Indeed, Martha’s growing confidence is apparent in images where she’s bouyed by her peers. In earlier photos with friends, like Chillie’s Shed (2015), she is relaxed but still cloaks herself in dark, thick sweaters; she clutches her body protectively, and hunches. But as time goes on, Martha’s posture becomes more erect, her gaze more assured. Martha and Chillie Going Out (2016) shows the two teens dressed up in tight, short skirts with hands defiantly on hips. Still, there are hints of innocence in the shot. Martha’s youthful excitement to escape the house bubbles up in her smile.
In the book’s final photo, Martha is in the family kitchen. She’s 19 and about to leave home for a year of travel. As Davey has told it, she saw Martha standing there, in the light, and asked to take a photo. Martha agreed, but in that moment Davey witnessed a change. Martha’s confidence in her voluptuous body and her direct gaze seemed to say, to Davey, that it was time to “let her be.”
These days, Martha doesn’t ask to be photographed. She’s grown out of being the girl who needed to be seen, and has begun to see herself.