I began the Palmetto Portraits project by revisiting Branchville, South Carolina, the small town of my youth. The first photos I created there set the tone for every image that followed. I sought ordinary life and everyday people, but instead found myself fascinated by the element of the unexpected that emerged as I developed a rapport with my subjects.
My goal was to lead viewers into the bucolic back-country of the state’s midlands. Here I attempted to create tableaux that skirt the boundaries of verisimilitude. I wanted to explore the interests and occupations of people who live in the rural areas that influenced me as a child, while alluding to a dream world, somewhere between reality and the subconscious. Occasionally I amplified this effect with colored lighting, bizarre locations, and costumes, while other photos are more straightforward representations of the subjects as they exist. While I believe each image is an accurate study of each person (if not always literal), I hope viewers will allow themselves a moment to craft their own narratives, while enjoying the whimsy I experienced while creating them.
Andrew Haworth began taking photos as a child after his mother gave him a Polaroid camera. He holds a Master’s degree in Media Arts (MMA) and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. Haworth has worked as a journalist for more than 12 years, and received honors from the South Carolina Press Association for writing, photography, and most recently, online video. His first solo photographic exhibition opened in November 2006 at the McCrory Gallery in Columbia and featured more than 20 silver gelatin prints that explored the frailty of the human condition and the cycle of renewal.
A lifelong South Carolina resident, Haworth is currently employed at The State newspaper in Columbia, where he is a multimedia producer. In addition to continuing his exploration of photography in all forms, his recent interests include watching and writing about cinema, and running. He and his wife Jennifer live in northeast Richland County with their dog Sweetpea, a lab-mutt.