While Yvette Meltzer had a long career in social services, she also practiced in the arts, using various media. It was the magic and mystery of photography that captured her long-term engagement. Her conceptual art photography reflects her interest in people, the narratives of their lives, and the environments that shape them. Her award-winning photographs have been included in 100+ group exhibitions, 3 solo shows and publications worldwide. Her work is held in numerous private collections.


When I accepted Nancy McCrary’s invitation to submit photos for the May/June issue of SxSE Magazine I was not yet certain which photo series I would be submitting. Walking across Centennial Park in Atlanta GA on April 28th with the deadline looming, I was surrounded by females streaming across the park en masse. They stretched as far as the eye could see and only the traffic signals gave pause to what seemed like a parade. I soon realized this crowd was headed to the Mercedes Benz stadium for the first of 3 consecutive nights of sold-out Taylor Swift concerts on her “Eras” tour. There, in the golden light, the subjects unfolded before me. One of the perks of carrying a camera is being able to record and document cultural phenomena such as this. The girls were seriously intent on reaching their destination and walked with intent. They were not interested in pausing for a photo op. Other than ubiquitous cell phones, they carried little else. Their hands were free of purses and other possessions. It was clear that most if not all had given consideration to their wardrobes, dressed to pay homage to their idol’s style.  Some wore tee shirts with lyrics from Taylor Swift songs written across their chest. Some wore ruffles, others sparkled, many glittered, and lots wore (white) cowgirl boots. I asked one of the young women how they had scored tickets to the concert and she said they’d bought them from a scalper for a price she was too embarrassed to reveal.  I asked others and no one wanted to divulge the ticket price they’d paid. Females of all ages, some mother and daughter pairs and an occasional male streamed by me. After the three-show Atlanta weekend, 36 more North American concerts remained on Taylor Swift’s schedule.  In an economy where people are strapped, I wondered how so many had the disposable income to afford Taylor Swift concert tickets.  3.5 million fans had swamped the on-line ticket sales whose advertised ticket prices ranged from 300 to 1500 dollars plus fees, and secondary sellers inflated those prices pushing them beyond face value. More than 50% of U.S. adults identify as Swift fans, known as ‘Swifties’ and of those, 16% identify themselves as “avid” fans of the star. Apparently, I’m in the minority. As for me, I’d opt to spend an evening recording the stars in the sky and the monthly full moon rising. But with Swift’s popularity, I decided that her large and loyal fan base is worthy of a photo feature: Life in these United States.

According to a Forbes survey from March 2023, among U.S. Taylor Swift fans, the largest share of Swift fans is white, namely 74%. Another 13% are Black. 9% are Asian and 4% are members of other races.  Some 45% of avid fans are millennials, people between 27 – 42, while 23% are baby boomers, 21% are Gen Xers and just 11% are members of Gen Z—those 26 and under. A majority (55%) of avid Swift fans are Democrats, 23% are politically independent and 23% are Republicans.

Here they are for you to see for yourself.