Yesterday was the first day of the “America at Home” photo project, a seven-day photo project from Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt. Smolan is a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, best known as the creator of the Day in the Life book series.

The America at Home project consists of seven daily assignments with topics such as “Morning Rush,” “What’s for Dinner,” and “Evening Family Rituals,” aimed at amateur shooters (100 pro photographers will also contribute to the project which will result in a coffee-table book due out in Spring 2008).
Less a photo contest than a photo collective, the project’s goal is to “enable millions of Americans to capture ‘the emotions of home’ including distinctive rituals, ceremonies, traditions, intimate moments and all the myriad ways in which we work, play, learn.”

All submitted photos will be judged by a panel of photo editors, and individuals included in the book will receive a free copy of the book with a custom cover. It’s not much in the way of monetary compensation, but seeing your family in a book may be worth it.

The most interesting part of the project started this morning, a google map of America that lets you click on a state or even city and see what the families and homes look like. At worst a feel-good collection of pets and babies, at best an in-depth illustration of the diversity of American life, “from McMansions to mobile homes, from tree houses to tenement slums, from ranches to old-age homes.”
—Kathleen Davis
Assistant Editor