NOTE: At the time of writing (Oct 30th 2018) it’s not yet translated to english, but google translate does a reasonably good job…
I was delighted, most honoured and grateful to have Wallpaper Magazine recently review my new book The Middle of Somewhere. Wallpaper is known as the global authority on design, so it was quite a special occasion to have them review the book!
The Middle of Somewhere is a numbered edition of 600.
I’m most honoured and grateful to have this image selected by Instagram as one of eight photos as they look back on 2014…
Truly a global community… I’m quite amazed that Instagram selected this photograph as part of their looking back at 2014 feature. It’s wonderful to know that i can take photos from my daily life here in Balingup, a remote part of Australia, a remote part of the world… and yet photo editors in New York and San Francisco see them and pay attention. Thank you Instagram!
If you’d like to see more of my on-going photo diary, you can follow me @samharrisphoto
Thanks and hope to see you there!!
A few weeks ago, ace movie maker Ruslan Kulski from ABC Open came for an afternoon visit with his camera and some questions… It was great talking with him and showing him around. The result is this 3 minute doco
Los Angeles’ Duncan Miller Gallery has featured one of my images on their innovative Your Daily Photograph, print collection sale. ‘Uma, bubble gum’ was selected by curator and photography commentator Alison Sieven-Taylor. Alison’s weekly blog Photojournalism Now has a wide international readership and her writing appears in a variety of leading photography magazines.
Last week i was invited to shoot for Burn Diary over on Instagram. Burn Diary is the Instagram feed featured by Burn Magazine. One photographer takes over for 7 days from anywhere in the world and is given total freedom to shoot whatever they want. I had a lot of fun shooting from home. I also felt the pressure!. I shoot all the time, so there is no issue with that, but the fast editing and decision-making is quite different to my regular work flow. I can always edit other people’s work quite easily but with my own work it’s not so simple… These days i tend to shoot for months without ever reviewing (or even thinking about) what i’ve got. Then when i feel the time is right, i’ll spend a few weeks going over all my material. I enjoy the distance this creates between myself and my work, it helps me to be more objective and less attached. Of course this is not the case shooting and posting on Instagram which is quite spontaneous and fast, but i would not normally post more than 3 images in a week. Burn Diary’s only requirement is that you post a minimum of two images every 24 hours. So it kept me pretty busy…
Below are my favorite images from my week in the hot seat.
A couple of weeks ago i had the honor of having my latest essay The Middle of Somewhere published on Burn Magazine. It’s always a special occasion for me when i can finally share a new series. Spanning 2011-2013 it’s been a slow process… from the day-to-day shooting (i’m almost always shooting) to the various edits (usually starts by thinking about a book layout, pairs, sequences etc.) then refining the book edit (some 80-90 images) down to a tighter magazine essay.
Like so many things, it is worth the wait. I like to have some distance between myself and my images, to detach myself emotionally to get the edit right. I usually rely on some outside help too. Yael my wife is always involved with editing. Last May whilst i was over in Sydney i had to good fortune to spend a couple of days going over a huge pile of prints with the talented photo editor Isabelle Rouvillois. Isabelle offer a much-needed ruthless outsiders eye.
David Alan Harvey, Magnum photographer and Curator at Burn also provided a further edit, tightening my 29 images down to 22 and re-arranging parts of the sequence. The result is a flow of images i am very happy with.
This work continues my personal diary of home life where Postcards from Home left off. The Middle of Somewhere is the next chapter… you can check it our over on Burn Magazine here.
Crazy… recently my following on Instagram jumped from 350 to 20,000 within 2 weeks!
At first i wondered what was going on. Then i recieved an email from Instagram:
“Congratulations, samharrisphoto! You are currently featured on Instagram’s list of Suggested Users. Our Suggested Users List is a dynamic list that highlights some of the top photographers on Instagram… …Being on the Suggested Users List means that we love your account and see you as a model Instagrammer.”
Recently i was invited to join in a global project around the exhibition Home Truths, curated by Susan Bright and on show at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, The Foundling Museum, London and The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.
I was asked to do a virtual residency and takeover the The Photographers’ Gallery Instagram feed for 7 days, sharing my domestic diary and bringing a father’s perspective to this wonderful project.
Below are a few images from my residency. You can see the rest of my Instagrams as well as the other photographers shooting for the Home Truths Instagram Takeover at The Photographers’ Gallery Instagram feed here
Celebrated Chinese art-photo magazine Photoworld has run a 13 page feature on Postcards from Home in their February edition. This is one of 12 monthly features on the works of contemporary Australian photomedia artists, curated and written by Alasdair Foster.
below are a few pages from the article, including some new images from the forthcoming series ‘the middle of somewhere’
Recently i’ve been featured in two noteworthy Australian publications. Capture Magazine and Alasdair Foster’s Cultural Development Consulting website.
