Oddly enough, I started photographing New Jersey while in graduate school in New Haven, CT. While in an artistic rut (one I imagine might be familiar to those in graduate school), I started noticing on my daily runs through the surrounding New Haven suburbs that somehow the little New England college town looked a hell of a lot like the places I grew up in New Jersey.
And it got me started thinking about my own childhood. Like other kids growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, I possessed a sense of security that served as a foil for my dreams of adventure. I spent most of my time desperately trying to create turmoil by stealing bikes, setting off fireworks and wandering in the woods. By my mid-teens, suburbia seemed hopeless. I was soon spending as much time as possible in New York City, searching out opportunities for underage drinking and mischief. Along the way, I came to discover the other attributes that the city and adulthood had to offer: music, art, and the opposite sex.
By the end of my time in grad school, all I was photographing were those places in New Haven that felt like New Jersey, spots where one might find porn, dead bodies, or someone to bum a smoke off of. After school, I began photographing in New Jersey, looking for the narrative possibilities of the small patches of nature that exist in all suburban neighborhoods, behind high school football fields, next to railroad tracks, and under highway overpasses. But after spending time in the south and recently driving through the southwest, I discovered suburban places with these qualities virtually everywhere. People my lament the death of regional diversity, but it is very reassuring to know that children of the suburbs whether from Nashville, Los Angeles, Baltimore, New Haven, or New Jersey all have something in common experiences that connect us.