It used to be thrilling being on the ground in-country, stepping into new cultures and – most importantly – meeting new people. We’ve learned that walking around with our cameras, making eye contact and smiling is often all that’s needed to start a conversation. Our cameras are keys which – if we ask politely — got us welcomed into strangers’ homes.

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Our work as documentary photographers has us working in locations around the world. We focus on women’s issues, children’s issues, the alleviation of poverty and, most recently, the global refugee crisis.

Our HOMES Series is exactly that: people everywhere in the world in the comfort of their own home. Homes (not houses, mind you) are supposed to give solace, protection and serenity. It doesn’t matter if the structure is lavish or humble, to the occupants it’s their refuge from the outside world.

Home is where most everyone wishes to be but today millions of displaced people – refugees – no longer have homes. After fleeing conflict and persecution, millions of refugees are being detained in camps for months or years hoping for safety and asylum.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) calls the current refugee crisis “the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time”. These 65 million refugees are human beings – men, women, children – and not merely faceless statistics. These individuals are not just numbers. These individuals matter.

More info: huangmenders.com

Granton demonstrates the web system he installed that allows him to fix the thatched roof of his home from the inside – Kerembei Village, Maewo Island, Vanuatu

Salome does her homework in the used parts store of her parents, Carlos Marino and Monica. The family lives above the shop. – Armenia, Colombia

Daniela and her daughter, Clarena in their home. – Armenia, Colombia

Jhon Faber inside his family’s kitchen. – Armenia, Colombia

Mary and Raymond, with their children, Ranson and Alex, inside their home. They are wearing ceremonial facepaint for their relative’s wedding about to take place. – Labaglua Village, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

A young woman welcomes us into her family’s living room. – Williamson, Haiti

Rajesh and his family inside their parent’s home, where their son was visiting for the day. – Tamil Nadu, India

We love the smiles in this photo. – Tamil Nadu, India

NOT HOME: Souda Refugee Camp, Chios Island, Greece – Amer, Asahid and Malil fled Palestine, Morocco and Algeria, respectively, and have been living in Chios for 2 months. Their makeshift tent is erected against a boat on the shore and debris. Under the plastic United Nations tarp each man sleeps in a 3-season fair weather individual tent.

NOT HOME: Souda Refugee Camp, Chios Island, Greece – Mizar and Abella fled Syria with their 5 children and other relatives. Now they wait.

NOT HOME: Souda Refugee Camp, Chios Island, Greece – Dunya is 4 months pregnant and living in a plastic tent with her husband, Amen. The tents have been “winterized” by placing plastic tarps over them. Rainwater seeps underneath the tents and soaks up into the blankets and other materials on the floor and remains continually wet in the cold weather. All of their personal possessions – some clothes and blankets – are folded behind them.