The First Years

by Josh Smith

...These opposing experiences are echoed in the charged luminance of the photographs. The light reveals and enlivens the surfaces it encounters, while simultaneously acting as a tool of erasure and reorientation. The resulting pictures serve as place markers for intangible moments of fear, confusion, and elation —the dark and the light.
— Josh Smith, The First Years

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 Years is 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: 

Josh Smith has exhibited widely within the Bay Area and beyond, including Stanford University, the a.Muse gallery in San Francisco, and SF Art Market. Born in Springfield, Missouri, Smith earned his M.F.A. in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has been living and working in the Bay Area since 2004. Smith is a photography instructor at Marin Academy and resides in Pacifica, CA with his wife Vanessa and their three children. 

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.


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.