Last year, I was lucky enough to be assigned to photograph two of the 2012 Travelers of the Year for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. I wrote about it in a previous post, and a lot of what I said then remains the same today. The most interesting part of my job is having the privilege to meet and photograph many interesting people. This year was no exception. The stars aligned and it turned out that two of the nominees happened to be in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, so I ended up photographing two of the 2013 Travelers of the Year for National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
The first assignment was to photograph a couple – Seth McBride and Kelly Schwan who were preparing to leave on a year-long, 10,000-mile bicycle adventure from Portland, Oregon to Patagonia in Argentina. The most amazing part of their story is that Seth has quadriplegia and must travel using a hand-cycle. Meeting and working with these two was incredibly inspiring. We tried a couple of different approaches to making pictures of them and both of the locations ended up in the story – in print and on the web. The print version (below) shows Seth and Kelly biking on a country road outside of Portland. We got the shot by hiring a truck so I could make pictures of them while they were cycling, which was a great way to illustrate in picture precisely what they are about. You can follow them on their epic journey online via their blog, www.longroadsouth.com.
The second photo-op turned out to be another couple who are referred to in the article as the, “New Pioneers,” and their portrait ended up being the opener for the print version of the story (see below). John Ellis and Laura Preston ditched their jobs in New York City, got an airstream trailer and started on a journey that seems to keep on going. They “crowd-source” their itinerary and wound up just outside of Portland in a small trailer park along the river. John and Laura are taking advantage of being able to do their jobs on the road – they are both web developers – so they can work while exploring America. It’s an inspiring story, filled with the romance of chasing dreams while traveling and earning a living. You can follow their journey online at www.thedemocratictravelers.com.