The Family Tree Project

2021 // 2022


The overall purpose of The Family Tree Project is to document my family and, in turn, discover a bit about myself. For years, I've had this idea to photograph my family, to capture a portrait of as many living family members as I could in one year. This year, I am honoring my mother and her lineage, focusing on the Leroy family tree. Creating a time capsule to freeze time and encapsulate the memory of that year for years to come. Even though I've had the idea for years, I never thought I had the time or skill to execute the series to an acceptable level. But after the two years we have all experienced, I thought there is no better time than the present to start. Life is fragile, and we are only getting older, so why not now.

With this project I decided to use Rembrandt lighting, limiting myself to one flash, a black backdrop and an 85 mm lens. Rembrandt lighting was “coined” after the master himself, Rembrandt, the famous Dutch painter in the 17th century, who used this lighting technique to such great effect in his works of art. The setup at its most basic uses just the one light source.

Sharon & Quncee

The Simonson Siblings

The eight children of Sharon and Jerry Simonson.

In order of appearance, Cindy, Belinda, Michelle, Tim, Mary, Barry, Jeremy & Jon

Mary Ayers
Barry Simonson
Jeremy Simonson
Jon Simonson

Cindy & Rich

1st born and son-in-law to Sharon Simonson

Belinda & Brian

2nd oldest daughter and son-in-law to Sharon Simonson

Michelle & Dave

3rd oldest daughter and son-in-law to Sharon Simonson

The Ayres Family

Fourth daughter and son-in-law to Sharon Simonson, in order of appearance: Mary, Troy, Amber, Brad, Steven, Luke and Zamias

Barry & Ramona

Fifth son and daughter-in-law of Sharon Simonson

Jon Simonson

Eighth and youngest of Sharon's children.

Donavon, Nicole & Family

Oldest son to Cindy. Donavon, Nicole,

Nicolás, Christy, Wyatt, Noah & William

Son of Cindy,

Henzel Family

Daughter Belinda, order of appearance: Karrie, Josh, Isaha

Robin & Ted

My first cousin, once removed, daughter to Kim