For 17 years Preston Gannaway has been photographing a boy called EJ following the death of his mother. Her new book, Remember Me is about becoming and the passage of time, while exploring themes of mortality, loss and masculinity.
Gannaway was working as a young photojournalist at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire when she was assigned in 2006 to work on a story focusing on a family—the St. Pierres—in which the mother, Carolynne, was dying of liver cancer. During afternoons when the kids were at school and Rich, the father was at work, it was Carolynne to whom Gannaway became closest.
Working closely with the reporter, Chelsea Conaboy and the paper’s editors, they published their first story on the family after a couple of months and kept going. Four more stories were published, and in 2008, the story was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.
Gannaway stayed in touch with the family. EJ —Carolynne and Rich’s youngest son who had been four-years old when Carolynne died —became the focus of the project. Remember Me, includes photographs, many previously unpublished, spanning Gannaway’s time with the family. EJ first appears as a small boy and is shown navigating his way to adulthood. His visible growth through the pages marks the passing of years. Images of everyday details, landscapes and portraits collectively create a longitudinal essay on the impermanence of the human experience. The project is still ongoing.