Universal Family Portrait Project

Searching For Common Love in Every Family Dynamic and Home Setting

Growing up in a very close-knit, traditional New York Italian family gave Michele Crowe a great appreciation for family support systems. In her blog The Universal Family Portrait Project, she explores the diversity of families by photographing a wide range of people in their living rooms. Through this she hopes to share a universal truth, that all families are essentially the same.

‘When you photograph someone in their own home, you get to document more of their natural behaviour and the real family dynamic,’ Michele told us. ‘It’s kind of what it’s all about.’

With a long-standing passion for learning about people from all works of life, we had to probe Michele further on what she’s learnt about families:

The Plus: How do you get in touch with the families?
Michele Crowe:
So far, most of the families have been found through the word of mouth. Sometimes, I also just meet people when I’m out and being social. As I start to plan further travels for the project (Europe this Spring), I have begun to email people on social media.

TP: What specific aspect of family-life are you looking to capture?
The true essence of each individual family, but also the normality of everyday family life. We are all so beautifully different, but all so fundamentally similar at the end of the day. The goal is that you feel the same thing when you look at each photo, no matter how different the family or setting is from your own, love feels the same.


TP: What do you enjoy most about this project?
I enjoy meeting and interacting with the families. Everyone that has participated so far has been so welcoming.

TP: You recently hit your Kickstarter fundraising goal. How will you develop the project now?
I am so excited about reaching my Kickstarter goal! The funding I got will aid some of my Europe travels for this portion of the project. I will be travelling all over Western Europe and a little East too to photograph as many families as I can.

I can’t wait to see what other transformations are in store; I will let the project be what it’s going to be. It’s not just for me, it’s for everyone, and I let it work through me.