My mother, at seventy years old, told me that every time she looked in the mirror she wondered who "that old bat" was looking back. In her mind’s eye she still had the face she had at eighteen. This, after eight children and forty years of marriage. The photographs in Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women & Girls explore both the persistence of the child-in-the-woman and the early cultivation of the woman- in-the-child. Girlhood may be understood as a part of a continuum that women revisit regardless of age.
Before our child was born nineteen years ago, it was generally understood among friends and family that the baby would be a girl. After all, women had been the subject of my work for many years. This happy coincidence of biology and feminism presented me not only with Emma, a daughter I cherish, but with new opportunities for making pictures as well. When I began the series Feminine Identity in 1987, I focused mostly on adult women. Now the scope of my work has widened to more often include men as fathers, grandfathers, husbands and brothers. But in photographing my own daughter and our family life together - in regarding Emma day by day- it has become clear that the heart of the project lies in images of girlhood.