These subtly desaturated images are the work of Swedish photographer David Magnusson, who worked on his U.S. Purity Balls project on and off for a year. The photos will culminate in a book, scheduled to be released in August.
My (agnostic) friend Kristi, who spotted the portraits at Flavorwire, wrote me a message today saying she was nauseated and observed that “the dads’ hands/arms are wrapped around these girls like prison bars.”
But Magnusson may disagree:
“[W]hen looking back at a year of photographing in the USA [I’m struck by] how loving and responsible the fathers were. And at the same time, it is clear that the girls — in many cases, young women — are independent, strong, and insightful.”
“My purpose hasn’t been either to belittle or glorify the ceremonies — the interpretation is all up to the eye of the viewer.”
Magnusson says the poses were chosen by his subjects, with little or no direction by him.
More of the photos can be seen here.