PetaPixel

Father Captures Carefree Childhood at Its Best in Heartwarming B&W Photo Series

famille

Everybody takes photos of their family, trying their best to keep a chronicle of their children as they grow up. They capture moments both mundane and momentous and store them away in what later becomes the family album (although it seems that might soon be a thing of the past).

But while everybody might make an effort to capture these memories, photographer Alain Laboile does so with an expertise behind the lens that has turned his own personal family album, a series called La Famille, into a heartwarming viral sensation.

It’s difficult to describe the series without falling into mushy hyperbole. The photos are touching, moving, heartwarming, pick your adjective. What allows for these to be so moving, however, is the skill with which they are captured.

It’s not that Laboile’s family has more touching moments than most. In fact, we’re willing to bet many of the fathers and mothers reading this will remember similar scenes that played out in their own families. It’s Laboile’s uncanny ability to make it seem as if the camera was never there in the first place that gives these photos the honesty required to really hit home.

Even the term candid seems to fall a bit short at times. Browsing thorough the photos, you simply feel as if you ARE him, watching his six children play and smiling at the innocence and simplicity of it all.

Here’s a selection of images from the series:

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famille11

famille12

famille13

famille14

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famille20

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famille22

famille23

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Laboile began the series in 2004, and has photographed his family day in and day out at their house in Gironde in the southwest of France ever since. He hopes to create something worth passing along to his children, while simultaneously creating a work of art others can appreciate:

Through my photographic work I celebrate and document my family life: a life on the edge of the world, where intemporality and the universality of childhood meet… My work reflects our way of life, revolving around their childhood. My photographs will be the testimony of that.

In a way my approach can be considered similar to the one of an ethnologist. Though my work is deeply personal, it is also accessible, addressing human nature and allowing the viewer to enter my world and reflect on their own childhoods.

Over the years, more and more photographs from this personal album have made it online, as Laboile picks both old and new photographs to put up via his social networks. To see more of the photos in the series, or if you’d like to keep up with Laboile as he shares more of the photos with the world, head over to his website or follow him on Facebook.

(via Feature Shoot)


Image credits: Photographs by Alain Laboile and used with permission


 
  • lamazn

    fuji xt1

  • cryofly

    This is what photography is all about. Creating indelible memories…stopping time in it’s path.

  • Patrick Huffine

    Lovely. Glad to see some aesthetically classic photography here. This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to shoot, that drives my ambition. Finding the magic in your surroundings, catching the perfect moment, naturally creating pleasing compositions. No gimmicks, no trickery, just lovingly shot photographs.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Spectacular in every way.

  • peanut

    France, where kids still play outside!

  • Ballookey Klugeypop

    Beautiful images. Reminiscent of Sally Mann’s photography of her family in West Virginia.

  • Sarmad Berlin

    Fantastique

  • harumph

    The shot with the fawn is extraordinary.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Heartwarming indeed!~

  • Santiii

    C’est belle la vie quotidienne.
    These remind me of my childhood, I want to do this when I have kids.

  • AW

    Very nice photography with the black and white giving a timeless feel. However, and I don’t say this lightly, not being on this forum to stir trouble, that in my opinion posting naked photos of one’s children on the internet is terrible parenting, verging on a form of child abuse. Those children get no say in the matter of their privacy being violated, and when they grow up may feel quite upset at the thought that photos of them undressed were once a ‘viral sensation’, despite the fact that the photography was good and the prime reason for their exposure.

  • James

    Ridiculous prudish comment. Naked where? Are you referring to the shot in the bath tub? The bubbles cover the private parts. I really don’t see your problem.terrible parenting! How dare you! These photos are full of love.

  • Oggie

    What a twat!

  • Rcreek

    Simply beautiful. He is leaving a wonderful legacy for his children. Really stunning. :-)

  • Jared

    While I respect your opinion, I think that you’re way off base here, and in a few ways. Regardless of what your belief is on child nudity (and these are hardly pornographic), these weren’t posted simply to get attention. They’re just the work of a person who is clearly proud of his family and clearly quite happy with the life he’s living.

    I’m sure the children in these photos will be very happy to have their lives so well preserved… I don’t have any photos of myself until high school, which is a bit sad. I’d also like to mention that at least a few of these kids are old enough to understand what their father does and where these pictures are ending up. It’s unlikely that any decent parent would post them if there was protest.

    If these were straight-up nudes you might have a point, but I think you’d really have to be digging deep to find offense here.

  • http://www.ceaserphotography.com/ Sid Ceaser

    My brain isn’t wired to be able to take this kind of photography, so when I see it, and done so well, it blows me away. Just pure, genuine moments documented. I hope when I have a child that whatever lobe of my brain that is missing that can make this kind of imagery will develop.

  • James

    I smell a troll

  • Dozer

    Beautiful series.

