Face Of The Day

by Jessie Roberts


For her photo series “Suburban Dreams,” photographer Beth Yarnelle Edwards documented family life in the suburbs of Silicon Valley:

“I think of my images as being like genre paintings because they’re intended to depict a typical event in the home rather than a decisive moment,” Edwards explained via email. “And like genre paintings, I strive to include as much information about the people and the place as possible.”

The images are the result of collaboration between Edwards and the families she photographs. She interviews them, takes a tour of their home, and then recreates events from the family’s daily life. Rather than pose them, she sets up improvisations. “When I see a gesture or action that rings true, I’ll ask the person to freeze because my shutter speeds are fairly slow; this leads to a slightly frozen look, which I love,” Edwards said. …

“I call my series and monograph Suburban Dreams because it depicts a way of life that many Americans live and even more aspire to,” she said. “To me personally, the American Dreams means the freedom to believe and act as one wishes as long as that doesn’t impinge on the rights of others.”

(Photo by Beth Yarnelle EdwardsSuburban Dreams was recently exhibited at The Oakland Museum of California. The series is available as a monograph.)