Crustaceans

In 2006, I began photographing my daughters holding lobsters before we ate them for dinner.  Lobster is quite abundant in the small fishing town on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada, where we spent summer, so lobster became just another meal and an adventure for my girls. They sat on the deck caressing the lobsters’ shells, trying to make them go to “sleep.”

This project emerged when I created a portrait of them and some friends holding a lobster while using fill flash with the Bay of Fundy as the backdrop.  What struck me in the photographs was how differently each girl responded to the lobster. Some cradled it, some squirmed with their shoulders held tight, some raised it over their head as if to say this is just how one holds a lobster.

Each of their responses suggests how they relate to this gross, spiny animal. There is nothing dainty or girly about holding a lobster, yet some of the girls make it so. These photographs show how they both defy and meet the expectations placed on them. The images also reveal the power dynamics between the girls and these creatures, which, although seemingly dangerous, will become dinner.