Appalachia Portraits 01


I’m not sure what this boy was doing.  Most of the time I was with him he would do this:  head rolled back, eyes glazed.  He didn’t see to notice me at all. >> He was pretty darn perplexed by the day’s activities.


A little boy clutches his new clothes while his older brother eyes his new shoes with an odd mix of stoicism and resignation.

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I did see a few smiles.  >> I kept telling this kid not to look at the flash I was holding. “Hey!  Look at the camera!  Look at me!”  He looked at the flash. His friend said, “He doesn’t listen to anybody!”


The clowns were making balloon hats for any child who wanted one.  I don’t think a balloon hat has ever been worn with such a granite expression.

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I took their pictures and then I’d get a nod or sometimes nothing at all.  These young men had  peaceful, quiet auras.  I hope life isn’t too hard on them.  I hope they remain peaceful.

These pictures were taken in rural  coal country & Appalachia in 2014

Text and Images © Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved