Photographer Research – Gill Greenberg

Gill Greenberg is anoter photographer who courted controversy with her emotional portraits of toddlers crying. The impactful series has lead to her receiving a great deal of hate mail from outraged members of the public that accuse her of cruelty.

(Greenberg 2006)
(Greenberg 2006)

The reality is quite different, she worked with the mothers of the children she shot and one of them was her own daughter. They used a variety of methods to entice the children to cry, sometimes they would give them a lollipop and then ask for it back, sometimes it was a digital device like a mobile phone. The crying began when the item was not immediately returned. Jill explains to us that the distress caused to the children was no way abnormal and that toddlers do cry a lot as this is one of their main ways of communicating (Teicher 2013).

The reason for Jill to create these was borne out of her frustrations with both the political and societal nature of North America and the Bush administration. There are an increasing number of religiously motivated fundamentalists across America and they were highly influential during the Bush administration. In addition to allowing their beliefs to in part justify a war in Iraq they also continually block equal rights to gay people, prevent stem cell research and attempt to promote creationism over evolution. This dangerously naive attitude causes havoc globally and impedes scientific progress around the world. Jill began to wonder if these radicals had become so enraptured by their belief that the stories told in the Book of Revelation was imminent that they cared little for the future of the planet, their nation and their children. Her response was the images of children crying which she entitled ‘End Times’

(Greenberg 2006)
(Greenberg 2006)

I found her work particularly fascinating and was interested in the way she engineered the emotional responses from the children, I was also curious on her studio and post processing techniques. By studying Jill Greenbergs work it was able to both inform and influence my project.


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