Thursday, October 4, 2007

Enjoying the Road

I recently returned from a quick trip to Alaska for an assignment. This month has been particularly travel-laden, with some trips to some pretty cool places. I don't say that to show how busy I am, because most of my work is shot within driving distance of San Francisco.

My wife always gives me a hard time about traveling. It's tough to leave family, often on short notice to somewhere moderately exotic compared to home, and make it sound like I've got the short end of the stick. The truth is, I find traveling for work a lot like living in a diorama. The kind you made in 6th grade with Star Wars action figures and Brady grass inside a shoe box.

You get to see something new, but it's usually a very limited experience. Different people, different light, different landscape. But inevitably it falls short of anything resembling an enriching experience. You can't really enjoy it for long because you have to be responsible. Just when the shoot is done, the gear is shipped, you have to deal with all the crap that an airport entails. Two days shooting in Alaska hardly qualifies as a cool Alaska experience.

That's why it meant a lot to me when my assistant Kelly said that I was the most fun photographer she's worked with. In my previous life as a New York assistant, I worked for some serious pricks, so I guess I learned that lesson the hard way. Life is what you make of it, so you might as well rack up some frequent flyer miles along the way.

I met these dudes on the side of the road in Alaska on our way to the airport. Hitchhiking in the opposite direction, they were there to experience just what I had missed.

©Michael Sugrue


Jeff Singer said...

Your post inspired me to write about something I think about all the time, personal travel:

Great shot BTW.


Shane O'Neill said...

Hey There
I connect with what you are saying about the travel,
I leave my family (2 kids) in few weeks for a shoot for a month in Mexico,I am careful not to mention it the whole time when we are talking (wife & I) as to not rub it in. Its a trickey and rewarding at the samt time.

Discovered you're blog thru Jeff S ...........
You're work is the f'ing business......
Shane O'Neill

Michael Sugrue said...

Thanks a lot, Shane. I'm glad you like the work.

Good point, I look forward to most of the travel too, but I'm careful not to talk about it too much. Business is business, so I try to keep it away from home as much as possible. Easier said than done sometimes.

ben huff said...

michael. hey, i just found your blog through the Magnum site. i'm living up in Fairbanks. i'd love to know more about your time in Alaska - where can i see the photos/story?

hope our state treated you well.

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