sam harris – postcards from home

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Sam Harris

Postcards from Home (2008 – 2011)

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Postcards from Home revolves around my domestic life and especially focuses on my two daughters Uma & Yali growing up.

After several nomadic years, we migrated to Australia in 2008. It was with the restrictions of our migration process (keeping me from professional photography and travel) that home life became my only consistent opportunity to photograph and the project was born.

As I witness my daughter’s transformation in what feels like the briefest of moments, I’m compelled to preserve something of our time living together.

An early part of Postcards from Home was previously published on Burn Oct 2009.


Born and raised in the suburbs of south London, Sam Harris is a self-taught photographer. In his late teens he made a home darkroom that he practically lived out of for several years, experimenting nightly whilst listening to records. These passions led him to start freelancing in the London music industry of the early 90s, making album sleeve art. Sam went on to also shoot editorial portraits and features for magazines such as The Sunday Times Magazine, Esquire, Dazed & Confused and Raygun.

In 2002 Harris felt the need to re-evaluate his lifestyle and photographic direction. Together with his wife and small daughter he left London and travelled slowly for several years. During this period Sam began the process of turning his camera inward… In 2008 Sam & family settled in the forests of Western Australia. He now teaches photography and records his family life.

Postcards from Home will be exhibited as part of the Sydney ‘Head On’ photo festival at Global gallery, Paddigton May 6 -15th 2011.

Sam will also be giving two talks at the Head On Seminar – Day 1, 14th May. ‘Transition – From London to the Bush’ and ‘Rock N Roll Photography’, along side Tony Mott, Sophie Howarth & Tali Udovitch.

Related links

Sam Harris


Head On Photo Festival

189 Responses to “sam harris – postcards from home”

  • Been reading a bit around the comments.. I see some can make no connection, the cause seems that they have no kids.. ok.. but.. we ALL have been kids one time or another, all here except for Vissaria who is still in the middle of it.. isn’t that enough to connect?

    Besides that, must we really have been in a situation to be able to relate, to connect? I don’t think that having no children is the problem with this, in this case..

  • Hi Eva :)) !!

    Yes, exactly well said!
    Write to you a little later, I’ve been and I am very busy :)))!!!

    Off to rehab and carrying my camera with out of date film…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am looking everywhere for woods…and with help from my BURNIANS
    and the whole Universe…we are building fires .Voila,we are all set…

    I am singing now…
    Woods on fire…dancing with SAMMY’S postcards !!!

    friends just left ftom civi’s house.I am out of everything:)…therefore food and wine on YOU
    hmmm…all of you cause I am MASSSSS and I eat a lot and I drink a lot,etcetera,etcetera…

  • EVA – excellent post! I’ve never been in a war-torn country, nor needed to live in a motel, nor been a drug addict, nor a million other things I’ve seen in images I’ve connected with.

  • ratio of those that talk about work to those that do the work :o)

    i’ve said too much..

    gone ..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN CREW…I know you are busy BUT it seems that “paper aisle” is on fire…
    I guess…we can all stay here for the night…

  • CIVI CIVI CIVI!!! Greek lessons, right here, right now, at my home, teacher is called Elpiniki!!!

  • Just been announced – Jim Goldberg has been awarded this year’s Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2011. Congratulations Jim!

  • Ops.. sorry, Sam, wrong aisle.. (copyright for this goes to Civi)..


    cheers… i appreciate your comment very much.

    yes, as they get older i think it becomes much more interesting. i have been photographing Uma and Yali, since birth and especially so since leaving london to travel when Uma was not yet 3. it’s difficult as you say ‘the most important moments can be overtly obvious and cliched’. thats the biggest challenge for me, that and a repetitive environment… the ratio is slim because of that… i always feel like i’ve run out of possible shots… until the next new one comes along : )) (moving house would help freshen things up too) so, yes it’s a continuous challenge…

    all the best to you, i look forward to seeing your series with Felix


    time giver! whenever i’m in india time seems to have a different value, elastic…

  • Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2011
    If I EVER present anything like may cut off my fucking thumbs.
    And NO! I do not give a shit what your take on this is…or who you are.
    Framers intent…that means you too.

