Sunday morning, the sharp light filtering through the windows, illuminating the scene as two kids are focused on the morning comics, or what they referred to as “the funnies,” with rapt attention. How many of us remember mornings spent this way?
The photograph above, Sunday Funnies, is featured in Martin’s book “Children: Behind The Lens.” Recently I received an email from photographer Ray Anello after receiving the book. Here is what he had to say:
“I grew up in an intense street world in the Bronx. A working class immigrant Italian neighborhood. Your dad’s shots bring that whole experience back. He clearly knew and loved the streets. As do I looking at his photos and remembering them.
Sometimes it’s hard to say why one particular shot affects you so powerfully. But “Sunday Funnies” does that for me. I love the improvised feel it has. Love also how in spite of the relaxed feel it conveys a telling moment. I used to read the funnies all the time at home on Sundays. It may sound odd but they gave me–a kid–a kind of alternate way of seeing the adult world. Your dad was lucky to love what he did with the camera so much. And it shows.“
Recently I’ve been having a lot of conversations with photographers about this very topic. How sometimes, the right photo can immediately tap into some primitive emotion of ours that brings up feelings of home and identification. Often from times when we were pre-verbal but we remember them because we felt safe and part of our community. That a photograph can be so evocative is truly the gift from the photographer to his audience.