As a Fulbright grantee in San Francisco, I wanted to carry forward the idea of family portraits in such a diverse and liberal city and express the freedom and beauty that I experienced in California. Since working on my book Princesses and Football Stars, I have become very interested in the subject of family portraits. I decided to take images of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] families and couples, as an investigation on the shift in understanding family life.
The ease of how people with varied sexual orientation, cultures, and religions live together in San Francisco is amazingly enlightening. Thus, this project is both a declaration of love to this wonderful city and also an encounter with people, their concepts of life, and their dreams.
The portraits are photographed in color to underline the implicit commonness that is characteristic for the lives of LGBT families and couples in San Francisco. The images were taken at places that add to the personal narratives. These tell where they live, where they like to spend their spare time, or where they met for their first date. Furthermore, it was important for me to provide enough space to the protagonists of my photographs to allow them the comfort to express their individual personalities in front of me and my camera. To support this expression, accompanying texts have been written by the families to impart feelings about their love, their societal conflicts, their happiness, their backgrounds, and their everyday life. In addition, since this project is a declaration of love to San Francisco, I’m including images that describe my personal view on the city which also frame the portraits. Lastly, two seascapes at the very beginning and very end of the book show the Pacific Ocean as seen from the shores of San Francisco. They tell of the ocean as a place that is free of human inscriptions. The blurred seascapes represent a dream of a world without hatred and discrimination.
The title of this project, International Orange, the color of the Golden Gate Bridge, is at the same time a reference to San Francisco, the rainbow flag of the gay movement, and an international significance of freedom.
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