"I feel the South is a very loaded topic. People immediately bring their own views and expectations of the subject based on their previous knowledge and understanding of the region, whether through photographs or literature.
“I would say that I’m not so much interested in preserving southern culture, as I am interested in creating some sort of visual narrative that people can identify with. I think it’s only after the fact (after many years, presumably) that my photographs may serve as some sort of document that preserves ‘how things were then.’ Even then, though, they will only reveal where I was and whom I met.
“Every time I go out to make photographs, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done (and I mean that!) It is an amazing thing, though, when the sitter and myself get past the initial skepticism and fear that we each have for one another. It’s as close to magic as one can get, maybe, when that happens. I know I have something to learn from each person I encounter, and I look and listen intently. I see myself in all of these people and I try to show or express the way that I feel about this world through them.”
Sabbatini received his BFA from Mississippi State University (2013) and is currently pursuing an MFA at Columbia College, Chicago, IL.