me, family and food are more than those things. My family has always been important to me, they’re the people I can always rely on through thick and thin and I know that they love me for who I am, and I also love them for who they are. Food has always been a passion of mine. For as long as I can remember I have looked forward to helping my mom cook for family gatherings and holidays. I also remember being at my grandmother’s house, wondering what delicious meal she was going to whip up for dinner. Cooking has always been important to the women in my family and something we could all relate to each other with. The purpose of my senior show was to combine these two very important aspects of my life into one.
Like my passion for food, I am also passionate about photography. I enjoy being able to capture a moment in time or a special memory through the camera lens. Over the past year I have discovered the perfect combination of my two passions through food photography. I decided to photograph food that the women in my family were known to cook for holidays, birthdays, and get-togethers. I used recipes that were from my two great-grandmothers, two grandmothers, aunt, mother, and myself. For my process I collected many different recipes that these women cooked and decided which ones meant the most to me and also which ones worked the best formally. I then gathered dishware and silverware that belong to my family members to use in my photos. I chose to use natural lighting in all of my photos because I think it makes the food the most appealing to the average viewer. I wanted the food to look like something that everyone could have at his or her family gatherings. This would not have been portrayed this way if studio lighting had been used. Unlike most food photography, I stayed true to the recipes and didn’t add anything artificial to enhance the food or make it easier to photograph.
When creating these photographs I wanted the images to evoke in the viewers their memories of family gatherings or the family members that were important to them. Because many of my best childhood memories include the food that we ate and the women that cooked it, I wanted the viewer to remember their own similar memories. I also wanted to create these works in order to preserve the memories that I have of these dishes and women. Most of the women that cooked these recipes are no longer alive or are unable to cook, so through these photographs I wanted to preserve their recipes and the memories around them.
© 2012 Kathlyn Hawkins, All Rights Reserved
Senior Capstone Exhibitions, Fall 2012, photography, family, recipes