One, One Thousand | Southern Photography


Native Son
by Joe Leavenworth

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Project statement:

Native Son is an evolving collection of photographs made in and around my birthplace, Decatur, GA. Since 2009 I have made an annual trip to Decatur to begin developing a physical relationship to my biological landscape. As an adopted son, I have a profound curiosity and desire to de-mystify a region, culture, and people that biologically I have some strange, abstract connection to. Through a process of exploring, interacting, and trusting chance to be my guide, I collect and reflect experience through these photographs. Inherently, approaching the south as an outsider, I am continually aware of the complexities in creating an accurate, "real" impression, because essentially these photographs represent impressions. They are my impressions, true to my experience, and collectively, they begin to create a portrait of a search. I am seeking something humble and pure. Native Son is about discovery.


Bio and contact:

Joe Leavenworth was born in Decatur, GA 1985. He received a BFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007 and splits his time between the studio and shooting editorial assignments for Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Mechanics and Wall Street Journal. Joe will return to the South this summer. He lives in Brooklyn.


Joe Leavenworth is a Brooklyn, NY, based photographer.
To view more of his work, please visit his website:
You can also contact him by e-mail: