On SEEING: A Journal #512

Growing UP: Jahbari Snipes

January 31, 2023

The “Growing Up “Project:I have studied over 200 children from childhood into their 20’s. I began with some when their mothers were pregnant, as was the case with Ina Norris, Jahbari’s mother. For all of them I made annual studio portraits and asked them to write answers to a series of questions, a kind of diary about their lives, their feelings, their hopes, their regrets.

Jahbari’s mother, Ina Norris, three days prior to birth.



This special young man, Jahbari Snipes, proved to be as remarkable and authentic as any of the many young people I have had the privilege to get to know.

4 and 22 years


17 days


3 years


4 years


5 years


6 years


7 years


With his brother, Elijah


8 years


9 years


10 years


11 years


12 years


14 years old


19 years


With mom, Ina Norris


22 years





Thank you, Jahbari (and Ina); you did great—it was a real gift to see you each year.

I am interested in everything about human development. I am fascinated by maturation, growth, emotional, educational and physical development. My exploration, a major 30 year odyssey, has been an adventure that has yielded riches beyond my imagining.

Permission was signed by the parents of each and every child every year, and by the participants themselves once they turned 18. In addition, we’ve now sent copies of all of their writings and edited photographs to the participants for whom I have finished all my editing and have received full written permission from that group to publish and post.