By Forest McMullin
As a photographer who specializes in environmental portraiture, lens selection is critical to the look of my work. Much of the time I choose to shoot with prime lenses. Let me explain why I made that decision for one of my projects.
In 2014, I was given an artist residency at The Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in Rabun, Georgia. For two weeks that year and again in 2015 and 2016, I was given a cabin tucked away in the mountains, dinner prepared for me four nights a week, and encouragement to do whatever I wanted. I had driven through the area around Hambidge a number of times when my wife and I had gone to the Great Smokie Mountains of North Carolina from our home in Atlanta on camping trips. We often stopped at flea markets along the way and the faces I saw at these rural stops struck me. There was an extraordinary range of types and ages and looks. I knew there was a project here waiting for me to photograph. That idea became American Flea.