Exploring The Idea Of Community Through Photography:

Reflecting on the establishing community relationships through artistic intervention.
August 2021

    After my release from prison, I immediately went back into photography and skateboarding. Well, honestly, I was really afraid that people would be afraid of me, or not want to know me. It wasn't until I met Marcus Wilson at the skate shop that I understood that folks still looked up to me. Folks had never stopped talking about me as a skateboarder. It was how Marcus knew who I was when he entered the skate shop. Ronnie Jones, the tall Black skater that's always skating in town. There were more Black skaters than when I left. It used to just be me.

    I wanted to follow through with photos I imagined while I was away. I leaned heavily on the skaters in town for night time photoshoots. We were well aware that there was nothing to do, so we had late night adventures. Driving around looking for cool lowlight situations where I could test out some ideas or just to see if the camera could see in the dark.

    We all start someplace. A lot of times the people around you aren't aware how much you actually need them. Then there are times when you aren't even aware of that required bond. I needed Marcus to walk in that skate shop. I needed Rusty, Josh, and Toby all those nights we went out shooting. Looking back on those times, reviewing images of those excursions, I understand that we all needed each other. They, and I, might have felt it, but we never said nor made mention of it.

    Life is a lot like freeze tag. You meet folks and they touch you in a way that asks you to be still for them, if only for a moment. If you're willing or able, you stay there in that space with them until you're tapped to move for someone else. You move through life touching and being touched, freezing and being frozen.