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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.