Client: Strada for iStar Residential
Capture the distinct and vibrant spirit of the Asbury Park downtown scene and boardwalk culture. Highlight authentic people and places to show an appreciation for what makes this historic place special and deserving of respect for tradition as long awaited redevelopment begins.
I owe this project 100% to my roots as a documentary photographer. I've always been interested in broad stories about place and culture and finding ways to go deep to find moments that reveal essential truths and honest emotions that surround why people do something and how that makes them feel. So to get a commercial project predicated on the idea of authenticity at this level was a true gift.
I worked on this project over many shoots off and on for a couple years. The goal was to give iStar a body of work that communicated to the entirety of Asbury Park that they understood and appreciated the city as a one of a kind place and that they were here to stay to make improvements while preserving it's independent, funky and genuine spirit. I was given tremendous authority and trust by the teams at Strada and iStar to go out onto the streets, and boardwalk, to capture this story in the most documentary fashion possible. No casting, not even locals, was allowed and no setting up of scenes. I was to work as a photojournalist would because conveying authenticity was that vital not just to the client but to the community. My hat goes off to my man Dan as my assistant on this for having the skills to help gather releases from unsuspecting sun bathers of all stripes.
Every visit to Asbury was simply about documenting the moment and the range of experiences one finds here. There was no explicit shot list so the result was more about feel and vibe than exposition.
"WOW! We are so impressed and want to hire you for every client :)))) You nailed it in every way: the people, the place, the fresh attitude." - Amy Levi, President and Creative Director
Postscript: And it was too cool to discover while doing a creative call on another project that the Creative Director, Amy, - who lives in Denver - and I - in Philadelphia -were in high school - in Dallas - together but never knew each other.