On Seeing, A Journal. #387

Growing Up: Samantha Shiekman

August 11, 2020

 

9 years and 21 years

 

I have studied over 200 children from childhood into their 20’s.  I began some when they were newborns; others, as is the case with Samantha, started about the time they could read and write.  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.

This special young woman, Samantha Shiekman, proved to be as remarkable and authentic as any of the many young people I have had the privilege to get to know.

 

8 years

 

9 years

 

10 years

 

11 years

 

12 years

 

13 years

 

14 years

 

15 years

 

16 years

 

16.8 years

 

18 years

 

19 years

 

20 years

 

21 years

 

25 years

 

Thank you, Samantha (and mom).
Please do return in a few years.

I am interested in everything about human development, fascinated by maturation, growth, emotional, educational and physical development. This exploration has been a major 30 year odyssey, an adventure that has yielded riches beyond my initial 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 have 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 permission from that group to publish and post.

 

 

In September 2019, when Samantha was 25, she brought her mother along and once again, we had the chance to visit. Samantha knew at the time that her mother was very ill and they were both excited for the chance to make some images together.

Dona Shiekman passed away in July, 2020.