© 2024 Marcus Maddox

Origin Story

For a long time, I used to tell people that I started photographing at age 21, believing that my friends who play music were the first ones to inspire me to do it. However, when I returned to my hometown recently, I discovered a picture of my shadow that I made when I was 12 years old. While visiting my mother’s house in Nashville, I found a box of 4 x 6” prints tucked away in a closet, and I realized they were my true beginnings. Photographs that I made in middle school between 2006–2007 for my first photography class. This portfolio contains scenes from a boy scout camping trip, my friends, and my time in middle school. Rediscovering these pastimes has evoked a lasting sentiment that I have felt throughout my life: that I have a vocation.

My intial joy for photography, with no career in mind, was pure exuberance; and it’s fascinating to see that I had a sense of candor at 12, even without knowing what that is. I liked the ordinary details of my social environment, and didn’t feel the need to pose anyone. I think these early works, which at the time I didn’t see as “works” at all, show a natural intuition for the human form—and a regard for nature as well. My rediscovery of these photographs have allowed me to retrace the origins of my interests, and to simply slow down to enjoy the medium. I feel far removed from the middle schooler that made these pictures; and further from my younger self on the steps of my childhood home in East Nashville, but it’s meaningful to know that my love for photography was always there.

List of Works

1. My Shadow at 12, Nashville, 2007
2. The Lake, Nashville, 2006
3. Untitled 1 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
4. Untitled 2 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
5. Untitled 3 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
6. Untitled 4 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
7. Untitled 5 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
8. Untitled 6 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007

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9. Grown up pointing her finger, Nashville, 2007

10. Untitled 7 (Boy Scouts), Nashville, 2007
11. Safety heads, Nashville, 2007
12. Park, Nashville, 2007
13. Jere Baxter Middle School, Nashville, 2006
14. Getting on the school bus, Nashville, 2006
15. Marcus Maddox, East Nashville, 1999 (Photographer unknown)