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image by
Sally Mann

Sally Mann has used her 8 × 10 view camera to capture in fine detail, among other subjects, images of her children as they mimic and act out social and familial roles in the lush landscape of their rural Virginia home. For the series Immediate Family, posed or simply arrested in their activity, Mann’s children (who often appear nude) convey both primal and playful aspects of human behavior. The images in the series and subsequent publication At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988) capture the confusing emotions and developing identities of adolescent girls. Candy Cigarette is a striking example of Mann’s distinctive combination of careful planning and serendipity. In this work Mann’s daughter Jessie suspends her activity and gracefully balances a candy cigarette in her hand, the innocent miniature of a blonde and gangling twenty-something beauty. Mann’s expressive printing style lends a dramatic and brooding mood to all of her images.

via MoCP