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Mr. Marion Randolph Hall, Blacksmith. Oxford Miss., Winter 1973

Michael Ford

Michael@yellowcat.com 202 543 2221 United States

Biography

Capitol Hill in Washington, DC is my home. I am a writer, documentary photographer/ filmmaker with Yellow Cat Productions since 1980.

Yellow Cat Productions has produced a wide variety of programming for many well-known clients. But my real joy was making our Independent documentaries. HOMEPLACE was a folklife documentary made in North Mississippi in 1975. Other Mississippi films include JUKE, and BILL DUNLAP: The Painter’s Landscape. Further afield are independent productions of a Diola manhood ritual in Senegal, Holy Week in Seville, the Ahka people of Northern Thailand and projects in Russia, Tanzania, France, Germany and The Gambia.

Still photography was always a part of my life. Although after leaving RIT my professional career has been behind a motion camera rather than stills. The photographs I made were totally personal, not shown to anyone. That changed in 2013 when I started working in stills as a preferred medium.

My three long-term photographic projects are Mississippi, Senegambia and Capitol Hill.

The Mississippi project began in 1972 and was re-awakened in 2013. An archive of over 1000 photographs and 16,000 feet of 16mm were created during the production of Homeplace in 1972-75. Since 2013 more than seven trips to photograph and videotape have been made. The two era’s images were cataloged then integrated. The present archive contains 5892 still images and is held by The American Folklife Center of The Library of Congress.

The photographs were made as a study of the land and the people during pre-production for the film documentary. Photography turned into a bridge of trust allowing me to capture the day-to-day life of a disappearing culture in Homeplace. The film was released in 1975 and was received favorably.

North Mississippi Homeplace was published by The Library of Congress and the University of Georgia Press in 2019.

BFA, Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology.

MS, Film, Boston University.

History & Aesthetics of Photography with Beaumont Newhall.

George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.

 

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