16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

This work, which I call “Maps”, began in the mid-1970’s. I started by photographing myself and then extended the investigation to my family and friends. I wanted to make pictures that were simultaneously anonymous and, yet, personal, by getting in more closely than the eye can focus. I noticed that the way I was translating the dimensional surface of a face onto a flat piece of (photographic) paper was akin to the job of a cartographer and, also, the creator of an intimate family album. Forty years later, I have returned to this work at a time when I feel the loss of some of the people close to me and as I become more aware of my own mortality. In these new maps, the lines and marks on the subjects’ faces suggest a story of who the person is and what has taken place in their lives.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Belgrade, Maine, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Copyright: © Lauren Shaw