Nicholas Nixon

Nicholas Nixon is an American born Photographer who started with topographic photography, then slowly started incorporating people into his images. First, he photographed them at a distance, and then progressed to extreme close-up shots of his subjects.  It is his portraiture that I am drawn to.  One of his most well-known bodies of work is The Brown Sisters. This is a series of photographs taken over the span forty years starting in 1975, of his wife Bebe, and her three sisters. Each year he would photograph them always appearing in the same order from left to right, and they would all agree on one image to represent the year it was taken.  Each photograph was also taken with an 8×10 view camera using black and white film. What I like about this body of work is the aesthetic of black and white photographs shot with just the right lighting. I find them all pleasing to my eye, and they make me think.  The expressions on the women’s aging faces throughout the years, the clothing they are wearing, the changes of their hair styles; some appear to be shot indoors, and many are shot outdoors.  These factors tell a story and capture moments in time of the lives of the four sisters. I wonder about what their day was like that day and whether they all got together just for the photo shoot, or other reasons as well.  I also think about, and envy the remarkable collaboration between these women, and their photographer.


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