Skip to Content
The book opened to the second spread. The diary entry details one of my first memories from when my dad moved. A photo of my dad peeling a potato on thanksgiving while making a funny face is shown on the right page. Behind the books are frames holding photos of each family member.

Here's To Looking On The Bright Side

Sydney Verlinde

Mixed Media Photo Book, 2022

Here’s To Looking On The Bright Side is a book that details my experience growing up with divorced parents. The story is told through a combination of reflective diary entries and present-day photographs, with interstitial memory drawings placed throughout for context. The beginning stages of this project involved lots of journaling, so including diary entries as a form of reflection followed naturally. In attempting to create illustrations, I quickly discovered my inability to draw from visualization. I leaned into this “un-talent”, producing a series of unique drawings to supplement the dialogue. Throughout the pandemic, I spent much of my time documenting my family for a few photography courses. I formed a diverse portfolio showcasing the full range of quirks and characteristics within my family. These photos now feel like a part of me. Initially, I wanted to continue this project, but something different came about instead. Rather than producing a long-term photo essay, I used the photos I had already made as a means to tell a bigger story — a story about childhood innocence, constant change, and the importance of unconditional familial love. — Sydney Verlinde is a documentary photographer. The images in this project are what inspired her to pursue a career in photography.