Interlude in Traverse City

As I write this from the Silver Saddle Motel in Santa Fe, NM, I realize I have some catching up to do in my travel narrative. I'd initially planned on updating this every day with a few images and stories from each day's journey. What I didn't realize was how draining it can be to be on the road and living out of a suitcase. By the time I get to a hotel, I usually find myself to tired to do much -- and if I have more energy, I'm out having fun!

But anyway, to bring this up to date... I initially moved out of my place in Chicago in mid-April and spent ten days in my hometown of Traverse City, MI. Technically I grew up in Leelanau County, and that's where I usually spend most of my time when I'm "home". I really enjoyed spending time with my friends and family before actually starting my road trip. I also love the natural beauty of the area, and I hadn't been back for a visit in springtime in probably 10 years. It was still quite cold, and the ice formations on the lakes were amazing.

I was blessed with the opportunity to spend Easter with my stepmom and her friends (they've pretty much adopted her into their family). So I got to spend the holiday with family and some adorable kids -- I don't think I've seen an Easter egg hunt since I was the little kid hunting the eggs! The teenagers hid the eggs, then the younger children ran around and found them.

Finally, I left Northern Michigan on Monday, April 28. And the westward migration begins.

And now I'm going take advantage of the free continental breakfast here at the Silver Saddle, and will post more pictures and stories from the trip here later.

Crushers, Part 3

I'm not sure I've ever worked this hard in the course of 3 hours. While I was shooting these photos, I was running around, getting up on chairs, leaning down low, yelling out instructions... By the time I was done, I was sweaty, thirsty, and exhausted. I felt like I'd had a workout along with the boxers. It was difficult and interesting, and I can't wait to go back. These boys are amazing.


Englewood Crushers, part 2

Well, I'm pretty sure I know I'm doing the right thing working on this photo essay, because I'm waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it. I mean, I'd way rather be asleep, but it also feels good to be so excited about a project I really believe in. It's really consuming my thoughts and creativity, even when I'm not there or working on the images. I keep thinking, how's a better way to light this while keeping it from looking lit? Or, how am I going to reduce all this noise from underexposed images shot at ISO 4000? I've even started listening to hip hop. (I highly recommend Kendrick Lamar, if you can handle a bit of uh, adult language.)

I know I'm going to figure it out, and I'm trying not to worry too much about how to do it, because with this kind of photojournalism, I think you just show up and do your best to capture what's there... you can't plan too much anyway. But still.

Also, apologies to my friends -- I'm not blowing you off, I know I've been sort of AWOL, I'm just really preoccupied these days. June and July should hopefully be a little calmer.

And with that, here are some more images from the project. Yesterday was an intense day of editing down all the pictures I took Friday and Saturday (thanks for helping me out with that, Dan)!