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Larry Sultan (American photographer, b. Brooklyn, NY 1946; d. Greenbrae, CA 2009) was raised in California’s San Fernando Valley. His work, heavily influenced by the post-war, popular culture of Los Angeles, purposefully creates an ambiguity between documentary and staged photographs, complicating the terrain of the suburban everyday.

I’ve always been interested in the theater of the home.
That’s kind of what my work is-- taking the construction of the domestic and looking at it as a theatrical subject.

- Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan working on Pictures from Home in his studio at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California,
c. 1985, photo by Philip Gefter

Unlocking Key Insights

  • How does your family compare to Sultan's?

  • What adventures of your folks have shaped your story?

  • Thoughts on staged vs. spontaneous photos – any preferences?

  • Living in a spill-it-all era, do you think we're really spilling the truth?

  • Delving into family photos – ever encountered unexpected emotions?

  • If you staged a photo with your parents, whose story would it reflect?

Larry Sultan, with his fusion of genuine and staged photos, shook up the usual ideas about truth and authenticity in imagery. This approach raises questions about truth because the meaning of the picture relies on the photographer’s perspective rather than the subjects themselves.

What do YOU think?

Use the sliders to share your thoughts about the truth in photos

How do you think the concept of truth in photos applies to the filtered and curated images we often see on social media today?

How much do the private or unrevealed past events in your family shape your future?

Sharr White's play, Pictures from Home, explores the dilemma of keeping things private or spilling it all. What are your thoughts?

We should keep it real & candid

I need my filters & my good angles

Only I can determine my future

Family makes me who I am

People share way too much online...

We should tell the world our stories


Photo: Betsy Schneider

What drives me to continue this work
is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology. With being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. And in the odd and jumbled process of working, everything shifts: the boundaries blur, my distance slips, the arrogance, and illusion of immunity falters. I wake up in the middle of the night, stunned and anguished. These are my parents. From that simple fact, everything follows.

– Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan's Work of Art

Dive into Sultan's photos – he's like a storyteller, capturing the essence of his parents. Ever noticed how a photo can reveal something personal? In "Pictures from Home," Sultan opens up personal family moments. It's like sharing a page from your diary with the world. Pretty brave, huh?


Your Thoughts about Sharr White's
Journey with Larry Sultan's Jour

Now, it's your turn to shine! How do these concepts fit into your life? Take our survey – no wrong answers, just your thoughts. Are we oversharing or living our best, open-book lives? How do these ideas shape your view of the world in this digital age?

Sharr White's Artistic Journey with
Larry Sultan's Work of Art

Sharr White is on a quest to unravel Larry's personal journey. His mission? To make you think about the wild ride of putting your private life out there. Imagine your secrets on display for everyone! What would you do?

Sultan's pics – capturing real-life moments or showcasing a creative twist?

How do you feel about sharing family stuff online? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Sharr White's got us pondering – keep it private or spill it all? What's your take?


Dive into these cool conversations about photography’s impact now.

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