My name is Stephen and I am a lifestyle, portrait & conceptual photographer in Maryland. I grew up in a small mill town in rural North Carolina. Good or bad, it's what I've always called "home" even though I now live hours away.
What once was a town where textile & paper mills supplied the majority of residents with decent jobs has now turned into a struggling community where jobs are scarce, drugs are rampant and shuttered storefronts are the norm.
Many of the rural farmers can no longer afford to maintain their crops and as a result many of them have fallen deep below poverty.
My aim is to preserve as much as I can, not just for the history of the town but for my children as well, before time and the elements take it all away. They need to be able to understand & appreciate the people, the lifestyle and the community that helped shape me into who I am today.
My aim is to complete a photographic documentary of the area, the community, the people. I am seeking funding to help offset travel expenses & printing costs for the companion coffee table book that these images will be a part of. Presales of the book will begin in early October 2013.
There will also be limited edition prints of selected images for sale with proceeds of those going to Hannah's Place - a crisis center for women who are victims of domestic violence, The Haliwa-Saponi Day Care Center & the establishment of a book depository for low-income children..
My goal is to wrap shooting in late September with publication of the book in late October. Ideally, I can begin donating money from book & print sales just in time for the holidays.