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Tierney Gearon's work has moved me and inspired my work profoundly. Like myself, Gearon is a mother and spends a great deal of time photographing her children. It would seem a simple, unassuming task, but her work, vibrant and visually stunning, is evocative in its story telling. Her work is honest, haunting, arresting and reminds me that photography is truly about uncovering the inherent drama around us if we'd only pause to take notice. I watched as she photographed her infant son in the grass lying next to her mother, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I couldn't apprehend what was happening, this naked, pale baby crying in the sun, his grandmother puffing away on a Merit. I wanted to scoop that baby up and felt irked about the whole thing until I saw the image. In one shot, she powerfully illustrated her experience having a mother with schizophrenia. Gearon was utterly alone, abandoned, writhing in the harsh sun right in front of a mother who was completely unaware and unable to nurture and protect her. It punched me right in the heart and made me understand that I want my own work to be such a powerful vehicle for story telling.

© 2009 Jenny Jope Photography

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