This piece was originally published in the April - July 2017 issue of Our Jackson Home: The Journal.
Whenever I see children playing, I look on in awe as they construct their secret worlds right in front of me with equal parts determination and abandon. One minute, they’re deeply engrossed in a world of fantastical creatures and spaceships where the good side will undoubtedly prevail. Then the next, without grief or any injury to their belief in the realm from which they’ve just emerged, they drop their lightsabers and begin to exercise the power of flight that only a makeshift cape can bestow or simply test their own speed, running from one end of a yard to the other as fast as their little bodies can take them.
As a creative, I watch in envy, trying to remember what it was like to have such an abundant imagination—to remember how to give yourself to it and to believe in wherever it leads you. Doubt has not crept in yet, nor pragmatism. And when I talk to these little humans, I can almost see the flicker of magic in their eyes when their focus so suddenly shifts and they tell me that, no, I am not who I thought I was a second ago. I am someone new.
The ever-talented Ross Priddy has a knack for photographing the familiar and the day-to-day in a way that makes me wonder if these worlds are not so beyond our reach. When I see the photographs of his sons and nephews, as seen in this photo essay, I look at them and am able to imagine just a little bit better the grand lens through which these boys take in life. I’m invited into their worlds of magic and super powers just as if they had grabbed my hand and told me we are fighting for the good and I am strong and able. Let me see the world like that.
To see more of Ross’ photography, follow him on Instagram.
Photographer Ross Priddy was born and raised in Jackson and is a Mortgage Loan Officer at Leaders Credit Union. His wife Laura is from Franklin, Tennessee, and is a Registered Nurse who is currently at home figuring life out with their three boys, Jack, Thad, and Owen. Ross and Laura originally met in Colorado at a Young Life camp and then again during college at Middle Tennessee State University. After getting married, they moved to New Jersey for five years and returned to Jackson as a family in the fall of 2013.
Josh Garcia is a writer and photographer who landed in Jackson in 2008. With a B.A. in English from Union University in his back pocket, he’s abandoned other adjectives for “home” when describing this city. He enjoys reading, writing, photography, and cultivating community around the dinner table. #INFJ