Bellingham is a British Documentary photographer who is best known for his work on his family, photogrpahs of his father Ray who was a alcoholic, "I was living in this tower block; there was just me and him. He was an alcoholic, he would lie in the bed, drink, get to sleep, wake up, get to sleep, didn't know if it was day or night. But it was difficult to get him to stay still for more than say 20 minutes at a time so I thought that if I could take photographs of him that would act as source material for these paintings and then I could make more detailed paintings later on. So that's how I first started taking photographs." (We Are Family’), Genius of photography. Billingham saw this issue with his father and he must have looked at him and though that he was not going to let that happen to him. Billingham sounded like he had a lot of time on his hands and he experience these days and nights with Ray a lot of the time, he seems like he is shaming his father for being such a state, But Billingham sees the potential in this way of living and picking up a camera made him become creative with the world but also really show how his family live.
This work to me is very striking, you can almost smell the damp walls of an ageing house, you can feel the fabric of the sofa from the 70’s and you can feel the unpleasant comfortability they would have experienced. What is different with this type of documentary is that these people are very close to him and are comfortable with images being taken at any point, they grew used to the sight… So because they are pretty much snare of the camera the images that have been captured inside the home are very spontaneous and show every aspect of living in a working class house in the thatcher period.
What is also apparent to me is that Billingham found the ambition to create something out of nothing… in other words he didn't go out looking for things to create off of, he knew it was already at home and will always be there, so he just carried on making images and making work off of what he was very familiar with and what he knew the most about, his family and how they lived and this is just amazing to me because that takes a lot of self courage to stand in the way and oppose your fathers habits, but really Billingham knew there was something wrong and this way of living and he exposed it, becoming very we'll known fro doing so.