New Jersey native Kerri Sullivan knows (like most of us) the Garden State has its fair share of negative stereotypes. Sullivan, a Monmouth County resident, wanted to show that the Jersey landscape is more than oil refineries and bleak, battered highways. That’s why she founded Jersey Collective, which features one New Jersey photographer a week and their take on the Garden State.
To date, Jersey Collective has featured 53 photographers from around the state; that’s one every week since March 2014. Anyone can participate. Each photographer must commit to a week of shooting for the Jersey Collective Instagram and (of course) the images have to be exclusive to New Jersey. The best part? The featured photos can only be taken using a cell phone camera, so no professional equipment is required.
Jersey Collective’s featured artists have ranged from professional photographers to people who wouldn’t call themselves photographers in the slightest. Feeling inspired and want to give the project a try? You’re not alone: the current wait list is almost a year long.
The idea for the project came to Sullivan in early 2014 while she was attending graduate school at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. On her inspiration for starting the project, Sullivan says the public’s perception of New Jersey can be “really strange,” so she wanted to find a collaborative way to, “showcase what [she] thinks is a really special place.”
“I am personally a big fan of our diverse, history-rich, sometimes weird, always beautiful state,” she says.
In March, Jersey Collective participant Christina Codianni (@nauticalexpressions) brought the project some breathtaking seaside shots, a theme you might have even been able to predict from her Instagram handle.
In anticipation of spring, Patrick Arthur Tansey (@babybull317) spent the last week in February proving that, while we’re all ready for winter to make its exit, frozen New Jersey is incredibly beautiful.
One featured photographer, Wally Bilotta (@wallyb_9), perfectly captures the essence of summer at the Jersey Shore in his stunning shots.
Follow the project on Instagram at @jerseycollective and be sure to visit the Jersey Collective website to meet the team, read interviews with photographers and more.
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