There is something about the way Southern people engage with their environment. Perhaps it’s because of the immense fecundity of the South. The richness of this land—its heat, lushness, isolation—becomes part of the fiber of life.
Waterways take a central role in my work because it’s where I spend a good deal of time. For all that they are worth – our source of drinking water, power, irrigation, recreation, etc. – we often do little to protect and conserve them. And the disconnection only grows deeper as more people choose to live isolated from natural environments. But there are those few who will search for an alligator snapping turtle and tromp through kudzu to collect a water sample. I want to celebrate them and open a window to others, all the while bringing attention to the danger that lurks ahead if we remain on our current path.
In LaGrange, Georgia I look for moments of change. Like most towns in rural America, LaGrange seems to be searching for a new identity. As a millennial I’ve connected with this on a personal level and it’s brought me closer to the world of documentary photography; I often use my phone to take photos, edit and then share them within a brief moment of time. There are scenes of storm clouds gathering over a shiny relic of the past, an immigrant grandmother in a calm moment and children exploring the world around them. Images like these help me process change, and by sharing them, hopefully they will help others too.
I’m grateful to have a camera and my hope is to continue documenting the time and place I find myself in these days.
- Henry M. Jacobs