May 10, 2024 - Development

Palmetto Portrait Project captures a changing rural town on Fulton's edge

A black and white photo portrait of a women looking at the camera with a calm face. A color photo of a small town historic strorefront with a sign reading "The Palmetto Project"

Photos: Raymond McCrea Jones

A professional photographer is capturing portraits of Palmetto, one resident at a time.

Why it matters: Raymond McCrea Jones' Palmetto Portrait Project documents the people of the small south Fulton town during this "consequential and monumental time" in America, and their history.

How it works: For the first three weekends this month, Jones is inviting Palmetto residents to visit his storefront studio on the town's main drag to sit for a free photo portrait. If they're interested, he said in a statement, he'd like to hear them tell their stories too.

  • "The result will be a snapshot in time of what the city of Palmetto looks like in 2024 to live on for generations to come," Jones said.

Zoom in: Jones moved to Palmetto relatively recently and is shooting simple, straightforward portraits on large-format black-and-white film. Participants can swing by the studio to pick up their copies when the project ends.

Context: Founded about 170 years ago, Palmetto began as a railroad and stagecoach stop between Newnan and Atlanta. Situated close to Serenbe, the rural area is watching sprawl approach and demographics change.

  • This past year, the town elected its first woman and first African-American mayor in the town's history. "Palmetto is a purple town in a purple state in a country on the brink of immense change," said Jones, who's worked for The New York Times, CNN, Atlanta Magazine and more.

View more details of the project


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