I’ve had this thought banging around in my head for a little while, that what i’ve been doing with my life really nothing more than escapism. Roadlyfe started for me out of a need to escape my current situation, and to put some physical miles between the situation that was affecting me and my ability to process it emotionally. It has evolved into the only thing that I feel like I could for myself and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I feel myself being drawn deeper into the void of solitude, not because I don’t enjoy the company of others but more because I’m able to fill the space with a little clarity and productivity. I’m not suggesting that my personal relationships don’t play a huge role in my ability to maintain optimism and happiness, I often feel like I depend on my small circle of people for a disproportionate amount of serotonin productivity. I feel infinitely fortunate to have found the circle that I sit it, and I feel equally fortunate that my relationships can maintain a healthy demeanor regardless of the miles that we put between ourselves. This post is going to be about people, because one way or the other people is what this is all about.
I’ve learned that solitude is a color that I wear very well, in fact I feel like it’s my most creative environment. When I was younger I would walk for hours just listening to music and absorbing my surroundings. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors, a little gift from my parents and upbringing I think. When we were kids we very often heard the phrase don’t come back inside until the sun comes down. Growing up in rural Arkansas meant that we walked and rode bikes everywhere and spent most of our free time exploring the woods, I’m super thankful to have had that solid base for what I’m doing now.
I’ve been back in my last substantial home of Lawrence, KS for about a month to see friends and have a couple of really fun art shows. It’s always pretty wildly overwhelming for me when I first hit a place that I know a lot if people in, I feel a little smothered by the warmth on interaction. I’ve been thinking about how I approach photography a lot since I’ve been back here, mostly because the things that I generally look to photograph just don’t exist in this little midwestern town. I usually spend my days looking out at the horizon, trying to find that grand landscape that helps me visually share the feeling that I’m experiencing by witnessing it. When I’m back in the belly of the midwest those horizons are pushed back until they sit right in front of me. It’s incredibly refreshing to be reminded of why I do what I do and who I do it for.
This is Adam, who holds me up and gives me worth.
This is Jeff, who pushes me to become the person I want to be and without a doubt makes me a better, happier person.
This is Tabatha, who dazzles me with science and walks through adventure with grace.
This is Troy Moth, who inspires me to be a better photograher and friend almost every day.
This is Wayne Propst who from the moment I met has been a powerful confidant and amazing friend.
This is John Andrews, who I hardly know but find infinitely interesting.
This is Kyle Jones who I’ve literally dreamed of conquering the apocalypse with, and would be the first person I called when the shit hit the fan.
This is my oldest brother Allen, who has been a lifelong inspiration to me and probably the closest thing to a father I have.
This is Patrick Quinn, an old friend and welcomed staple from my years in Lawrence.
This is Jason, who just looks pretty when he is sad. (But is also an incredible advocate for the town he loves and the arts)
Thank you to the people that let me point a camera at them, it gives me great pleasure to know you.
Lastly, though I feel like we as a nation have been damaged by this year’s incendiary political mudslinging contest, I believe that America (and more importantly Americans) will prove itself to be the place to guarantee dignity and safety to it’s citizenry regardless of race, place, or preference. Here is a photo of a Bald Eagle that I shot in Canada to help paint a picture of the American exceptionalism that I dream of.
And lastly, a couple of pictures of my sweet house, looking beautiful. Onward and upward.
Please remember to reach out! I would love to hear from you. If there’s a spot you think I should check out, you’d like to spend an afternoon shooting photos or just want to chat, post a comment here or send me a message on Facebook. Oh, and please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @roadlyfe to stay in the loop! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just wanted to note that every image I post on this blog is available for print under the same pricing guidelines as everything else in my store! Please just email me or leave a comment below if you have any questions!
All words and images © Adam Smith 2016.