doorway

Posted by Ellen

Photographer Alain Laboile and his partner have six children. Those of us familiar with life in large families have seen some version of this scene before. Some of us have seen versions of this scene more than a few times and might feel we will live longer if we don't have to relive them.

Laboile, of Bordeaux, France, is actually a sculptor by trade, who first picked up a camera about ten years ago to catalog his sculpting. He turned the lens on his growing family around the house, and the rest, as they say, is documentary.

Posted by Ellen

Baby Kaspar woke up bright and early–6 a.m.–on his first morning in America. His jetlagged parents were not pleased. No doubt, they hadn't slept quite as soundly as he had during the long flights from Estonia to Chicago.

His grandmother was happy to retrieve him from their room, even at 6 a.m., but Kaspar wasn't so sure about her. He complained. He complained more loudly. So she took him outside for a long walk.

Outside, life was good. Kaspar found pebbles and then some pebbles and after that some pebbles. But back in the house again, where his parents were still trying to sleep, he remembered his distress. His grandmother wasn't his mother or his father. He ran from her.

When she got near, he told her to go away. Loudly. If she came nearer, he ran. This went on till he'd reached the far end of the house, up against the back door, where he could run no further.

There were cushions there on the floor, new pads for the garden furniture, and so it came to pass that Kaspar lay down in the doorway and curled up and went back to sleep.

And his grandmother? "I just sat next to him," she said, "and laughed at this world."

Posted by Ellen

The caged bird sings. Above a doorway in the old quarter of Lisbon.

Posted by Ellen

The railing on the stoop in front of this Rittenhouse Square dentist's office is held up by wrought iron wings and drumsticks.

Posted by Ellen

Another visit with the chained beast of Manning Street, at the side door of a dress shop near Rittenhouse Square.