Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Oyako-no-hi

Bruce Osborn has been taking oyako (parent and child) photos for 29 years and has organised his day of photographing, oyako-no-hi (parent and child day), for 9 years. The general run of his oyako shots are often adult children with a parent or parents, the oyako-no-hi is more of a festival of family shots. This year (in July) he photographed 109 families on that one day.

It's a high energy shoot (as well as being physically up for it, he recognised that he should have trained his voice as well) and it's a definite celebration of family. Each shot is taken in a necessarily quick turnaround, but his method of getting the pose (often involving the family jumping into a close group pose or some similar action) actually gets some seemingly intimate shots. Sometimes the jump seems to reveal a balance of energies and focus – like the little black-hole of energy the child seems to be below.

Others are simply good fun.
While the occasional back-story can reveal more: the family below had lost all their family photos in the tsunami earlier this year.
It takes some organising (Bruce used a double studio, with the one acting as a holding tank while he worked in the other). For the 9 years of the festival day and 29 years of shooting, they have all been black and white, despite the change to digital. But that, like the shots, is simple and effective. Next year will be the round-numbered 30 and 10 year anniversaries, meaning perhaps a larger celebration of some kind.

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