I’m participating in a WordPress’ Daily Post Blogging U’s Photography 101 course. My photography has waned for a while, and I wanted to rekindle my passion for the hobby. I have done self-directed photo-a-week and photo-a-day challenges in the past but this one would be different. I am forced to photograph on a the theme and timeline set by someone else.

The Photography 101 challenge for today is based on the word “Home”. What does home look like to you? That’s the question that was asked for the assignment.

That one word has so many meanings. Home can be a physical place. For some people it’s a house, a work place, a country or village. Home can also be conceptual. It can be a group of people, a single person, or just a particular mental space one creates for a way of being.

For me coming up with a photo for the blog post will be a challenge. To make it personal I want a photo that represents what home means to me. For me it’s both a group of people — my wife and kids — and a nostalgic feeling for the place where I spent my early youth — the island of Bequia in the West Indies.

I won’t be hopping on a plane and taking a trip from Princeton to Bequia today. Being at work all day I may not have the time to take a photo of my family.

On the drive to work this morning my mind struggled to find a way to capture the concept of “family as home”. What does it mean that my family is home. Is is because my family creates a safe space for me to be? Is it because we have created (are creating) shared memories? What is it?

Home, NIKON D5100 20140928 2250 1024x673

Before my kids, my wife was my family. And before that, my relatives — Dad, Mom, and two younger brothers. But now, family is extended to sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws and nieces and nephews. But is that home? For this post, home will be defined as my wife, my son and my daughter.

By the time I got to the office I had an idea of how I would approach this challenge. Since I can’t capture sandy beaches and the joy of eating ripe tropical fruit picked fresh from the tree, I will bring you my family.

My challenge is, what photo can I use that captures my definition of home? It’s late fall. The sun goes down at 4:30 and I don’t leave work until after 5PM. It will be dark when I arrive home. Outdoor photography will be a challenge. My kids will have homework.

My first concept was to use the park near our home and so a portrait of us at magic hour. We would each bring our favourite object. Right now for my wife and daughter that would be a book. My daughter would most like have one of the favourite Harry Potter novels or maybe the one she’s reading now. My wife likes vampire romances. My son and I are screen junkies. He would most likely have his Nintendo DS and I would have my iPad. I would have us sit in a row each holding our object in front our faces, just enough to cover the mouth and nose with eyes looking down intently at the object. I would light the scene either from behind using the late afternoon sun and use fill flash at the front or use the golden light. I would shoot at f/4 on my Nikon D5100 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 (127mm in 35mm film format) making sure that the eyes are in sharp focus.

My challenge is, what photo can I use that captures my definition of home? It’s late fall. The sun goes down at 4:30 and I don’t leave work until after 5PM. It will be dark when I arrive home. Outdoor photography will be a challenge. So I have opted instead to use a photo I already have in my catalog.