16 May 2022

Grace, Inevitability, and the Course of Life Through Family Memories

16 May 2022 - Written by PhMuseum

Like a walk through a garden, Erinn Springer guides us in black and white photography through intimate familiar moments, as a way to depict the beauty in coping with life and death. 

I remember my mom playing Für Elise on the basement piano. I remember tater tot hot-dish and monthly 4-H meetings. I remember my grandma’s mud-brown trailer, my uncle’s big dogs, and our horses thundering through the slanted afternoon sun... 

This was my childhood and now, as I watch my niece and nephew, I begin to see their narrative, an iteration of the same, yet vastly different story. Since losing their father to suicide, these images have become an account of loss and the nostalgia that reveals itself through a land that will eventually reclaim us all. In these images, we witness transformation that's both emotional and environmental: the detritus of a life claimed by depression, the inevitable grip of age, and the discoveries of children who know nothing of death and spirituality other than the nature they explore. This family portrait has become my way to grasp irreversible events, accept the notion of time, and attempt to understand life through the beauty and death that are part of every living being.

Words and Pictures by Erinn Springer 


Erinn Springer (b.1993) is a photographer from northern Wisconsin. Embracing the character of rural life, her work is indebted to the cycles of the land, memory, and mortality. Erinn’s projects and images have been featured in and commissioned by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Die Zeit, M Le Monde, Smithsonian, and Vogue, among others. Follow her on Instagram and PhMuseum


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.

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