Photographer Josephine Sittenfield was a junior at Princeton in 2000 when she began taking candid snapshots of her friends and classmates on film. The pictures, which sat in her parents’ closet for fifteen years, portray a group of students in their most natural element: laying in bed; lounging in their dorm rooms; waiting on the steps in the quad; enjoying each other’s company.
When Sittenfield returned to her college campus for her fifteen year reunion, she decided to recapture her old friends, some now vague acquaintances, by recreating her old photos. The before and after juxtaposition doesn’t display such a drastic change: rather, the adult versions of the classmates simply seem out of place with a distinctly collegiate backdrop. Some have traded in backpacks for baby carriers and bags of chips for bottles of water.
Sittenfield’s former roommate, featured in the photos, said in an accompanying Q&A, explained her take on the nuanced shifts between the photos: “At twenty, I felt something intangible, indescribable, full of energy. Only now am I able to describe it—the ultimate sensing of a life ahead.” This potential having been fulfilled fifteen years later, the classmates today can recognize their past hopes and dreams as they continue to pursue their futures.