Declarations is a body of work I formulated after making the portrait of a stranger parked beside my family in a gravel lot on Independence Day. The sun had set and fireworks were about to launch. In pulled the gentleman Andrew on his Harley Davidson, a large American flag staked and furled on the rear of his bike. It is said you can judge a man by his shoes. Andrew was wearing old worn green crocs. He seemed a bit hopeless, if I might say, beer belly, a Guinness shirt wrapped around it. The fireworks we came to see were mediocre. The country’s optimism had been near a severe low, so the media had been telling us. Indeed, it had seemed written on the faces of many people in my environs. The crowd reveled, happiness and chatter ensued, soon the parking lot on the outskirts of our suburban town was empty again. So many American dreams had been shattered during the passing of the 21st century’s first decade, and onward into its second. However bad, alight in the night sky, patriotism still seemed possible that evening, enough to come visit, crack a beer, support and let entertain. I would learn a couple days later that Andrew was a successful software engineer. These photographs aim to symbolize promises lost, but nevertheless a perseverance, even if driven by forced smiles or in a pair of worn shoes.