Blind Magazine : photography at first sight
Close this search box.

Life Slips Through, Stronger Than Ever

Photographer Tealia Ellis Ritter’s book The Model Family is a disenchanted tale about love, life and loss.

Photographing her family for over thirty years, Tealia Ellis Ritter found herself covering different roles within it. Turning her lens on her loved ones as a daughter, a sister, a mother her perspective changed overtime. The captions call people by their first names and the connection she establishes through photography creates a sense of complicity that goes beyond blood ties.

Crystal with flower crown 1993/2019.

The room Oscar died in, after the bed was removed 2004/2020.

Crystal 2021.

Anne, bloody hand 2008/2021.

Margot the day before she died 2007/2019.

Finn at the top of the stairs, age eight 2017.

Both performative and hyperreal, the images don’t turn away from the harder aspects of family life, like ageing, conflict, divorce and death. These elements are combined with joyful and mischievous moments, creating a surprising journey through emotions that never falls into the lyrical. The title plays with the myth of families looking perfect when seen from a distance, suggesting normality does not exist when looking in.

Anne II 2016/2021.

Crystal and David dressed for Margot’s funeral 2007/2019.

David in the bedroom 2018.

Kiss 2019.

Frozen pigeon 2018.

Anne after the breakup 2007/2019.

Crystal with duckling 1995/2020.

Tealia Ellis Ritter’s The Model Family is published by
Loose Joints
and available for the price of £40.

Don’t miss the latest photographic news, subscribe to Blind newsletter.