Dark Spring Press

Independent Publisher of Small Run & Limited Edition Photography Books

The First Years

by Josh Smith


Bay area photographer Josh Smith explores the strange and beautiful world inhabited by new parents from a unique and personal perspective. His images pulse with the joy and heartache of parenting and capture the humor and pathos of family life in all its topsy turvy chaos.

The First Yearsis a personal exploration of family dynamics in a time of transition, with all of its attendant turbulence and emotion. As Smith explains in his artist statement, the many challenges faced by new parents bring forth a myriad of conflicting feelings and issues that led to this body of work: 

Smith's photographs are paired with a wonderful short story by Natalie Hegert, The Leap, which explores these themes from the mother's perspective, giving voice to the silent protagonist in his images.

Under the guise of family historian, I continue to examine and better understand this new way of being. Through this process, I explore all the nuanced contradictions that exist within the complex and universal realm of family.
— Josh Smith

About the book

The First Years
photographs by Josh Smith

First Edition, 2019
limited to 260 copies
Short story “The Leap” by Natalie Hegert
offset lithography
softcover, perfect bound
dustjacket with extended flaps
6 5/8 x 9 1/4 inches
48 pages
33 black + white images
signed & numbered by the artist
ISBN 978-0-9993408-4-4

Trade Edition (200 copies): $45


The First years Collectors Edition

The Collectors Edition of The First Years, limited to 50 sets, includes the book and your choice of one signed & numbered gelatin silver print created by the artist in an edition of 25. These are presented together in a custom box with foil stamping and a button & string closure. Choose either Airplane Window or Pointing Child.


The First years deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition of The First Years includes the book and five signed & numbered gelatin silver print created by the artist in editions of 10 each, presented together in a custom clamshell box with foil stamping. Images will include Pointing Child, Airplane Window, Tiny Hand, Mother Lifting Child, and Kite. This edition is limited to 10 sets.

© Dark Spring Press 2019.  All Rights Reserved.