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Although both of my grandparents passed away a few years ago, my mother and I still had a lot of their stuff at our house. It was only just recently that we began sorting through all of it. This project was inspired by both the common and uncommon objects that were uncovered, and the family history held within them.

As discussed with still life photography, a person’s things can reveal a lot about them and the life they lived. In this project, I have photographed found objects, documents, and photos that were the physical pieces of my grandparents’ life. I wanted to include both the ordinary as well as the unusual items one would find when sorting through a loved one’s things. Some of the typical items include photos, letters, and jewelry. Some of the rarer items I found were mini cookie cutters, golf score cards, and a bridge bidding wheel.

To follow the documentary style of photography, I photographed all of these objects from an aerial point of view, using a directional overhead light. The vignette framing helps keep the central focus on the artifacts as well as emphasize the feeling of nostalgia. Finally, while I did not know my grandparents for a majority of their life, this project has helped me uncover and put together the pieces of their life.

© Copyright 2017 Erin Gilliatt

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