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Alasdair Foster is an international curator and consultant. He has 20 years’ experience heading national arts institutions in Europe and Australia such as the Australian Center for Photography (1998 – 2011). On Alasdair’s website Cultural Development Consulting he features a different artist every month. I was very humbled by his appraisal of my work.
Here’s a few lines from Alasdair’s feature.
“We stand on the cusp of change. The metropolitan, cosmopolitan marketplace of authorised, commoditised art is beginning to seem like yesterday and, sensing a new, subtler and more highly individuated language of creative communication ahead, we look towards an uncertain tomorrow. Sam Harris may well be there to greet us when we arrive.”
To read the full feature please click here.
INTERVIEW IN CAPTURE
Editor of Capture, Marc Gafen did an in-depth interview with me and used it for the basis of his piece. He’s covered how i first got into photography and made my first home darkroom, through my career in London and why i had to leave it all behind to follow a different path, the evolution of my recent work in Australia, Postcards from Home… and how i’ve managed to create a niche for myself whilst living remotely…
TO READ THIS FEATURE AT FULL SIZE PLEASE DOUBLE CLICK ON THE IMAGES
PIX & BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Recently i’ve been fortunate to have a variety of work published and exhibited in India…
PIX is a photographic quarterly based in Delhi. Each issue is based on a theme with poetry to accompany the photography (as well as photographers text). This issue’s theme is Freedom. I really enjoyed the design and layout, content and feel of this magazine/catalogue, nice paper… texture and weight… something i miss with digital… also of course some very nice photography… I think it’s well worth downloading yourself a free copy of the PDF version from this link: http://www.pixquarterly.in/PIX%20Freedom_ALL%20mail.pdf
To accompany the magazine there was an exhibition and magazine launch at the Goethe Institute in Delhi.
I was asked to contribute some of my early diary work (2003-04) from my family travels in India and Australia. Photographically this was a period of transition for me, a time when i began turning my camera inwards and challenging myself to move away from the habits and formulas i’d developed over the years…
The Routineless Routine Exhibited at The Goethe Institute
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE
I also had the opportunity to write about these experiences further when i was asked by Better Photography Magazine (India) to write an article about my experiences in India. If you’d like to read it please click on the image.
BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE
15th Anniversary Issue
To read the article below just click on the image to open and enlarge.
Pro Photo magazine have published an interview i recently did with Lyndal Irons for Head On about Postcards from Home and my photographic journey, how i started out and how i ended up living in remote rural Australia…
Birthmark on the Map is a Siberian based photo-blog featuring rural lifestyles from around the world. I’ve been invited to be their first foreign guest author with Postcards from Home.
Valery Klamm contacted me, passionate about photography and building bridges… he’s a photographer, writer and photo event producer living in Novosibirisk, Siberia, Russia.
In 2009 he began the photo blog Birthmark on the Map “Initially aimed at capturing daily life of the Novosibirsk region (small points on the map – villages, little towns), it is now turning into a rural Russia’ visual archive”. In the same year he was co-curator/producer of the photo blogs off-line break through ‘WE’, an exibition from Photopolygon (citizen photojournalists’ community) . WE is now traveling around the whole of Russia. The following year he started the Novosibirsk ‘Story-Tellers Photo Festival’.
Recently Valery decided it was time to start building bridges to other parts of the world, to take the Birthmark idea further and look for similarities of ‘rural-deep life’ elsewhere… I’m honored that Valery decided to contact me to be a part of ‘building bridges’ with his new section Birthmark on the Globe.
Below are some excerpts of work published by Birthmark on the Map photographers Valery Klamm, Alexander Kustov and Igor Lagunov…
I’m happy to share some of the photography from Birthmark on the Map and help ‘build bridges’ : ))
MASLYATA by Valery Klamm
Pictures from the life of adoptive families taken in the villages of Maslyanino, Elban’, Mamonovo and in the orphanage summer house for labor and vacations “Khomutina”. The name of “Khomutina” summer house comes from the Russian word “khomut” which means a horse’s collar: the house is at the bend of Berd’ river curving as a collar.
A man who was brought up in Maslyanino Children’s Home (official name for orphanages in Soviet Russia) together with its inmates, boys and girls, has built on Khomutina’s territory Dobrushka’s (Gooddy) Home which looks like a big starling-house, fixed on a birch-tree over the fence.
This is a magic place where the Kind Spirit lives and he makes children’s dreams come true. Some of them dream of families, parents, homes of their own. Others say they don’t need it. Maslyanino Children’s Home was established in 1942, when children from the Blockaded Leningrad arrived to Maslyanino, the main town of the district.
