Two years ago I found myself finishing art school getting a great photography/design job at an alternative magazine in Orange County, CA. I traveled all over Southern California shooting music festivals, food reviews, news features, and even the occasional freelance gig for Spin Magazine. Life was great and I was stoked on doing this adult life thing… And then I got laid off.
My world was just as ugly as any spring breakup here in Alaska. So what’s a girl to do? I knew a few things. I knew I wanted to keep taking photos, I wanted to travel, and I knew I wanted to explore other types of work outside of music event coverage. So the logical thing was obviously to sell all my stuff and move into my backpack and my car so that’s just what I did. I also may or may not have convinced my boyfriend to do the same.
Let’s rewind a little bit, I grew up with some insane parents. (Hi Mom!) We lived a pretty nomadic life traveling up and down the west coast from Mexico in the winter to Idaho in the summers. My dad being the –to put it lightly- eccentric artist and my mom being a yoga teacher, we always found our home wherever our car/van/palapa/condo –you get the point- was. Mostly, we were an active family and spent a lot of time in natural places. This kick-started my love for the outdoors.
Alright, back to the hot mess my life was two years ago. I was determined to keep creating quality work and that’s when I created The Wild Bones Project. I’ve always been drawn back to being outside. It’s that feeling of stumbling on a serene alpine lake that you wish you could just stay forever at its quiet shore… that’s the stuff that keeps my fire stoked. Also, it’s the culture. I love the type of people the outdoors draws. Meeting new friends in a hut over a game of Jenga after a great day of hiking keeps me inspired. Even when I had my big girl pants on working for the magazine I was missing this. So I took the opportunity and just drove north (with a pit stop for a few weeks in Yosemite- because… Well, we all know why. It’s one of the best places on earth.) I spent 2 months living in a tent and documenting my trip up to Alaska. From sleeping under massive redwood giants to running around on endless sand dunes it was a great way to reconnect to my true self.
Once I reached Alaska I started working at REI and adventuring. Meeting awesome people that inspired me to keep going. Something about these Alaskans… Maybe it’s the large amount of daylight that makes it possible. But I was stoked to find friends that would not only just go climbing with me but also wake up, go to yoga, bike to wherever we are climbing, and then want to go for a hike afterwards. These folks are insanely crazy and I love it. It also made me realize how much I had to learn and how much I wanted to create jaw-dropping imagery of all these great people doing awesome stuff. And that’s the fatal equation that landed me here, writing this. I want to build my knowledge base and learn how to make this passion a reality.
As for when I’m not feather-footed and out making pictures you can find me “nerding” out about some new art form. This week it’s welding. Who knows what it will be next week. I sort of imagine it as a tool belt; with every new skill I collect the more I can mix and mash them together to create work that might mean something to someone, somewhere. Currently, I’m tinkering around with making a hat that glows to my different brain waves using an Arduino.
In the next 16 weeks, I get to soak up all the knowledge that Matt and Agnes have to offer. I definitely believe everyone can always do something better and I love learning all that I can. When I’m old I hope that I can be that crazy old lady with awesome stories and that can take a badass photo. I’m excited to have help on the business side of things but also have someone to bounce concepts off of and talk “shop” with. I love the work that these guys produce. Not to mention how nomadic they are. That’s my goal, do what I love while living how I love and I think that Matt and Agnes can help me to connect these exact dots.
You can find more of my work and follow my adventures throughout the internship: