Drawing on her childhood in South Floriday, Melanie Metz’s work is distinctly American. She focuses on the relationship between people and nature, as she photographs her family and friends going about their daily routines outdoors.
Shooting on medium format film, Metz seeks to fully immerse herself in the natural environment, which means lots of dirt, dust, and sometimes guts. She doesn’t shy away from the more graphic elements, while still treating turtles, horses, cows and other creatures with the same gaze she uses for human subjects.
“My portraits portray people who manage to maintain a close relationship to their outdoor environments,” she says. “Where do our communities come together and where do we pull apart and how does this manifest in our interactions with our environment around us?” Summer, as a time of outdoor exploration, is the ideal time to seek out answers to this open-ended question.