“My great grandmother left her abuser one night. She was told to go back home and make it work… after all she was a married woman with a husband and children. I’m so thankful things are changing for my generation. For me and my own children.”

I have always been drawn to people’s relationships, between each other, and with the spaces that they feel connected to and inspired within. Family life is simple yet complex, usual but unique to each family. What amazes me the most is the resilience of the family unit; how it can change shape and adapt to some monumental life changes.

Families Resetting is personal photographic project I began in January 2019, though the project idea had been growing a little while before this. I’m clear that its heartbeat needs to always focus on the empowerment and adaptation that families can find, once they’ve been thrown a curve ball. At how they’ve had to reshape themselves after going through a life-changing event.

I spent a good deal of time thinking about how I could invite these types of families to get in touch with me. In many respects it is a tall order asking people to share their most personal situations with a documentary photographer. Someone who, from the off, is saying they want to share, exhibit and feature stories that have a huge emotional attachment and, quite likely, has shaken their family’s foundations to provoke permanent change.

However, this project is very much about resilience, empowerment, and hope rather than plight.

The first of my families to feature in the project was Jenny and her two young children. They spent nearly six months in a women’s refuge after she made the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship. For her young years, she has the wisdom and insight of someone much older and has already made links within her own family’s history. As she compares her own plight to that of her great-grandmother who also suffered domestic abuse. It was incredible to hear as, although the project remains mainly subjective, Jenny is offering me an opportunity to explore the social issues and support available (or not) in her great-grandmother’s generation.

I remain grateful and humbled by these amazing people, who’ve invited me into their lives to tell a part of their story as honestly and as sensitively as I can. If you’d like to talk about my Families Resetting project, please get in touch here.