The economy of Daytona Beach, FL is driven almost entirely on tourism during the spring and summer months. For years this beachside town has been a destination for hundreds of thousands of people a year offering great beaches, proximity to other attractions, and a long and storied motorsports history. However in the past decade, event attendances have been declining and city officials appear to be floundering in their attempts to pump new life into the declining tourist industry.
At the epicenter of all of this is the Daytona Boardwalk area- a once thriving tourist destination now run almost entirely by failing hotels, crumbling businesses, and a seemingly out of touch city government. Today it is a place where visitors and locals alike converge to partake in the meager activities the Boardwalk has left to offer. The off season begins at the onset of fall and continues through the winter revealing many of the local Daytona citizens that use the Boardwalk facilities.
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In a political environment that seems more divided than ever, the tragic mass shootings that occurred in 2012 have given politicians and media outlets more topics for debate regarding the rights of Americans and the 2nd Amendment. Somewhere between the human tragedy and the nightly espousal of agenda by the talking heads on TV, the American gun owner has lost an individual identity.
As such, I set out to create a body of work that depicts the local gun owner as an actual person and not just a product of a public opinion poll. With this in mind, I have chosen to portray each subject in the environment around their home and with their preferred firearm. To further the notion of an individual, analysis of each photograph can help the viewer identify contextual clues that speak to the subject’s level of training, comfort, and mindset around firearms, as these are traits that are not always common across the whole of gun owners. The reasons for gun ownership are also not universal, ...
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I'm not a documentary photographer by trade. Well, I suppose not in the traditional sense, really. As photographers, we're all documentarians of some sort- recording an instant in time out of an infinite number of possibilities- making that choice to photograph and capture that one moment.
A professor of mine once said that "photography is one of the few things where the processes of conceptualization, composition, and execution can happen in the same instant."
I feel that as a photographer it's important to embody these words and take them with you every time the camera leaves the bag.
Some people can see the photographer in the work even though they themselves are not the subject. Some can place themselves in the photograph and personify the subject and see the scene and situation through their eyes. This series is meant to be a little of both. I was fortunate enough (and maybe crazy enough) to shoot at Diamond Dolls Gentlemen's Club in Daytona Beach, FL for the course of seven we ...
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My first real 24 hours on this site have been pretty amazing (as of this moment, over 7000 profile views and 4000 views on Rain on 5th Avenue alone!), and I've just gotta thank everyone for the kind words and the feedback on my work.
I must say that 500px has the most talented body of contributors I have seen to date. Every single shot produced by the users of this site always has something incredible about it. And that's somewhat of an amazing thing given the extremely broad user base and the wide range of photographic subjects. From wildlife to editorial portraiture to everything else in between, it's all top freaking notch.
I can see that this site has already been embraced by the top performers in the creative industry and it's quite impressive for someone like me to be able to share a common platform with those who I might even call my idols. I can only wonder what is to come next and where this thing will go.
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