Uncle Dirty, as the family affectionately refers to him, is my Great Uncle. I had heard stories and seen photos of Uncle Dirty for my whole life, so when I decided to pursue documentary photography, my first project was to give Uncle Dirty a visit at his home near Jacksonville, FL. It was about time we met anyway.
What I found was not what I expected. And knowing what to do with what I’d seen and captured became a dilemma that greatly shaped me as a photographer. Uncle Dirty was amazingly open with me and held nothing back. The edit has changed a lot over years since I shot the story in 2006, due to my shifting ideas about ethics not wanting to misrepresent him.