David Muir developed an interest in cameras and electronics at a young age. He took his father’s camera to Campion College and captured images of campus life in Kingston, Jamaica. That curiosity waned after high school when Muir pursued a career in music and entertainment as a disc jockey, manager and promoter.
It was not until four years ago that the Florida resident experienced a renewed love for photography. Bidding to become Sunrise’s first Black city commissioner, Pace University law school graduate, Ghenete Wright-Muir, enlisted her husband’s help. The parents of two boys met in high school 25 years ago and have been married for the past 16 years.
“Up until then, I took photos of our boys and other family pictures with a point-and-shoot camera,” he recalled. “But when my wife decided to run for office, we decided I would come out and buy a proper camera and do the photos for her press kits and other campaign material because it would have been expensive to hire a professional.”
With his brand new Canon digital camera, photography soon became Muir’s full-time job and he opened a studio. On regular visits to Jamaica, he captured the candid beauty of the people and the country that is displayed in a colourful book, Pieces of Jamaica, The Real Rock Edition that was launched in Canada last week.
Muir celebrates authentic Jamaica in gripping photographs accompanied by stirring captions composed by journalist and poet, Sonia Morgan, who uses prose, poetry and patois to capture the essence of the photos and add intrigue to the book.
“I have a friend in Jamaica who is an avid photographer and every time I returned to the land of my birth, we would go for walks and just take pictures of people and places that we felt were interesting,” said Muir. “I posted some of the photos on Facebook and the response was always overwhelming. But just over two years ago, I was invited to appear at an exhibition and my work received very positive reviews. This was coming from a network of people outside my family and friends, so I knew then I was doing something right and perhaps I should publish a book with my photos.”
Endorsed by the Jamaican government as an artistic gem to mark the country’s 50th independence anniversary this year, the book includes a photo of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, with a microphone at a popular Jamaican disc jockey birthday party.”
“Usain fancies himself as a DJ, so he was there having a good time and I captured the photo,” Muir said. “I submitted several photos of Usain to his management team, but they chose this one.”
Most of the photos in the book have been exhibited throughout Florida and his company – DAVIDiPhoto. Inc. – is recognized as one of the premier event photography businesses in south Florida’s Caribbean and African-American communities. Last year, the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce honoured the company with the Most Customer Service Friendly Business Award.
Muir dedicated the book to his New York-born wife, who lived in Jamaica for several years before returning to the United States. The couple lived in New York for six years prior to relocating to Florida a decade ago.
The book can be ordered through www.piecesofjamaica.net.