Baymen

Photographs 2005-2008

In the mass media and popular imagination, the collection of Long Island hamlets known as the Hamptons evokes images of wealth and privilege, of polo parties and movie stars. However the social composition of this region is more complex than that depicted in fiction, gossip columns and television shows. The Hamptons are home to fishers, farmers and other workers whose families have been spanned several generations.

I have photographed the inshore fishermen of East Hampton, particularly those who fish out of Acabonac Creek. Acabonac, which means root place in Montaukett, and is the source of the term Bonacer, a name adopted with pride by the local working families. As this region changes rapidly, it is imperative to document these stories so that they will not be lost forever.

Continued economic pressure and overfishing of the stock means that this will most likely be the last generation of men to fish these waters. Their children see no future in a line of work with limited economic reward in a region where home prices and basic living expenses are far beyond the reach of the average working class family.

The work has been published in book and multimedia form. Prints have been shown at Ashawagh Hall in 2008 and as part of the U.S. Project at the 2009 Luishui Photography Festival in China.