The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:  Billy Childress

This photographic series originated with my exploration of my grandmother’s siblings, a project that unfolded within the confines of the family homestead. Nestled on 8 acres in rural North Carolina, this ancestral compound was comprised of four houses where each sibling resided at the time.

My grandmother, a pivotal figure in my life, epitomized strength in a way that continues to resonate with me today. Spending countless formative years by her side, I absorbed a wealth of life lessons from her. Above all, her unwavering faith stood as the cornerstone of her existence. Together with my grandfather, they built their home behind the family church where she was raised—a place that now echoes with the memories of raising children of my own.

The path of her life took an unexpected turn when my grandfather sustained a gunshot wound to the head in his forties, leaving him blind and brain-dead. From that fateful day onward, my grandmother devoted herself to his care until his last breath. The love they shared and the grace she exhibited were immeasurable, a demonstration of the resilience that faith and family can inspire.

Following the loss of my grandfather, my grandmother drew strength not only from her unwavering faith but also from the familial bonds that surrounded her. She had a unique camaraderie with her siblings. Each one of them navigated their individual struggles with illnesses—ranging from cancer to dementia and the challenges of old age. With the loss of their significant others, they found solace and support in one another. Witnessing this interdependence among siblings underscored the profound importance of family, especially when faced with loss and sorrow.

Throughout this period, I was lured by the power of portraiture. A person’s face can reveal so much—capturing not just their present state but also glimpses of their past. This project compelled me to document them in the very homes they built and, on the land, where their shared history unfolded. The resulting portraits tell stories of resilience, familial bonds, and the enduring beauty of capturing moments in time.

To see more of this project, click here


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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