Many times I have imagined what it would be like to put my belongings into a car and just drive, the ultimate road trip. No plan, no route, no certain destination. When it was time to leave the Naples Daily News and start a career as a freelancer, there seemed to be no better way to kick it off, then by cleansing the palate, mentally and visually, and going on such a journey. I admit, it was scary to think of going on a long trip without a paycheck in the mail. But this was about taking a risk. The only option was to go all in.
It all started by launching GRAIN at Look3, and receiving such positive response from everyone Lexey, Tristan, and I talked with. I soaked up a plethora of inspiration from every presenter and gallery in Charlottesville, and left with a notebook full of ideas.
The trip jumped into full swing. Washington DC, New York, Rhode Island… places I knew well not long ago… but despite driving through former stomping grounds, I couldn’t stop seeing connections to where I had spent the last five years. Palm trees in windows in New York City, or the street vendor cutting up mangos, around every turn I felt myself reminiscing. I decided to embrace that feeling and look for things to continue that photographic thread.
Also on this road trip, I was planning to use my frame for the Focused Project, which gives 200 photographers one frame each on a film camera. I thought it would be perfect to use the camera where my fascination with photography first began, Rhode Island. But as the saying goes, the best laid plans…
In short, I never gathered enough courage to use my one frame in my home state, but it wasn’t too long after that I found myself at the bottom of Niagara falls, in a ridiculous blue poncho, heart pounding, trying to block the water spray as I clicked the shutter on the Pentax K1000. And as soon as I did, I felt the pressure lift off my shoulders. Thankful to be a part of it. Happy it was over.
The road trip extended all the way to the West coast, and back through the South. Now I’m sitting at my computer as moving boxes pile all around me, filled with items I haven’t used in years, but can’t bring myself to get rid of.
There were so many friends to thank for their hospitality on this road trip. It wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for all of you. I actually came back less worried about the future. It’s going to be a huge change moving to DC, and I know there will be many obstacles ahead. But I’m embracing the uncertainty in life now. I’m living in the moment. The trip slowed time down, and that’s a really good thing.
For more images or to see them larger, check out my archive of this trip here: Archive
All images were made with the new Fuji X-Pro1