An unnamed family cemetery. Rural Marshall County, Tennessee. All along the backroad waysides throughout the Tennessee River Valley are family cemeteries with dates ranging the previous century and surnames of families that still reside in the countryside surrounding them. Road names often coincide with the names on the stone grave markers. Not far removed from the original European descendants of these areas, Nashville’s rural periphery and the small towns and unincorporated places that dot the crossroads and defunct rail-stops are slipping from their post-WWII height of agricultural commerce and being sold off into lots, zoned residential. A story was told of a family cemetery such as this one, in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, that was bulldozed and concealed by a developer, only to be discovered desecrated by the descendants of the misplaced dead.
Took this a few days ago... heading out today sometime to try to find something cool to explore! These are my favorite kinds of days.
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? When clouds are almost as big as your dreams. ❤️
In the middle of December I went on an 11 day drive around the South to begin two different series simultaneously . One of those projects will be the ongoing documentation of my immediate and extended family.
Like many I grew up hearing stories of family members I had never met and thanks to photography I have a face to put to those many stories. The importance and significance of that is something that has stuck with me my whole life and one of the reasons I’m so drawn to photography. Over the next year or so I’ll be traveling to the various parts of the country where my family are living and not only photographing them, but hopefully reconnect and hear even more stories that I have never been told.
The first person I photographed is my father and it is only fitting as he is the person I owe the most to my current love and pursuit of photography. He purchased his first set of cameras(a Nikon FE2 and FM2) brand new in 1984 because a buddy of his was getting into photography. Before long he was photographing the construction sites he worked on, family and friends, and the bits and pieces of the South he traveled around. Those cameras were the first SLR’s I ever used and are still in my possession(and still working as well) and are a constant reminder of the 9yr old walking around his yard taking photos of whatever was interesting.
I’ve taken snapshots of my father before, but I’ve never asked him to actually sit for me while I set up a light and made sure everything was the way I wanted it. He had never seen me do that either and spent the whole time commenting on everything I was doing and asked me about every piece of equipment and what it did. It was an odd moment to be on the receiving end of the questions and immediately drew me back, to when I was 9, and asking him what all the dials on the camera meant and what an ISO number was.
Last Wednesday night we had 1/2 inch of snow. This morning, it’s Wednesday again. My kids finally went back to school today. Yes, you read that correctly. My kids have been out of school for just shy of a week because of 1/2” of snow. That’s how we do things in the rural South.#ruralsouth #snowday#imsogladtheywentbacktoday