Shrimp Notes

Having a personal project is a great antidote to any burn-out from the commercial side of photography. With that said, I'm learning that any self propelled documentary project takes pushing boundaries and lots of persistence. Last summer I began exploring around the old Riberia shrimp docks, curious about the old boats and the larger than life characters who captained them. I had scoped the dock for years when crossing over Santa Maria creek, but was totally surprised when I was lain such a warm welcome while looking so conspicuously out of place, with camera dangling around my neck. For about a year now, on the right afternoon- usually right before dusk, I've been stopping by to catch up, slowly getting to now the few families who run the two or three boats which still ply for local white shrimp. Over a tallboy, I'll hear the multi-generational sagas, the "shrimp tales" of season and technique- and the inevitable conclusions that shrimping on the first coast is a dying craft. Not being a journalist with a deadline, it's a story I plan to continue following- to keep returning to when I have the time- as the industry changes and these resilient fisherman keep following their craft into the unforeseen future.