As quite a few of our old film photos were snapshots taken as we went about our daily lives, I spent my first evening back home just sneaking around the house trying to take ninja candids. It wasn’t until yesterday as I was planning my social media for the week that I came across an old 35mm project I did in college, doing this exact same thing. I’d shot several rolls of black and white images around my parents’ and grandparents’ houses with the goal to capture each family members’ personality through environmental portraiture. In essence, I wanted to capture them doing their mundane daily tasks, going about their routines in the places they spent their most time, working off of the assumption that through time and repetition they’d created spaces which conveyed their characteristics through decorative choices, lighting preferences and clutter (or lack thereof.) I have always been fascinated with people’s chosen environments, which is why my style of portraiture often uses whatever local architecture or nature is there in order to frame my subjects. But it wasn’t until looking through that school project, and subsequently reflecting on this summer’s family shoot, that I finally understood the importance of environment: it’s often just as telling of someone’s identity and personality. And, in a project dedicated to conveying my family’s story, showing true character was paramount.