Heading shrimp off the boat; cotillion classes and confirmations; shooting clays and shucking oysters; and wrought iron fences surrounding the soft safety net of abiding colonial homes would all satisfy a particular southern lens. But that is a sliver of a much larger picture.
Over time I’ve had the chance to live in various southern states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Carrying a camera through these environs, I’ve tried to find my place with it. What I have discovered is a variety that only rare chances of history, geography and biology could ever possibly create.
The South has never been just black and white but a colorful infusion of different cultures and ethnicities since the beginning of human time. It is a Puerto Rican woman astride a horse in Ybor City, Florida. It is an Indian model in Atlanta, Georgia. And a young Charleston, South Carolina girl with shotgun shells for nails.
Spruce-fir forests similar to Canadian environments propel rivers and kayakers to oceans that carry Manatees, Great Whites and professional surfers. Southern workers weld and build products that are shipped and flown to the farthest reaches of the Earth while we embrace globalization in our smallest communities.
This contrasting and constantly changing amalgamation of time, place and reach shapes the South as I see it. When I am lucky, I may just convey some small part of it in pictures.