Jesse Rieser – Starting Over
“This is a story about transition. About the things we lose, and the memories we keep.
In 2009, my parents, Rob and Stephanie Rieser, left Springfield, Missouri, for suburban Phoenix, forced to find work in a new city when the economy in our hometown faltered. The photographs in this new series document their last days in the home in which, for 23 years, they raised three sons, hosted countless family holidays, planted gardens, decorated rooms, and built a life. I capture my Mom and Dad packing to leave Missouri, striving to personalize their new home in Arizona, and marking a family milestone under a new roof. Watching them fix up their new house reminds me that they are a team, one with remarkable energy and affection after 35 years of marriage.
I loved our Springfield house not for its bricks and gardens, doors and stairs, but for the home my parents made it. I saw it as a refuge, a familiar constant for my brothers and myself. When my parents left that home to start over in Arizona, I felt like my childhood ended. While the photos in this series are intimate, they are universal in their illustration of vulnerability and apprehension, optimism and love. They represent the fragility of housing and employment, and the strength of family and commitment.”