  • If you are not willing to have the courage of your convictions…..DONT HAVE CONVICTIONS..have opinions.

  • Whoa, john g, what’s up?

  • DAH, Anton, I like having all comments on the same page, but I can barely even access Hot or not anymore, and my computer locked up when I tried to post on it. Burn has been loading veerryy slowly for a few weeks now.

  • Thanks Michael K. Still not getting it. I live way deep in the woods.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Goodmorning BURNIANS…

    EVA…ΕΛΠΙΝΙΚΗ(her nameday is on 1st of September)…you are in good hands.
    tell her : kali mou daskala,filia from Grecolandia=my dear teacher kisses from greece;
    me agapi= with love !!!

    IMANTS…we follow you! share some beers and farts with SAMMY when you two meet;)

    GORDON…please,bring some woods…MR.HARVEY said to keep the fire going…hmmm…
    BUT my connection is slow… like a snail on my door;)

    and as JOHNG says…convictions ~ I LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLLL

    Keep Shooting…I am gonna BURN this place down…where can I find a Xylopolist…any ideas?hmmm

  • Civi.. fraula, piato, macheri, piruni.. I think.. only words I still remember this morning.. I must write everything down, but with my scribbling, not with your hieroglyphics.. too much for my old brain!!

    Paul, wanted to ask, how did the shooting go?

    Feels wrong to write here though..

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA(WOWWW)…you are a fast learner!

    we are at SAMMY’S place…
    Postcards from home…home is wherever your heart is …
    hmmm…since my heart is Here and There…I am not gonna BURN this place down…afterall:)))

  • Eva…
    Feels odd writing here but I can’t open paper is hot on mobile so my appologies to Sam and his family :))…
    Well everything that could go wrong went wrong…bu i suspected this would happen but anyway here’s the list of cock-ups it’s amazing my persistantce in keeping on that night…
    My brother-in-law lent me his automatic car no buses working at 2:00am, so i drove into city and spent exactly 1 hour and 15 mins looking for a car space, remember i used to drive a van round this city so i know EVERY parking trick there…but nothing so i had to park on the outskirts of town…and it usually takes 10 mins on a bad day to find a car space :)
    I was now at least an hour late with 40 min walk with one crutch I haven’t walked with one crutch in the last 18 months for more than 15 mins per day…
    So i was slightly worried and nervous, luckily equipment wise i went with one camera one lens and one flash so really light…
    I finally arrived in Pain big PAINand it’s 7:00 pm and this was meant to last till round 2:00am!!!
    So anyway I started shooting but pain was bad bad so I did an MW and got 2 cans of beer and decided to relax…
    And i did relax but pain was always a constant reminder and i shot with my 1dsII in one hand of camera flash in the other.
    Well the actual celebration /procession was very subdued too much, nothing like what i linked here for Jeff. So it was very difficult to get anything outstanding…so i concentrated on the fringes and the mood…and kept on till the end
    but i must admit i havent looked yet at the images…and then the walk back to the car was pathetic but fuck the foot i never give up

  • a civilian-mass audience

    “He is able who thinks he is able.”

    to PAUL …”I never give up” !!! GO BURNIANS,GO BURN…we never give up…
    easy for me to say…I have olive oil,chickens and wine…civilian’s home is ready for more people!!!


  • Paul… OUCH! Next time, take a cab!! You do have them over there, yes? Let the pics sit.. and there’s the next event coming up soon.. and then another, and another..

    Civi, how comes I can’t find a V in your alphabet?? ευχαριστώ :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    EVA ,your name is Εὐα,EYA…
    got to blame the Ancient Greeks for this digraph,double vowels “ευ/EY”
    hiii…V…we don’t have V…cause we lost our Vision…:)
    BUT we use B instead…or sometimes the double ευ

    P.S…we have a small v…which is our N…Nἰκη!
    παρακαλὠ;) oime

  • a civilian-mass audience


    ΥΑLI = YAΛΙ …means glass


    VIVA = BIBA…etcetera…:)))

  • Eva…
    The problem was the streets were cutoff for the Easter Procession so no Taxis. Oh and Taxi fare home is the same as a good photobook …just ordered Anders Petersens ”Cafe Leimitz”. Enjoying ”Half life” a lot… Hoping to print your photo sometime this week if kids on holiday, rehab and domestic chores let me.

