Speaker Jay Fleming for the February Meeting of the Tidewater Camera Club

TOPIC: “The Making of Island Life”
DATE: February 7, 2022
TIME: 7-9pm
LOCATION: Refer to website http://www.tidewatercameraclub.org for location or ZOOM access.
Truncated Biography – Jay Fleming
Jay Fleming is a photographer and writer who documents the complex interactions between humans and their natural environment. Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Jay grew up with an affinity for the water. He discovered his passion for photography at the age of 13, after inheriting his father’s hand-me-down Nikon film camera.
After graduating from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2009, Jay spent four years working in the field of fisheries, first for the state of Maryland and later for the National Parks Service in Yellowstone National Park. Jay then worked in the seafood industry, dedicating his time to promoting sustainable fisheries and the consumption of locally sourced seafood. In 2015, Jay turned his attention to photography full time, leading to the publication of his first book, Working the Water, in 2016. Since then, Jay has spent his career chronicling the unique people and places of the Chesapeake Bay. Jay also leads photography workshops to Smith, Tangier and other coastal communities to share the treasures of these locations with fellow photographers.
Truncated Summary – Island Life
Jay Fleming’s second book, Island Life, is a visual narrative of the environment, communities and commercial fisheries of Smith Island, Maryland and Tangier Island, Virginia—the last inhabited offshore islands in the Chesapeake Bay. Although less than 15 miles of water separate Smith and Tangier from the mainland, centuries of isolation have preserved the unique way of life of these island communities, making them feel worlds apart from the life most of us know.
Since his first trip to the islands in 2009, Fleming has seen remarkable changes to the islands’ landscape and communities. Cemeteries are washing into the water, acres of marshland are disappearing and the populations are in decline. Fleming felt a sense of urgency to document the islands’ iconic working waterfronts, as the very forces that sustain them also threaten to take them away.
Equal parts informative and aesthetically pleasing, Island Life reveals the beauty and the perils of a life dependent upon the rhythms of the tide and the harvest of the Chesapeake Bay.