A few years ago there were more than 120 inmates in this Children’s Home, now there are 55 of them. The orphaned figures go down – some children have been adopted others have been taken to patronizing families. The champion in the number of adoptive families is the oldest village of the district – Elban’. More than a halve of the first-form pupils in the local school live in adoptive families. The Tashkins family is now bringing up four first-form adopted girls. People take care not only of the local orphans. The Head of Local Elban’ Administration and his wife have adopted a boy from Togutchin Children’s Home: they just saw his picture in a newspaper and decided “he is ours”!
Children’s Homes’ inmates live with dramatic past, complicated present and vague future. Will they force their way through asphalt, will they break to the happiness in their lives? Or has the life already put a yoke on them? They get used to the commune life, they are self-dependant and sometimes tough but they turn towards the warmth. The youngest by all means lead the grown-up visitors by the hand. Adoption is the reloading of a child’s life program and fate. But the process is neither simple nor quick. Adoptive parents must be ready, and readiness here means patience and love.
When the Khomutina’s head Tatyana Yerokhina has to separate fighting children she tells them: you are just different. When adoptive parents lack patience and do not realize that all children are different an awful thing may happen: children come back to the Children’s Home. One restless little girl was sent back because she broke the parrot’s tail and spoiled her mother’s expensive cosmetics.
A practical man of about 12 years old lives in the village of Mamonovo in the family of Irina Sevastyanovna Kuzmenko. He was the one who forced his foster-grand-mother to adopt other children to their family. He said: Granny, our hut is big enough, let it be home for someone else. So they did and there is enough space and kindness for everybody.
Let all the children find their home and Dobrushka (Gooddy) bless all of us.
Maslyanino District, Novosibirsk Region, July 2008.
“Maslyata” photo session was committed by the Regional Centre for Development of Family Ways of Adaptation for Orphans and Children Devoid of their Parents’ Caring.
The exhibition “Maslyata” toured all over the Novosibirsk region. Each time at the opening of the exhibition the specialists will be present who can answer any question concerning the items of juridical terms, psychological difficulties and the procedure of adoption and guardianship.
VIEW THE FULL ESSAY: http://rodinki.newsib.ru/post//38/
Valery Klamm firstname.lastname@example.org
From the series NOCITY (a long-term personal project captured in villages near the author’s native one, Krasnoyarsk region, Siberia)
ALEXANDER KUSTOV’S FULL SERIES – http://rodinki.newsib.ru/post//59/
From the series COUNTRY TOPICS captured in rural Altay (South Siberia) and Ural Mountains
IGOR LAGUNOV’S FULL SERIES – http://rodinki.newsib.ru/post//67/
The World Institute of Slowness cites Postcards from Home as inspiration… I think what they stand for is extremely relevant in today’s world. Geir Berthelsen writes about ‘slow photography for a slow revolution’ here.
Postcards from Home is on Burn Magazine. I have been utterly humbled by the response… Working away in relative isolation, as i do, it’s an odd experience to actually put the work out there and to receive such feedback. To have the opportunity to share insights and reflections…
The community at Burn have always been a source of inspiration for me. The generous spirit (a few months ago one photographer actually gave away a Nikon D200 he no longer used to a practical stranger) that surely is an echo of David Alan Harvey‘s own generous spirit. Always helping others, giving his valuable personal time, helping with editing and mentoring photographers from across the planet and sharing his tremendous wealth of experience. The man is a human dynamo, with an infectious enthusiasm for photography and life!
So, thanks Burn and David for giving me the opportunity to share my evolving personal work…
The Sunday Telegraph Magazine (UK) recently published a feature about our experience traveling with children and the choice to change our lifestyle. Below is the original text by Amy Raphael.
By Amy Raphael
The last time I saw Sam Harris, just under a decade ago, we were in a helicopter buzzing above north London with John Lydon. Harris, squeezed into a corner of the helicopter, was taking photos of a tense and pale Lydon. The former Sex Pistol was not, it turned out, a relaxed passenger. Around the same time, I interviewed Jarvis Cocker in Holland Park. The former Pulp frontman had discovered nature and Sam snapped him lying around on the grass and feeding ducks in a stagnant pond.
Cocker might have considered a central London park to be a perfect place for getting back to nature, but Sam wasn’t so sure. It was the start of a new century and he was talking of travelling to remote places. Still, I had no idea – and neither did he – that he’d end up living deep in a forest in south-west Western Australia. For the last three years Sam, his wife Yael and their two daughters have lived in a solar passive house with a modern composting toilet. They rely on the rain for their water supply. The girls pick fresh vegetables from the garden and live, quite happily, without a television.
The photos Sam now takes are not of eccentric rock stars but of his family and their immediate environment. The digital age allows him to use his laptop as both dark room and office; he can upload images onto his website and share his life with the world from the depths of the forest. Since leaving London, he has slowly and carefully recorded his family’s adventures on film; the everyday images are intimate, loving, funny, fascinating and, best of all, spontaneous.
