Emma Artifacts: how one photographer is documenting his daughter’s early years

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A lot of people do different things to remember specific times in their kid’s lives. I, like a lot of bloggers, write my son monthly letters and take photos of him on the 27th of every month. Panamá-based photographer Moises Kierszenblat has taken the idea of photos to the next level with one of his more adorable projects, Emma Artifacts/Artefactos de Emma.

He collected a few things that really represented his daughter — including her clothing, toys, and drawings — and created this series of whimsical snaps:

All photos by Moises Kierszenblat.

To me, the project is really amazing in two big ways. The first is what I’ve mentioned — this is a particularly lovely way to capture what your child is interested in at a specific point in time. The second is artistic — he’s managed to take things like t-shirts and pull toys and make them seem alive, with little personalities of their own.

To me, one of the sweeter things about the project is the way that her clothes almost look like she's there… and isn't at the same time.
Love, love, love this. Emma had a Minnie Mouse-themed second birthday.
This one just makes me smile all over.
Don't you just expect a little kid to pop into the frame at any moment?
This is one of my favorites!

You can see more from the project at his blog — here’s hoping there’ll be a whole series soon!

Comments on Emma Artifacts: how one photographer is documenting his daughter’s early years

  1. I haven’t seen this concept executed like this before- It’s unique and looks technically solid. It does however give off the vibe (to me anyways) that the child is no longer living.

    • I totally love the photos, they are so clever and wonderfully done. But I completely get what you mean jenn. The absence of a child in the photos (more the ones with clothes than the others) did hit me in quite a strange way, as if the child is not there anymore because they are no longer with us.

    • I didn’t get no longer living (perhaps because the entry made it clear she was), but the images do seem sad. Sort of that nostalgia for a child who has moved past these things. The bittersweet joy of watching your little kid grow up and move on.

  2. From an art perspective, I love this. It’s creative, innovative and I agree that it really does capture certain aesthetics of childhood and the way children tend to build memories around favorite toys and items.

    However, from a parental perspective I want to document my child, not my child’s things.

    • Hi Anie. Funny that you say that. I actually feel kind of that way about the photos as well. I was motivated to do the work because I wanted to preserve interesting belongings of her instead of keeping them in a drawer. Im always moved by how small her thins are. There definitely is a bit of melancholy in the atmosphere. Im sure all moms and dad remember with joy and even a few drops of sadness how their children were as babies. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  3. I think these are beautiful, but I come from a photographic background. Yes, of course you want to document your child, but it’s also fun to document their things!
    These are stunning.

    • I guess the tittle Steph used “how one photographer is documenting his daughter’s early years” may lead you to think this is the only thing Im photographing of Emma. My photos of her are more personal and I have hundreds of them filed by date. Here I tried to change my approach a bit. Originally, I wanted to document these artifacts so when she’s older, I’ll be able to share these glimpses of the past with her. Best regards to all you Offbeat Mommas and Poppas!

  4. I do love the idea of a child’s things as part of her story… who hasn’t unpacked an old newborn onesie and felt a twinge of emotion? But I have to agree with comments above that these are a wee bit creepy or morbid in their execution. It looks like the child has vanished… they make me think of an ad campaign for missing children. Sorry Moises.

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