Coming Home, Quiet Corners

I knew from the start that I was going to take many, many photos during my visit home over spring break. What I did not know was what my photos would be about. So many aspects of my home are interesting and important to me that I found it hard to think of a focus before I arrived back in New Jersey. So I covered all bases and shot just about everything. What I found when I came back to school was that the most compelling images I made were not of the people I saw or the different places I went, but the simple photos of the interior of my house. The ideas I had about these images starting growing right as I was shooting them and came to full fruition when I went back for another look.

The concept of this project was born in boredom. For two days out of my seven day break, I was home alone with nothing to do and no transportation to go anywhere - even if I did have plans. Besides reading and watching movies, I took pictures wherever the best light was in my house. I thought back to Uta Barth and how she can create such compelling and beautiful photos all from inside her own home.  At first I just shot to shoot, but I started to notice that certain parts of my house spoke a lot about the people that live there, and these places were usually corners. Corners of my house are where things collect and as more and more things start to occupy a corner, the more character can be drawn from the space. These photos turned out to have the most character out of all the images I shot over break.

Aesthetically, all of my images are very similar. I tried to keep the corner straight and as close to perfectly vertical as I could get for the wider shots. These wider shots serve as an overview of a part of my house, and the people who use that specific room the most. The tighter shots are all horizontal and focus on a detail of a matching overview shot to display a specific aspect of the corner, to show something I thought was particularly interesting or important. All the shots are shot with the best light that hits that part of my house, as I had a whole two days to see when the light was just right in each spot. As for the printing and display of my photos, I chose to display the wide and detail shot pairs together to show that each corner contains so many different little pieces. The photos together show a more complete view of each corner than if they were presented separate. I chose to also print the photos in a mini-booklet, with the pairs on opposite pages. I wanted to call back to wallet-sized family photos, because I really believe that these images represent the people that live in my house - my family. If I wanted to I could carry my own representation of home in my back pocket.

These images of my home represent my family and home better than group photos or posed portraits. Instead of seeing what my mom, dad, and sister look like, you see my mom’s clean kitchen and my sister’s cluttered room and the living room where my dad watches the news and grades papers. The photos tell countless other stories about my family through what is in these small spaces, places where things and memories and feelings collect. One just has to look close.