James (#928) 09-26-15

On a rainy day, I entered my favorite coffee shop. Several tables on the sidewalk are covered by umbrellas, but I chose to sit inside. Until James came in. He had a backpack and seemed out of place, and uncomfortable. After placing his order, he found a table outside fairly protected from rain. So I went out to meet him with a plastic bag for the camera, if necessary.

James is originally from Birmingham, AL, but now lives near Destin, in the Florida Panhandle. He is an architect working for the St. Joe Company. For many decades it was the St. Joe Paper Company. It owned a zillion acres of forest that it harvested for paper. Now it is a real estate development firm. James says that the goal is to eventually build 170,000 houses in five communities.

I commented that this sounded like the nearby Lakewood Ranch. A planned community popped out of nowhere and now is a center for retail activity. “Lakewood Ranch isn't my favorite. There is too much control, it's not authentic.” He used to live in Sarasota and watched Lakewood Ranch being developed first hand.

He approved of the images, especially the contemplative look. But he did not want a copy.

Thank you, James, for allowing me to photograph you for my ongoing portrait project.