In exploring the places we come from, we are offered the opportunity to reconnect with the past, to try to understand its complexity, and to recognize its significance in shaping who we’ve become.
This ongoing series of images is a collection of landscapes from suburban and rural towns scattered across America. I began by photographing areas in northeastern Pennsylvania, where I was raised; it was my effort to reconnect with a place I was once eager to escape.
During this process, my emotions were in constant conflict as I wavered between nostalgia and criticism, between gratitude and shame, between hope and sadness.
As I sought out the specific sites that I believed would elicit deeper feelings required for self-understanding, I found myself drawn to places I had no prior relationship with. Places that evoked the same emotional and tangible familiarity of home but in some cases were 3,000 miles away. Somehow the distance and the realization that the landscape of my youth was not unique provided me the space to explore something simultaneously more personal and more general about the past and its complex influence on how we perceive ourselves in adulthood and who we eventually become.
Regardless of where these images have been taken, they are all reflections of my past—they are all portraits of home. My hope is that they convey something universal about perception, remembrance, and the understanding that some things are healed by time and some are not.
This body of work has been created by using color negative film and a 6x7 rangefinder camera.