In 1982, photographer Barbara Davatz found 12 young, interesting, urban couples and decided to take their portraits. Little did she know, her little side project would continue for up to 30 years.
“I started [the portraits] in 1982 with initially no intention of continuing the series,” Davatz told Business Insider. She went on to photograph the same people in 1988, 1997, and again in 2014. The project now covers three generations of people.
Her new book, “As Time Goes By“, shows the remarkable changes that her subjects have gone through over the last 30 years. The series will be on display at Fotostiftung Schweiz in Zurich, Switzerland, from February 27 to May 16.
Despite being a professional photographer for 40 years, Davatz still found time to work on personal projects like this one.
'I believed very strongly in the project, (I) loved it -- considered it my 'life work' and my most important work,' Davatz told Business Insider.
A lot changed over the years with Davatz's subjects -- not just their looks. Sometimes there was a change of partners, or the subjects became parents and even grandparents.
Davatz's subjects were really eager to work with her. Some of the women from her 1982 portraits encouraged her to continue the project over the years, saying they considered it a telling of their life story.
Staying in touch with her subjects has been pretty easy, Davatz explains, because several of them were friends of hers.
'In 1988, I wrote to them all, asking to inform me of future changes of address,' Davatz said. 'But for the last series I was very thankful for the aid of Google!'
'I am very fond of them all. I admire and appreciate the courage they have shown and their loyalty to the project,' she said. 'I am very thankful.'
Davatz did not anticipate that she would continue this series for 30 years. 'I never actually decided this (project would continue) at one particular moment,' she said. 'It was a more or less organic development.'
One of the fathers from her subjects said that she should designate a 'successor' because he wanted his daughters to be documented as they grew up. But as for continuing this series, Davatz says, 'The work is definitely finished, and that's definitely a good feeling.'
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