Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan

My starting point for this research was reading a copy of his summary book ‘Here and Home’ which maps his photographic story and works (Sultan, 2017). Like Goldberg he pushes at the boundaries of documentary photography. He combines film stills, new images and documents to create a story of his childhood and family. 

What stands out in the essay in the book is his “forensic approach” to looking at images – their content and form. On page 12 is an image –  in the background is a board with 400+ printed images: he is ‘living with them,’ rather than simply selecting images on a whim. I have started to do this and maybe this is a way forward for me when looking at my archive. 

The other thing (P19-20) is why do this work? There are background motivations that describe the political contacts of that time and a lack of representations of families as complex entities. This makes me think about my own motivation which is about my story as a doctor but also the bigger story about fear and incompetence in the pandemic. 

(BBC, 2007; Sultan, 2018; Sultan, L, 1987)


BBC (2007) We are family.

Sultan, L (1987) Pictures from Home. [Artist’s website] At: (Accessed  20/10/2020).

Sultan, L. (2017) Here and Home. Prestel Muich, London, New York: DelMonico Books.

Sultan, L. (2018) Swimmers.