The Napier's Living Room

Berthie Napier with Pipe and John

Napier Brothers with Puppies


105 Degrees at the Napier's

Jerry at James' Funeral

The Offering (1988)

Slone's on Porch (1988)

Leddie with Children (1990)

Dan, Krissy & Leddie (1993)

Driving Straight to Hell (1998)

Lloyd Deane with Family and Coal Truck (2002)

Vanessa (2007)

Lloyd Dean with Grandson's at Pool Table (2006)

Tammy in Culvert (2008)

Louverna's Funeral (2008)


Nora's Bedroom (1995)

Eddie Wayne Living Room (2010)

Eagles' Nest (2008)

Wasp (2005)

Home Funeral (1990)

Jamie & NayBug (2008)

Kizzie at Flower Pots (1995)

Martha and Kizzie with Recycled Water Bottles (2009)

Frankie with Shucky Beans

Billy Ray (2003)

Brenda (2004)

Children with Blind Horse (2008)

Jeffrey & Adam (2004)

Larry in Garage (2004)


Tyler and Sheba (2001)

Sheba Asleep (2007)


Shelby Lee Adams was born in 1950 in Hazard, a small town in eastern Kentucky. Although he grew up in the back seat of his father's car, moving from place to place, he settled near Hot Spot, living with his grandparents while he attended high school. It was there, trapped between the worlds of country and town kids, that Adams found solace in art and photography books.

Then, in the mid 1960s, the Peace Corps and other government agencies descended on Appalachia to document the poverty sweeping the area. When a film crew visited his hometown, Adams took them to his meet his grandparents and his uncle, a country doctor. When the media described them as malnourished and poor, his friends and family felt betrayed. This devastated Adams, who felt he had misled the people he so dearly loved -- an experience that profoundly impacted his life and launched a career in photography dedicated to the region.

For more than thirty years, Shelby Lee Adams has been photographing in Appalachia, visiting families within the mountain hollers. Salt & Truth is his fourth book dedicated to the people of this region, and is a testament to his commitment to present his friends and family with dignity and truth. Although he now lives in Massachusetts, Shelby Lee Adams' heart is forever in Appalachia.