Capturing Girlhood: A Photo Essay

As a girl looking through the lens at younger girls, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and longing for my own childhood, before my gender took on different implications.

Dec 03, 2017

This photo set is a collection of shots that I have taken over the past year in which young girls are the focus. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we express femininity in our youth and how that changes as we grow older. Remembering my own experience growing up, reflecting on how I’ve changed since then, and thinking about how these girls will also change, I am caught between feelings of excitement and fear. As a girl looking through the lens at younger girls I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and longing for my own childhood, before my gender took on different implications. Being a girl used to mean dressing like your sister, getting covered in sand at the lake, and playing basketball. Life was not complicated by inferiority, self-consciousness or convoluted relationships with both others and yourself. These photos are a way for me to make permanent something as impermanent as age.

These are photos of different girls at different ages in different places. Some of these girls I’ve spent years with, some I’ve only seen in passing, yet each of these moments in some way mirrors my own memories of girlhood.

kendall2 Kendall on 35mm. July, 2017. Cape Cod, MA.

sophie4 Sophie at the Lake. August, 2017. Cape Cod, MA.

recess2 Recess. January, 2017. Shanghai

twins Twins at the Park. November, 2017. Abu Dhabi

metro Waiting for Line 6. January, 2017. Shanghai

lyla Lyla on 35mm. July, 2017. Cape Cod, MA

pigtails2 Pigtails. January, 2017. Shanghai

Sara Booth is a contributing photographer. Email her at [email protected]

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