The "Texas" project began six years ago when my boys and I started taking annual summer trips to visit my parents and sister's family in the Fort Worth suburbs. While there, we go to water parks, grill in the backyard, and play weekly Sunday afternoon water-volleyball tournaments in my parents' pool.
With this series, I want to highlight my family. I've spent the past twenty years working around the world, photographing culturally relevant stories for magazines and books, and it felt right turning the camera toward the people closest to me.
Photography is a language that lets me communicate to my family the words that I often can't saythat I'm listening to you, that I'm paying attention. It's a language that reverberates, and I watch how it helps build my two boys' self confidence and the stories that surface when we reflect as a family on memories captured or events forgotten. In documenting our day-to-day experiences, from the seemingly mundane to the more challenging moments, I find beauty and humanity. In our quiet moments, I document how we grow closer and grow up, too.
These photos represent a quieter approach that feels more where Iʼm at right now. This is a more self-reflective time. I'm not using flash, which I have traditionally done in my commercial work. I'm making a lot of portraits where the people's faces are covered in shadow, and I'm not illuminating the details in the photograph the way I used to. I want the viewer to have to look closer and take more time with the imageeverything isnʼt in plain sight.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Brian Finke received a BFA in photography. He is the author of several books, and his first monograph, 2-4-6-8 (2003), was named one of the best photography books by American Photo magazine. Earlier in his career, Finke was one of twelve artists nominated for the International Center for Photography's annual Infinity Award, and he won a prestigious New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. His work is in nine museum collections in the U.S. and abroad, and he regularly shoots for editorial clients such as National Geographic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. In addition to photographing his longterm personal projects, Brian is a guest teacher in photography at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan, The New School, Red Hook Labs in Brooklyn and FotoFilmic in Vancouver. A native Texan, Finke lives in Brooklyn and is passionate about travel, tattoos, barbecue, and biking. His next monograph Backyard Fights is being released by Hat & Beard Press in Winter 2021.