I began this project with the intention of linking family connections to whitstable however when trying to find effective ways in producing this I found it difficult and hit a wall several times. As I was talking to my mum and dad about all the past homes that we had lived it and that they had lived in I began to find my project.
I wanted to look at my childhood homes and all the memories I have of those places. Good and bad. In a way this project was a hurdle for me because it became clear that for this to be as effective as I wanted it to be I had to reveal all the good and bad things that i wen through as a child. Witnessing the events that I have has in my eyes made me a stronger person and made me aware that at the end of the day even though my mum was mixed in with the wrong people (not all of them) she did everything she could to protect us kids, give us a better life and a place to call home.
Yes there were many homes that we lived in until we found our “forever” home but at that point i had got old enough to move out and live my life and start it in a way.
I was asked who my audience was and as I’ve thought about it I realised I have three audiences. It’s for people who have been in my mums position and have thought maybe my kids won’t remember this when in fact they do. you’d be surprised by how my information a young kid can retain. My second audience is my mum, showing her that I do remember and I don’t hate her for it. It’s life really. I wouldn’t have changed it at all. I would rather go through it all again because then I know it’s real life not everything is rainbows. This is a way to connect with my mum.
My relationship with my mum has been strained. Better in the recent years but definitely difficult when I hit my teens and until I moved out at the age of 19.
There got to a point where I didn’t talk to my mum for a good 4 months. But after I moved out I realised it wasn’t just my mum in the wrong I was too however when you’re a teen you try to rebel and prove your always right even if you’re wrong. Now when it came to my mum and I arguing we’re both so stubborn so we try to make our point no matter what it is. In the recent months I’ve grown up a lot and realised all the stuff my mum used to say to me such as “you’ll be saying sorry one day when you have your own kids” now I used to be like no I wont. However ever since living with my partner and his 7 year old daughter, all the stuff my mum used to say to me as a kid and the rules she would set I now couldn’t thank her enough. She was right I did turn around to her and say sorry for all the things I said to her. I don’t know how she was able to care for 4 kids under the age of 5 when I sometimes struggle with a child that isn’t mine and is 7.
Anyway I’m babbling.
The third and finally audience is myself. This is a therapy in a way for me. I’ve bottled up so much in my life and haven’t really had anyone to talk to about it even my mum. Some things are a sensitive subject to my mum such as my dad, the past and some general stuff and I’ve never really let it out so this project is my way in speaking out and letting people into my personal life a lot more than what I would like but I wouldn’t go back and re do it.
I used the printing service YOPHOTO in tunbridge wells when creating my books. I had used them previously for my portfolio and was so impressed with the quality and service from start to finish.
Once placing my order it was made and dispatched the next day and arrived the day after.
Even when I had messed up and forgotten to upload the file they marked it as urgent and still sent it out in good time. I couldn’t praise them enough.
I was really struggling in trying to make this project personal and thats what i wanted so i began looking at my childhood homes and all the good and bad memories i have of those places.
But even though i found that it was a real challenge for me. Ive always kept my past quite hidden especially when i was a child and i think I’ve finally hit that point in my life where i want to let people in. all my life I’ve shut people out only because it was easier for me with the amount of people that have been in and out of my life.
so i began opening up and writing my story. revealing all the good and bad memories in my childhood homes, ranging from witnessing men throwing themselves through our glass front door, being round people who did recreational drugs, seeing my mum with new blokes every so often, witnessing people leave as quickly as they had entering our lives to having late nights up with mum and her friends eating sweets, constantly being round people, playing in the back garden with my brother and sisters.
I wanted this project to be a lot more personal and open that all the rest and i may not have told my whole story i will gradually but it is a challenge and it is difficult to do.
So before going out and taking these pictures I had help from my mum. She went through the houses in order and even with some who used to live next to us etc.
From some of the recent ones I remember quite a bit but some of the earlier ones I’m oblivious.
So I began looking on google maps for all the houses some were. Some i knew anyway from memory but others i had no clue where they were.
below are the contact sheets on the google map images and all the images i shot and edited.
So this is where it all started. This is my mom and dad. When I really think about it, they are why I am me. I get my calm, laid back demeanor and phenomenal mothering skills from my mom, of course. Then my dad contributes to my wit and DIY abilities. Their home was definitely a loving and fun environment. I often hung out with them on Friday nights well into my teens. I’m fortunate enough to still have them both and probably don’t visit them nearly as often as I should (I’m gonna work on that)
My brothers are 10 and 12 years older than me. Yes I was an accident and I’m okay with that 🙂 In fact, upon news of my arrival, my dad walked around pretty mad for a while (since it was all my mom’s fault of course), until he finally muttered to her, “It better be a girl.” (Again, entirely up to her) Good thing it worked out. Because there was such a huge age difference, we actually got along just fine…well like 92% of the time. When they got driver’s licenses, they would take me swimming and to places like Chuck E. Cheese and would let me sit on their laps and drive (surprise Mom and Dad!) It really wasn’t a bad deal. Despite the age gap, we’re pretty close and have more inside jokes than I could ever count.
Koleman Rosenberg is a freelance photographer based in Montor, Ohio. He shoots photographs in the Cleveland an Northeast Ohio area primary, but is available for travel to other locations. Koleman is also the director and an instructor in the Cleveland photographic society, fundamentals of good photography school.
“The camera serves as a portal for me to view common sites in an uncommon way. It enables me to see, and point out to others, the beauty, irony, interest, humour and sometimes the ugliness of the world we live in. I hope my images bring a realisation to others that common things in life are often worth more than a glance, they are often worth a second glance”