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Mary Beth Koeth's Photography Captures Miami Men

Silver Diner
Silver Diner

Mary Beth Koeth's photographs capture Miami neighborhoods and residents from the eye of a seasoned native. Surreal lighting, minute details, and lots of locals all characterize her beautiful images. But the Dallas native only recently settled in Miami to pursue photography at Miami Ad School. And the most important thing she has learned so far? That her love affair with the city and its many, many men grows stronger each day.

After studying and working in various places around the world such as

Texas, Italy, Kansas, and England, Koeth found that she wanted to

document all her experiences with her camera.

"All I want to do is

shoot. Anywhere I go, my little camera goes with me. Shooting my

everyday environment and the people that bring it to life is a must,"

she explains.

With Miami being one of her favorite cities to capture

because of its color and texture, Koeth notes her soft spot for places

such as Little Havana and Ocean Drive. The latter, according to Koeth,

due in part to it being a free "freak show." And while Koeth has seen

her fair share of faces and places, she thinks "it's something in the

coffee" that Miami residents stand out from any other city.

Koeth

is attracted to working with film and developing it using dark room

procedures, but she also embraces digital photography noting that it is a

"beautiful thing" and its obvious advantages in the cost and production

areas.

Whether digital or film, Koeth's

results reveal an awareness to the importance of color and texture in

her environment. Her photographs often incorporate saturated, bright

colors but evoke and ethereal softness giving them the effect of a

painting.

"I have a sensitive eye for color, lighting, and composition.

If I see something that feels right, or even a color palette that I want

to remember, I shoot it," she explains. Whether photographs of Little

Havana cigar shops or steel car diners, Koeth's attention to detail

points to all that is sacred and strange in Miami's dreamy paradise.

Versailles waiter

​Koeth's

most amusing project, "Miami Boyfriends," reveals the photographer's

fascination with men from all walks of life. "When I first moved to

Miami, one of the first things that I noticed was how overtly forward

the men are. It made me feel uncomfortable at first, but as time went on

I learned to embrace it," she explains.

"Miami

Boyfriends," an ongoing project currently at 85 photographs, initially

began with a school assignment where Koeth found herself photographing

old men playing dominos in Little Havana. And old men just happen to be

one of Koeth's favorite subjects. She claims to "prefer them to babies."

But the photographer doesn't discriminate. Her "Miami Boyfriends" include

everyone from a bum on the beach to a restaurant chef.

A

recent addition to the Miami Boyfriends is a waiter from one of Miami

most Cuban establishments, Versailles Restaurant. Uninspired by how most

Cuban dishes were "lacking ​in color," Koeth set out to

portray just the opposite with her photograph of the waiter. Marked by

soft lighting, a complementary color palette, and a charming smile from

the subject, Koeth reveals her ability to turn a mundane instance into an

expressive one through drawing inspiration from everyday individuals.

Koeth

states that she "loved the reaction from men," and has befriended many

of the men whose picture she has taken. One man that she is particularly

fond of is Sam, who Koeth shot on Miami Beach during a conversation

with the elderly man and his wife, Charlotte. The photograph, which

portrays a sweet moment between the couple, lead Koeth on a goose chase

around Miami Beach. Wanting to gift the couple with their printed

photograph, Koeth searched high and low for Sam, finally finding him

with the help of another couple.

Sam and Charlotte
Sam and Charlotte

Sam and Charlotte

As

for future plans, Koeth hopes to shoot new places and people such as

food trucks, Miss Miami Broward Carnival Pageant, and Calle Ocho

nightlife. And though Koeth doesn't have her work up in galleries yet,

at the end of her two year program she will organize her own gallery

exhibit. In the meantime, you can check out her photographs from her Etsy store.

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