29 June 2020

Preserving Precious Memories of a Childhood Home

29 June 2020 - Written by PhMuseum

In a series combining photography, found objects, and archival material, Saara Tuominen embarks on a journey to explore the links between her family’s past, her memories, and her father’s childhood home.

When documentary photographer Saara Tuominen stepped in an old house in a village in rural Finland, she stepped into her family’s collective memory. ”I laid on our deck and watched the waves beneath through the cracks. As I pressed my cheek against the wood to see closer, I blocked the sunlight and my reflection was swallowed by darkness.”

An ongoing photo project I saw my own reflection is about a personal journey I took to find links between my family’s past, my memories and my father’s childhood home. The project is a collection of photography, found objects and archive material. The old house was the last place where my family had stored all our memories. It had boxes of photos and letters from my late grandfather who I never got to meet, diary entries and artwork from my childhood and documents that taught me unprecedented things about the past. My parents decided to renovate the place after years of it serving as a storage space. This was my last chance to go through the past. I worked on this project during my time in DMJX with guidance from Søren Pagter. In this selection of photos from my project are some symbolic shots trying to illustrate what happened to me beneath the surface.

Words and Pictures by Saara Tuominen.


Saara Tuominen is a Finnish photojournalist and documentarist working on both commission and personal projects as well as teaching photography classes. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Photojournalism and is working on her Master's in Visual Journalism. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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