In May I flew to Dallas. I rented a car, drove three hours to the East, then stopped in a tiny little town called Gilmer, Texas. It’s beautiful, there and I’d go back in a heartbeat. My friend Lauren grew up in Gilmer. So did her father. So did her grandfather. And since she doesn’t live there anymore and most likely won’t move back, she wanted me to visit that place and make a portrait of her town. She wanted pictures of all the places that were part of her childhood, youth, and growing up years.
She grew up outside of town. Her folks have a ranch, there. When I was asking her father about the size of the ranch, he said “You don’t need to own all the land. Just the land on either side of you.” Ah, Texas.
In addition to the pictures of Gilmer, she wanted family portraits taken. She wanted portraits of her grandparents before it was too late. And, she wanted pictures of her son, there, too. Four generations in that same meaningful spot.
Here’s Lauren’s town. This is Gilmer, Texas and the surrounding area.
Here’s what Lauren had to say when she got the pictures back:
When I first got the photos from the project I was blown away. I already knew I loved your work from working together so many times before, but the way you captured the details that may seem meaningless to an out of towner, and the details that have become mundane to those that see them every day, I was overjoyed. It was more than what I ever wanted. Preserving not only memories, but the feelings that go with them is what I wanted, and exactly what you made happen.
What would you like documented in an artful, careful and skillful way?
Last year, I did a similar project in Ottumwa, Iowa. These two projects have been some of the most satisfying work I’ve ever done. And I would love to do more of these kinds of things. So, if you’d like a portrait of your town, or have a similar project in mind, I’d love to talk further and discuss how I can help. Both of these town portraits were two day shoots. The cost is similar to my wedding pricing and clients cover all travel costs.
Film images developed and scanned by Alpine Film Lab.