Raymond McCrea Jones submitted his work to Crusade for Art, and these photographs just caught me. They show such a wide range of things and jump from here to there to here again, but I was mesmerized. Maybe I felt a connection because of where I grew up and live, but these little slices of life stuck with me.
deep south paradise by raymond McCrea jones
Deep South Paradise is a visual journey of my rediscovery of the South. After years of living and working in New York City, it had become too much. The city and everything that comes with it was stifling. I left and settled in Atlanta and began shooting assignments around the Southeast through Redux Pictures, the photo agency that represents me.
I traveled throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama. I didn’t know it at the time, but these seemingly disconnected assignments to seemingly random towns awakened within me an emotional connection I didn’t even know existed. I was falling in loving and finding a home.
As a child my family moved around a lot. I didn’t have any multi-generational roots in a town or an emotional attachment to a place that I called home. Growing up in North Carolina, all I ever wanted to do was leave and go some place more exciting than where I was. New York City mystified and seduced me from an early age, I don’t know why.
It wasn’t until I paid my dues in New York City and moved back to the South that I came to understand the rich, complicated cultural melting pot that is Southern culture. And I fell in love with all of it.
This body of work is a collection of moments captured during my first two years back in Deep South paradise. Along the way my love and adoration for the place I now call home was awakened.