“I used to make pictures without thinking about how they would relate to one another as a series. When I went to Vietnam in the early ’90s to collaborate with a Vietnamese dissident writer, a novelist, I started to conceive of my individual pictures as part of a greater whole, as projects. I began to conceive of these projects as photographed from the inside out, not the other way around. In other words, I let go of the conventions of supposedly neutral ‘street photography’ and began to find ways to insert and invest myself into a situation and yet still remain somewhat detached. Family Business is an example where I photographed something I knew intimately and cared about deeply, but did so with emotional restraint. I’d absorbed my lessons from strict documentarians, which allowed me to make something personal without sentimentalizing it.” —Photographer Mitch Epstein
Pictured: Mitch Epstein, Flag (2000), from Family Business, a film and photographic project about Epstein’s father and the demise of the family furniture store.