Home / Rachel LaCour Niesen / No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
– T. S. Eliot

Sometimes I have to wander far from home to understand what home means to me.

The more I venture to far-flung destinations to photograph weddings and documentary projects, the more I realize that the beauty right in front of me is often the hardest to see. Photographing in a lush garden in Ireland, I smelled cut grass and remembered burying bare toes in my backyard as a child. My home represents belonging, rootedness and unconditional love. Home is my launchpad to the world.

I recently spent some time with acclaimed war photographer Christopher Anderson, who has photographed conflicts in Lebanon, Israel, Venezuela, and many other global hot spots. When Chris became a father, his lens instinctively turned toward his family. Daily rituals such as bathing became backdrops for intimate images of those he loves most. The series “SON” seems like snapshots seamlessly strung together to form a love song to his home and his family.

Anderson’s Magnum colleague, Larry Towell, is another photographer who has documented conflict’s causes and effects. Despite spending years photographing civil wars and crisis situations, Towell says, “The most challenging situation is photographing my children.” Yet he has created an archive of them over the years that’s as powerful as any war photograph.

Towell lives with his family on a farm in rural Ontario, not far from where he grew up. In his book, The World From My Front Porch, Towell reveals quiet glimpses of his home; children swim and play with animals, parents nurture children, and home’s horizon stretches out like a stable foundation for a life lived close to the land. When describing photographing his family, he said, “Everything I learned that I needed to know about the world, I learned before I left home, from my own family. It’s important not to lose touch with your own roots.”

Home is where we discover our vision and hang our hearts.

Are you turning your lens toward your home?  Please share links to your images and words here.

Instagram of LaCour Family

Book project "Son" by Magnum Photographer Christopher Anderson

Visit Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson's website to see images from his personal project "SON".

Larry Towell's photo essay on family, "The World from my Front Porch"

Larry Towell's photo essay on family, "The World from my Front Porch"

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!