I was born and raised in Key West and are what locals refer to as a “Conch”. At one time we were the richest city in the nation, at another time the poorest. I was lucky enough to bare witness to what many consider the last breath of this island’s soul before it was overrun by cruise ship tourists wearing “I Love to Fart” t-shirts. It was a time of smugglers, rooster fights, and Shrimp Boat Row throw downs.
If you were inclined to wander the street of our island today you would probably say this way of life has passed. I say you just have to know where to look. Photography is about capturing a fleeting moment in time. In this case it is about capturing a culture on the brink of disappearance. This collection will eventually contain one hundred and one portraits. One for every age between zero and a hundred and one. One for every survivor.
I started this project two years ago and have amassed around 35 portraits created with a range of equipment. It has taken me to the tattered remains of Stock Island and into the blue-collar heart that holds the island together and it has confirmed what I already know. There is magic here, always has been, always will be.