A rubber duck, a floppy hat, an ornament. The everyday objects that make up a childhood are quick vessels into the past, easy ways of transporting ourselves into memories of carefree days.
It’s the universal sweetness of these objects that makes Dianne Yudelson’s photo series, “Lost,” so striking. For her, a pair of tiny socks are a reminder of a child that could’ve filled them -- one of her own children, who she lost to miscarriage.
“I did not create the series out of sorrow, but rather to honor these lives in a documentary narrative,” Yudelson told The Huffington Post. Her portraits of the mementos from each of her miscarried children are simple. They’re not bleak, but they’re not warm either -- each set of objects is arranged in a matter-of-fact way, making the missing human presence known.
“I felt I was honoring them in a personal manner by photographing the mementos in a humble and simple composition without fancy backgrounds or other distractions, and maintaining the individuality of each baby’s items,” Yudelson said.
While the background of the images is black, the objects are illuminated in white, using natural late afternoon light, Yudelson explained. “Those last bright moments of light before evening begins. In color psychology white is the color of purity and innocence.”
This aesthetic choice also gives the images, and their picture-taker, a glint of hope. Yudelson said keeping her lost children’s tangible objects is meaningful to her, and that sharing them rather than shelving them has been a therapeutic process.
“What I hope evolves from the creation of my images is a broadening in the conversation and understanding of miscarriage, both physically and emotionally,” she said.