Today I was inspired by a quote from National Geographic photographer Paolo Pellegrin. Reflecting on a photo he shot of two girls swimming in the Dead Sea, he said what he likes about this image is, “the girls could have been swimming there 2,000 years ago. I am always interested in a picture that speaks of a particular moment but also transcends it.”
I realized that timelessness is what attracts me to many scenes that I shoot. When I travel, I am attracted to markets, fishermen and farmers at work, and this is especially true in less developed regions that don’t resemble my home in the United States. Here are a few such images that I shot in China in 2005. While China is changing at a rapid place, there are scenes that portray a way of life that may not have changed for generations.
Jade bracelets are a Chinese custom, but we adopted them within our American family after a 2005 family visit to China. Because jade absorbs body chemistry, it becomes one with you if you wear it 24/7 — thus the evolution of the theme of family continuity in a jade bracelet. Each jade bracelet is unique, yet we all feel a bond to each other as each woman in our family wears one.
This photo commemorates a family reunion with my mother, now 96, myself and two of my daughters — three generations of strong, loving women in my family. The diamond art-deco ring is another family heirloom passed down from my mother to me.
Do you share symbols of solidarity in your family? Perhaps because we live in different cities and at times each of my daughters has lived overseas. We find both comfort and joy in having our own unity symbol.