Family Identity and the Importance of HOME. Geelong photographer documents an afternoon with the Lynch family.

 

 
 The places we have lived and the sense of HOME we felt there will always contribute to who we are, to how we see the world and our place in it.

The places we have lived and the sense of HOME we felt there will always contribute to who we are, to how we see the world and our place in it.

 

It’s said that you can never go home again, and it’s true enough, of course. But the opposite is also true.
You must go back, and you always go back, and you can never stop going back, no matter how hard you try.
— Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram

My favourite place to capture family stories is in the home. 

Home is where we spend so much of our time, a space that’s inextricably woven into the culture of a family.

The home is a place of refuge, rest, warmth and wellbeing. 

It’s a place of no inhibition, where histories are written and the foundations of our identities are forged and solidified.

As we grow, the roots of our nostalgia are tangled and tied to memories of home.

You remember the space between the fence and the garden shed, where even on the hottest days it was always cool and damp, or the way the light would stream in through the lounge-room window and warm the carpet where you'd sprawl of a Saturday morning to watch cartoons, still cosy in your pyjamas. 

You remember the climb to reach the cordial on the top shelf of the pantry, your sister keeping watch by the door, or the way you'd lie on the trampoline after school while your mum made dinner, the smell of sausages wafting through the open kitchen window. 

You remember the smell of outdated lino in the laundry at the height of summer, or the exact shade of the green ceramic bathtub, or the smell of the orange and yellow flowers that grew along the front fence during Spring.

You remember the spider webs that always lined the letterbox, the smell of grass clippings and petrol when dad mowed the lawn, and the tree in the backyard you fell from once and fractured your arm.

You recall with clarity the warmth of the clothes line and the way it would sag beneath your sweat-damp hands while you swung from its metal arms.

Or the colour of the shag pile carpet in the room you shared with your brother, and the stain by the bed from the time you tipped over your sister’s favourite nail polish.

 

Regardless of if you’ve lived in a place for decades or mere months, a simple truth remains - as soon as you enter and call it home, it becomes a part of your story.

A cornerstone of your children’s childhoods.

The setting for this salient chapter of your beautiful ordinary life.


 
 This little miss wont always need a morning nap. Now they'll always remember how sweet she looked snuggled up with her lovey in the first room she ever had.

This little miss wont always need a morning nap. Now they'll always remember how sweet she looked snuggled up with her lovey in the first room she ever had.

 

When the Lynch family of Geelong invited me to spend an afternoon with them, they knew I’d be documenting what would become one of their final days in a place they’d long called home. 

Adele and Matt had spent years lovingly breathing life into this gorgeous home, but it was time for a new chapter. 

Knowing their days here were few brought mixed feelings - after all, this was the place where years earlier they’d brought their tiny babies home from the hospital.

They’d learned all about what it meant to be parents within these walls. They’d had sleepless nights and early mornings, witnessed their children learn to walk and talk and become their own little people.

A few months after my visit, this home is no longer theirs. 

Yet they now have this record, a preservation of pictures to share with their children. They’ll tell them about how they once lived in this home, about what it meant to their family. They’ll pass on the memories, their inheritance of history. 

A chapter of their lives, told and kept through precious pictures. 


Here are just a few of the photographs I took for them.


Here is another in-home storytelling session I've photographed recently. Feel free to take a peek. And here are some photographs I've taken of my own children in the bathroom of our home. 

If you're a Geelong family and you'd like me to come and photograph your family in their natural habitat, reach out here. x