Mike at his Group Home

I took a lot of photography courses and tried to apply what I learned to revealing more about my relationship with Mike.

Mike autism sibling photograph

I took this picture, during a class I took with Larry Fink. He has a distinctive style that involves detaching the flash from the camera and holding it off to the side.

Larry told me a story about Dianne Arbus, some of whose pictures I found to be provocative and perhaps disrespectful to the subject. He told me that the pictures she took reflected the world as she saw it. She was just documenting what she saw. Some of her photos are ‘in your face’ and even startling, but there is a great sensitivity too. My favorite of her work is Untitled, an Aperture publication from 1972 (ISBN 0-89381-623-x). From the dust jacket of the book: “UNTITLED is the third volume of Diane Arbus’s work and the only one devoted exclusively to a single project. The photographs were taken at residences for the mentally retarded between 1969 and 1971, in the last years of Arbus’s life.” There is a heartrending humanity about her pictures.

Portraiture says as much about the relationship between the photographer and the subject as it does about the person being portrayed.

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