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Immediate Family

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  5,676 ratings  ·  49 reviews
This is a book of remarkable images, intense and intimate, recording the photographer's children as they explore their woodland home in Virginia. The photographs show the ambiguities and dramas of family life and hauntingly evoke the mysteries of childhood. Sally Mann herself says in the introduction: 'These are photographs of my children ... many of these pictures are int ...more
Paperback, 78 pages
Published May 2nd 2001 by Phaidon Press (first published 1992)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Emmett, Jessie, and Virginia, 1989

This is the first time I had a closer examination of Mann's work. Her name is familiar, yes, but if you'd have asked me to describe her oeuvre, I would've stood there and said..euhm.

The Hot Dog, 1989

The images show a carefree world in which Mann's children grow up. It is also where she herself had had her youth. There is this ethereal quality, fleeting moments of family life.
Most of them spontaneous, some are set up. But who can tell. Or will tell. As the childr
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who isn't a freak about nudity, and some who are anyway
There is something slightly disturbing about Sally Mann's images of her children. Of course, having grown up in a hippie household I wasn't shocked by any of them... in fact they kind of seemed familiar to me, her scenes around the place her family calls home. I definitely could have seen my family and hers hanging out. But she really walked to that edge where child nudity walked close to being inappropriate. She was unflinching, looking into the heart of childhood, into humanity. I love that pe ...more
J.V. Seem
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
Last night, I was pretty tired but since I figured it was beneath me to go to bed at 8.30, I decided to have a look at a photo book instead.

Sally Mann is one of my favorite photographers. Her works display moments of life with such honesty!

These are photographs of her immediate family, mainly her children. They show the most intimate family moments, unapologetically and unashamed, and most importantly, informal. The photos are very honest that way, and at times, vulnerable too.
As a whole, this i
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mimian
Shelves: art
Simply brilliant photography. Appeals to me firstly because the subject matter are Sally Mann's own children, and she really subverts overarching societal notions of what childhood is - innocence, immaturity, and purity, for example. The images are not nearly as controversial as the conservative backlash she got in the 90's would lead you to believe, but there is most certainly an eroticism to some of them that implies what conservative thinking does not want to admit... that children are emotiv ...more
When me and my three year old looked through this together he said he wanted us to have magic and go into the book and play with Sally Mann's youngest daughter.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-photography
I love Sally Mann's final acknowledgments at this end of this incredible photographic journal of her children - "above all, my warm love goes to the three bright spirits whom this book celebrates."
Her vision and ability to capture on camera some of the most intimate and candid moments of a child's life are what make her such a great artist with the camera. The images are both evocative and, at times, provocative, but always extraordinary. Mann introduces this collection of her work with some rec
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: art
Supremely uncomfortable to look at. I don't know what it is-- critics have discussed how Mann depicts her children in an almost "sensual" manner, but I don't think that's quite it. Perhaps it's simply looking at the closeness of family life from the outside-- candids and embarrassing photos can be found throughout.
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I begged for this book for Christmas back in high school and wad thrilled to receive it from my brother. I remember an ensuing argument with my brother-in-law about the content. I think beauty, love, and tenderness are displayed. He thought it pornographic. Still boggles me.
Interest in this book came from its role inLost Children Archive. The pictures are beautiful -- and she does really interesting things with the light. I can understand the controversy about these images, though. The situation has echoes of Black & White . i understand that the children participated actively in the photography and chose which photographs would be published, but still. On reflection, I find that it's not so much the nudity as the photographs that show the children's vulnerability, ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Another neutral review. I know this book was very controversial when it first came out. In today’s world, it would be even more so. There is no doubt that the photographer has outstanding talent. Who am I to judge somebody in a field I know very little about?
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing detailed and dedicated capture of family portraits
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible work by a brilliant artist.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is very nice book we also have similar like this and these are free and easy to Read. please join us @ ...more
Nanllodi Coreta
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is undoubtedly a magnificent book. I love it.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stunning photographs paired with dreamy writing. I love this book.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photo
i remember seeing this book in my high school photography class. I remember being somewhat conflicted every time i have had to discuss or comment on her work. my previous recent experience (her book on death) made me want to discard her from my personal inspiration.... but somehow THIS book was calling me.

I'm so glad I listened. Now being a mother (and a user of a large format camera myself), these images are INCREDIBLE! Intimacy with children without any sense of voyeurism (i certainly would ho
Aug 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favoritebooks
My absolute favorite photographer. I heard her lecture at RISD and I love how she really doesn't give a care what other people think about her work, she just tries to create something she likes/cares about. I talked to her/corresponded with her about apprenticing and still would like to do that someday, if that remains a possibility...unfortunately, I couldn't really afford to do that in college...
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-culture
Mann's images in Immediate Family beautifully capture the joys and wonder of youth. This is a collection of photographs of her children over the course of several years. There was some controversy over the subject matter (her often nude children), but there isn't the dreadful sense of latent sexuality present in some of the skeezy quasi-pornographic work of people like David Hamilton or Jock Sturges.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
Absolutely beautiful. These images were photographed on a large format camera with glass negative, which is in and of itself a labor of love. The quality and intensity of these images are just breathtaking. I know some people like to put negative condensation on these images, and some of them are definitely provoking. I don't think people see it as worse than the reality really was. Everyone likes a good controversy.
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Sally Mann has some beautiful children. The confidence these children ooze cannot avoid discussion of infant sexuality. But the children are in typical poses and situations: blood, shit, piss, mud. All these fluids bathe the gorgeous white bodies juxtaposing innocence and filth. Beautiful black and white photos from a very talented photographer.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Almost every photo absolutely blew me away. Even more impressive that she took these with a medium format camera. This has given me a lot to think about in terms of my own photography as I am drawn to these images in a way that I am not drawn to the typical cheesy "smile" photos. I wish I had seen these photos before I watched the documentary.
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
A friend of mine had this book on her coffee table and I looked through it cover to cover several times. I think Sally Mann's photography is really beautiful and evocative and occasionally a little creepy.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
I discovered this book in a wonderful shop in Ashland before I realized I wanted to study photography. The way Mann uses her family to create art instead of just snapshots really opened my eyes. Her lighting is gorgeous.
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring photographer and documentarian of her domestic life. Sally Mann creates powerful images with the help of her children and the high impact of beautiful black and white photos. I can't say it enough- inspiration!!!
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
one of the best photography books by a living artist
Sep 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
really something. burned into my brain.
Mar 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, women-writers
Photography books are so expensive but this one is truly worth it.
Ariana K
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly beautiful photography - magical & eerie all at once. A powerful portrayal of the treasure of family. ...more
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
beautiful and haunting.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Mann's work is staggeringly beautiful; full of rich imagery and symbolism.
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Sally Mann is an American photographer, best known for her large black-and-white photographs.

• National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship: 1982, 1988, & 1992.
• John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1987.
• Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, 2006.
• Honorary Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society, 2012.

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