Julie Blackmon started photographing her kids in 2001, after her family moved into a 100-year-old house in Springfield, Missouri, that happened to have a darkroom. She'd dabbled in photography in college and thought it might be worth revisiting. "I really just wanted to get some good black-and-white pictures of my kids that I could put on the wall," she explains. "That was when the Pottery Barn look was in, so I was just trying to make my living room look cool, basically."
Blackmon's own three children are now teenagers and in their early 20s, but she's continued photographing the kids in her hometown: nieces, nephews, and neighbors — "just kids who happen to be around," she says. "We have a kind of little relationship going. We like to work together." This month, a new book, Homegrown, features her most recent work: photographs taken between 2008 and 2014, inspired by the domestic scenes of the Dutch painter Jan Steen, as well as her own chaotic and confusing experiences as a parent.
Blackmon spoke with The Cut about helicopter parenting, living in the same town you grew up in, and how people respond to autobiographical work about motherhood.
Read the full interview and view the slideshow here.