  • Jack

    Great series..he’s been doing it since 2004?. I wonder if he uses film or if he uses digital..and if he uses digital ..does he convert from Raw.???? What cameras???..stuff a lot of us care about..just because we like to know!

  • AW

    A couple of pathetic replies from James and Oggie who probably never bothered to inform themselves by even going to the web site to see the full set. If you did you would see at least 18 naked photos of his children. And don’t try to say they aren’t full nudity because something may be covering the last inch or because most aren’t directly full frontal (though some are) – if a celebrity posted these photos of their children, the headlines would scream (rightly) ‘Celebrity posts nude photos of their children’. For that matter, if a celebrity posted photos of themselves this naked, the headlines would say X posed nude.

    Jared, you responded fairly, but think about it – it makes no difference whether the photos were posted to get attention or not – privacy has been violated without consent (and these children are definitely not mature enough to understand the ramifications even if they did give consent). I’m sure he is doing it to be proud of his family. Doesn’t change anything. The children may be happy to have their childhood memories preserved, but quite likely they would prefer them preserved in the family album, not on the internet. Thank you for a reasoned response, but I still totally disagree with you. Perhaps you (or the father) should imagine that such pictures of your childhood are on the internet for all to see, to help understand the issue. You don’t know what personality these children will have when they grow up, or how sensitive they will be about something like this. You don’t know what sick people may be online enjoying looking at your kids. I am still convinced, whether these photos or photos shared to friends on facebook, that posting naked photos of your children is a form of child abuse/neglect. Frankly I find it disgusting to do that to your children. These types of photos belong in the family only, not in public view where any perverted people can easily see them for their gratification.

  • AW

    Did you see the full set of photos on his web site? See my reply above.

  • AW

    How dare I try and protect the privacy and rights of children??! No I am not referring to the shot in the bath tub. Please see my reply I posted above.

  • James

    The real perversion is when we started thinking of the human form as being somehow shameful. Especially when it comes to innocent children.

    Sexualizing simple nudity and treating it shamefully and criminally, perverts our humanity and breeds criminal behavior. You can be nude without it being sexual, so can everybody else.

    But with all of my opinions aside, if you are a US citizen, the Supreme Court, has ruled in favor of allowing parents to consent for their children on this matter.

  • Vieux_Foque

    Your puritanism is so american. Other cultures have other values. And you should not continue to impose your moral superiority and say that because you think something is immoral, therefore it is immoral for all and everywhere. You need to get out of your country and travel to other lands, and experience other cultures.

  • Jacques

    I think tat the one who is twisted and a pervert is YOU, man, and your whole falsely puritan society you live in.

  • Lucas

    OMG, you hide behind an “AW” name, you must be a registered child molester who is now a bigger catholic than a Pope. Or is it that you are so jealous that your photography will never be on such a level like this guy’s.
    I bet you’ll also take a break from commenting on the web forever because you got blasted by expressing your sick and twisted points of view.

  • AW

    LOL, you “hide” behind a name too – “Lucas”. People reading your silly personal attacks will be making up their own minds what kind of person you are. Oh, looks like you just lost your bet too. Why stop commenting on the web forever just because a few guys whose opinions and attitude I don’t respect blast me?

  • AW

    Amazing logic there. Readers viewing these comments can make up their own minds after reading your personal attacks.

  • AW

    LOL, I am not even American, and have widely travelled, so don’t “impose” your wrong assumptions on me! (Actually I wasn’t imposing anything, I was just giving my point of view.)

  • AW

    I didn’t say the human form was shameful, not sure where you get that from. I said it should be private (at least until the age when someone is old enough to decide for themselves if they want to show it publicly.) I am not saying the human body cannot be shown, I’m saying good parents should want to preserve their children’s privacy until they are mature enough to decide for themselves. If nudity has no sexual or embarrassing connotations at all, why don’t we all just walk around naked everywhere? Because in fact nudity does have many sexual overtones, and because many people find it inappropriate, society makes rules preventing things like that. Thanks for writing a proper thoughtful comment though. I’m not a US citizen.

  • Joan

    Oh privacy the god
    oh shame on the secrets
    oh poor everyone

  • Bob

    It is a shame that stereotype mentalities start to creep into conversations being had by “individuals”. I still have hope that prejudice is fading.

  • http://bit.ly/bblplus Prom

    Well, I have gone through his site and can’t find anything wrong. Most of the photos aren’t even that clear and are certainly not suggestive in any way. I can admire the beauty of the naked form but beauty and sexual attraction are two entirely different things. Anybody who finds them to be sexual in any way has the real problem here.

    Children regularly don’t get a say. Until they turn 18 consent is in the hands of parents. To accuse them of child abuse for making these decisions is just utter crap. Most I think would rather such pictures be out there than not have any pictures at all. Or maybe we should just ban pictures of children (clothed or unclothed) entirely and lock them in the closet for all the offended prudes.