Every time, honeysuckle gets me. While driving Route 52 in Mingo County last month with the windows down in the low early evening light, I was overcome with a flood of childhood memories. There it was. Honeysuckle. It’s funny how smells can trigger such powerfully vivid memories. In an instant, in that moment, I knew more than I’ve ever know before that I was exactly where I was supposed to be doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.
Like everyone else, I’ve had a pretty busy year and the summer, thus far, is no exception. It’s a good kind of busy, though so I won’t even attempt to make it sound like a complaint. I’ve learned over the years that nothing’s worse than actually trying to look busy. Dividing my time between my family, a full-time job, and my own self-assigned work and projects certainly keeps me busy, but never trying to look busy. I’m OK with that. (Below are some of my favorite Instagram pictures so far this year.)
Testify finally came together and shipped in the months of May and June. I am forever grateful to the many folks who, in a number of different ways, supported the work and the project. The book is sold out and as of now there are no plans for a second printing. Later this year, I’ll be exploring my options for possibly making a second edition.
One of my goals last year, was to have an image published in an issue of Oxford American in 2014. Well, I’m happy to say that I have an image in the summer issue (Issue 85) included in Catherine Venable Moore’s beautiful essay on Mary Lee Settle. I began collaborating with Catherine last fall when she contracted me to make photographs in the small town of Cedar Grove, West Virginia. It’s nice to finally see everything in print and I’m grateful to both Catherine and Oxford American.
The Looking at Appalachia project is developing nicely, however we’re still missing work from three states: Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. If you’re located in any of these regions, plan on heading that way later this year, or know folks you think might be interested in contributing, please have them give me a holler!
I have some other exciting projects in progress right now including a couple of books covers, which I’ll share with you as soon as I can. Even though I’ve added a second digital camera to my bag, I’ve been intentional about shooting more film this summer. More on that later.
(Above photographs: Abandoned mine, Mingo County, West Virginia and Tug Fork riverbank, Mingo County, West Virginia.)