Nothing wrong with staying close to home to make your images, thats where some of the best stuff comes from...look at Sally Manns work, her photographs of her children are very complex and moving. Suzanne your work reminds me of hers.
hmm yes his books are expensive, try to get them off amazon second hand. I just bought his book AFRICA and was spellbound looking over the images, the photographs were shot all over Africa from the 70s to present day. Sure the images are technically beautiful but I find them also deeply moving also.
check out the links
This is one of the Africa book images..