“Research, Development and Patience”

Many photographers will tell you that there’s so much that goes into a successful shoot besides making the images themselves. I’ve found this to be especially true with documentary projects; with what is often weeks and sometimes months or even years being dedicated to research and development before a project can be undertaken in earnest. 

I’m currently in this phase on a topic that I continue to return to with my documentary practice: incarceration (you can see my work on incarceration here and read about what brought my interest in the topic here).

More specifically, I’ve been following the prison farm program and those who—near their release date or deemed a low enough security risk—work on the farm away from the confinement of the prison walls. It’s not a project I can share or publish in earnest just yet. In fact, there’s a long way to go. Despite first photographing on the farm in 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic has largely stopped media access to correctional institutions around the world. And rightly so, the close quarters and inability to offer adequate social distancing has made prisons a hotbed for new infections and severe ones.

Until I’m able to return, I’ll have to be patient and continue to do the work I can do on the outside. In the meantime, here’s an image that is a favorite of mine from this work in progress.

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