Jared Soares photographs community and identity in America.
He regularly works with editorial clients such as AARP, Bloomberg Businessweek, DuJour, Fast Company, Monocle, Smithsonian and WIRED among others. Additionally, he collaborates with brands such as Microsoft, NIKE, VSCO and Whole Foods Market. His prints and artist books are held in the permanent collections of the Portland Art Museum, Sloane Art Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
When not making photographs, he can be found playing pick-up soccer games or walking his pet terrier at home in Washington, DC.
In Northwest Roanoke, the production of a song begins with some remodeling. You remake the basement into a recording studio. You rename yourself Palmz or Zulu Watu or Sha Fantastic. You retell the stories of a small city in the corner of Virginia. From Orange Avenue west, out Melrose to the county line, the makeshift studios fill up on school nights and after second shift. One group calls itself Real Money Entertainment, another puts together an album titled “Young Single & Rich.” Meet the hip-hopportunists, the starry-eyed aspirants, reaching for a gleaming karat in the distance.
It is an American pursuit, told in tight focus- people who want to go from Here to There. The citizens of these pictures know what There might look like, and strike the poses of success — the gold teeth, the defiant sneer, the woman in heels perched expectantly on the pool table. But these are the images from Here, on the block: Roanoke and its workaday realities. The man on top of the mountain also emerges from a working-class apartment building. And when the recording is over, the vacuuming must be done. There are no grand arrivals here, but along the way there are plenty of small transactions: the smoldering blunt passed from hand to hand, the exchange of fists at the end of a late-night freestyle session, the casual touch between friends at a window. Watch the hands. Because to make it somewhere requires manual labor.
image credit: Jared Soares, LV Skinny, Archival Pigment Print, 16 x 24 inches, 2012