Introduction by Matthew Shaw | Photographs and captions by Leighton Hoey
As someone who has spent the last half-decade or so writing about Northeast Florida’s burgeoning music scene, I’ve seen my fair share of press pics. Whether a highly stylized wide-angled portrait of a Duval pop artist or an intentionally lo-fi snap of a noisy local punk band, I love a good promo photo.
Though she’s a veteran documentarian of the scene, Leighton Hoey captures a more kinetic energy. The 23-year-old music and lifestyle photographer’s immersive approach to documenting concerts separates her from her pose-capturing peers. More punk in the pit than fly on the wall, Hoey is known to disappear into the chaos of a crowd, training her arsenal of analog-style cameras on the joyous moments of performance — most notably the zeal of interactions between performer and audience.
That’s why Hoey is the perfect choice to show us the vibrancy of Jacksonville’s music scene as it reawakens from its pandemic slumber. (Hers is the second in our three-part “Jacksonville, today” photo essay series: the city through the lens of three of its best lens-people)
Here’s Leighton Hoey:
“For this photo assignment, I decided to use a small, vintage point-and-shoot camera to capture images of how I often see Jacksonville today. The city is home to a variety of artists, and there’s a strong, dedicated community that supports these individuals. Shooting with a discrete camera allowed me to see the relationship between the city and community in its most natural, not-posed state.”