  • Paul, I’m sorry to read about your disappointments, especially after you did the yeoman’s work in terms of prep, planning…and parking. It was a similar situation for me; my take on the 12 Stations turned out to be banal and derivative. For me, the only consolation was the realization that my efforts were banal and derivative…

    Putting it in context with Sam’s essay, the idea of photographing events in one’s backyard is an enriching experience. It doesn’t contain the romance or excitement of shooting new stuff in a foreign setting – or working a fresh happening for the first time. What happens in our everyday world changes just as much in front of our eyes as much as putting ourselves in a different environment. Unfortunately for you and me, there was no dead rabbit at hand, or in hand.

    Marc Davidson, Bob Black:

    The Cherry blossoms in High Park are expected to peak this weekend. I’ll try to get there for Saturday; perhaps we’ll bump into each other.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    BURN CREW…ANTON,HAIK,ANNA-MARIE…give me more names…
    THANK YOU …THANK YOU…it’s working…
    you are one photo…you are 1000 words!!!
    MR.HARVEY…keep shooting…the BURN is BURNING…

    LOVEEEEEEEE…and credit where credit is due …

    SAMMY…SAM HARRIS…thank you for opening your home…now,I am going back to my aisle…!!!But always your civi:)

    Keep BURNING…keep shooting…MASSIVE love !!!
    I am the happiest civilian

  • SAM,

    Okay, gotta get Felix’s shoes and jacket on soon and off to daycare. It’s those struggles that are mundane but terribly real that are the most difficult to record, esp as one always seems to be in the middle of it. And you are so right about the repetitive nature – at least I feel I’m keeping in practice with the M9 between real assignments even if the actual pics are only for my (and family’s) ingestion.

    But I think Eva’s point is the most poignant one yet – let us never forget in our dealings with the world and other beings that we were ALL children at one time – vulnerable, curious, sad, happy, naive, independent, needy, and so on. I liken Felix at two to a drunken sailor – sprawled on the floor crying for Mama one minute and singing shanties the next. It’s that unshackled being that I love and fascinates….

    Yes, a change in space would help the interest level of the photos! :) Especially a change to a land of sunshine! No such thing here in Seattle….



  • a civilian-mass audience

    CHARLES…you have SUNSHINE…look mate…
    can you see? it’s in your home…;)

    yes,EVA…got it right…that’s why I love our BURNIAN LADIES …!

    back to SAMMY…

  • Yes, of course you are right CIVI!! :):) And now, as a bonus, it’s even coming through the windows!

  • GLADDY – not sure what you meant with the comment directed at me? Jim won the DB and I was just sharing the news and congratulating him on it. The DB matters little to me personally – not only would I never be in the running for it, I’m also pretty bored by it. Still, the cash must come in handy for Jim so, in that sense, it was a good prize for him.

    CIVI – watch out – I’m planning a London trip for soonish! ;-P

  • Paul,

    I am very sorry that things did not work out for your Easter shoot. I greatly admire your persistence and determination! (plus, beer is good medicine :-)

  • Framers. no not directed at you. or mr goldberg.

  • I read all what has been written. After so many comments and opinions it s difficult to add anything new. I can only say this is a great work, full of emotion. Me and my wife have no kids but this kind of photos really gave us a joyful time. Bravo Sam !
    PS And as amateur photographer a lot to learn, as very oft on Burn!

  • the rules say nothing about eliminating previously exhibited/published work..we only ask if shown elsewhere for our own information/education , but at no point do we infer that it would be excluded from consideration…many works entered and shown have been previously published or exhibited…

  • David… are you referring to my blog post?
    if so, i think there is a misunderstanding. i was talking about the rules of the Olive Cotton Award which does not permit previously exhibited images.

    cheers, sam

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