The unusual aspect of Sam’s growing body of images – that amount to a kind of visual diary – is the amount of time he can now spend capturing family moments. “Kids grow up so quickly. You get used to them being one age and mind frame, you blink and they’ve changed. It sounds clichéd, but you want time to stop for an instant so you can cherish each period of their lives.”
Many dream of escaping the city – but few actually do it and even fewer do it so boldly. Sam says that everything changed when his first daughter, Uma, was born on New Year’s Eve in 1999. He started to question his lifestyle. Should he and Yael bring their child up in a first-floor flat in London? As a successful photographer working for Esquire and Dazed & Confused, he worried about only spending fleeting moments with his child. “Would I spend two hours every Sunday pushing Uma on a swing in the local park? How could that ever be enough?”
He went to Tahiti to take photographs at a tattoo festival and had an epiphany. “There were hippies and freaks everywhere and I thought, ‘I could be here with the family.’ Their non-conformist way of looking at life made me look at my own lifestyle as a parent.” Both Sam and Yael are peripatetic. Sam was brought up in London but has always travelled with work; Yael was brought up on a kibbutz in Israel. They met in Tel-Aviv on a photo shoot through their respective jobs in the music industry – Sam as a photographer, Yael as a record label PR Manager – and travelled briefly to India as a couple.
When Uma was born, Sam and Yael talked and talked: could they uproot themselves, leave behind family and friends and go travelling? And, if they did, would they ever return? At the end of 2001, when Uma was two, they went to India for six weeks to “dip our toes in the water”. Sam was confident about travelling in India, but concerned about doing so with a small child. “India obviously isn’t like a European country in terms of facilities. So we headed to Goa because it’s commercial and easy. But, after a week or two, Goa felt too restrictive. We wanted to go further – let the lead loose.” ’ Yael adds: ‘India is an amazing place for kids because they are sacred. Indians will not harm a child.’
In 2002, after the trip to India gave them confidence to leave London, they bought three one-way tickets to the other side of the world. “We were happy to go wherever fate took us,” says Sam simply. They travelled around India again then, in August 2003, flew to Australia and bought a campervan. Three hours south of Perth they came across the small town of Balingup, with its cosmopolitan mix of 70s hippies and local farmers, and instantly felt as though they’d found their new home. “It sounds crazy,” says Sam, laughing, “but people around here say that you don’t choose Balingup, Balingup chooses you.”
They didn’t make their home in Balingup straight away. Yael, pregnant with their second child, wanted to give birth in a small village in India with which they had fallen in love with on an earlier trip. By this point she had lost what she refers to as her “western mindset” and was fully immersed in Indian culture. Rejecting local hospitals with their “medieval torture rooms”, Yael instead chose a primitive health centre. “There was a power cut and so the emergency lights came on. Sister Priscilla, the midwife, was a jokey nun who had put up a sign saying: ‘Smile, don’t worry, nothing will happen’. Yali was born after a 40 minute labour and I felt so relaxed; you have to change your western mindset and just go with anything and everything.”
What is striking about Sam and Yael is not their modern hippie attitude to life, but their happiness. They have taken a huge risk by walking away from their old lives, from a familiar lifestyle and secure jobs. They do miss family and friends. Yet they have few regrets. Most of all, they are content about how Uma and Yali are living a basic life with basic needs. Yael says that Uma was stunned to discover running water on a trip to Israel; when the family flew to Australia from India and went to a supermarket for the first time in months, they found themselves staring in disbelief at the endless rows of cereal. “We’ve got a photo of Uma surrounded by all this… stuff. It was a real culture shock.”
Apart from living a life without relatively little ‘stuff’, Uma and Yali, now 6 and 10, are flourishing in a secure family unit with both parents around. They have learned – and it is this of which I am most envious – how to live in the moment. They understand their real needs: a roof over their heads and simple, local food. They go to a school in Balingup with 42 other children and have access to all the individual help they may need. Uma is already excited about high school; there are several half an hour to an hour’s drive away.
Yael says that Uma in particular, having spent so much time in India, is accepting of everyone. “She has seen people who are blind or missing a leg, who live in poverty and who mingle with animals. Both girls respect others unconditionally, which is a really important value to Sam and me.” Most parents in the western world are endlessly consumed by guilt: they don’t see enough of their kids; the time they do spend with them is full of distractions. Sam and Yael were determined to do it differently. Unlike most, they turned their dream into a reality and are now passionate about their new life. “I am not lecturing to anyone,” says Yael, laughing gently. “What we’ve done isn’t for everyone. All I can say is that if you let yourself do this big switch in your head, you’ll gain so much more out of an experience like this.”
Amy Raphael writes for Elle and Esquire