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RSW Living Magazine

Fort Myers Book Shows Off Beautiful City

Mar 07, 2018 12:49PM ● By Kevin
Fort Myers, one of Florida's most dynamic small cities, was featured in a picture book, published in 2017. The book is authorized by the office of Fort Myers Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr., and was written by Amy Bennett Williams, with photography done by Ilene Safron, who owns Emmy award-winning Main Sail Video Productions.

The book displays for the reader the booming economy, the laid back lifestyle and the unique people of Fort Myers.

"'Fort Myers-City of Palms: A Contemporary Portrait,' is a picture book that is supposed to make people smile," Safron said. "It reinforces the fact that there are many positive things about Fort Myers and the surrounding area. We have managed to become a 21st century urban center of the county, while keeping our historic charm. There’s not too many other places in Florida that have been able to do that."

Safron added that she was lucky to work with two "really amazing people," as everyone had the same goal of showing off the city's beauty. Bennett Williams handled the editorial layout and categories, as well as introductory text and photo captions. Safron did the photography for most of the book. Henderson supervised the project, as it was his idea, Safron said.

Henderson was introduced to a company at a national mayor convention in Washington, D.C. The company specializes in coffee table books about cities. The process, Safron said, took about a year and a half.

"With our city always evolving, we had to decide it was OK if any picture may have been slightly outdated due things like buildings changing colors or businesses changing names," she added. "The book will always be a snapshot in time."

The three spent the day together at Fort Myers ArtFest in early February, signing books for about four hours. Safron also filmed the Race for the Arts at the event.

"The event always has a very visual diverse crowd," Safron said. "It’s a great place to take pictures because there’s so many interesting subjects all around and the weather this year, was perfect."

Safron began her career, she said, around the age of 6 or 7, taking still shots and progressing to video in high school. She enjoys producing original content as much as she possibly can. She is currently working on putting lighting into some of the images in the book to make the scenes more interesting. These images would be ideal for wall art, especially at night. She expects to display them at ArtFest within the next year or beyond.

She added there are plans for a second book about the experiences during her career as a news videographer. Safron was one of the first female news camerawomen in the country. She has worked in that capacity all over the world, covering some major historical events, providing a "behind the scenes" view.

For more information on "Fort Myers-City of Palms: A Contemporary Portrait," click here.