Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

CONTENT

Photographer of the Day // Mike Kelley

Zachary Kilgas

From the first glance, each of his photos are extremely inviting. So inviting, that I almost felt like a firsthand witness. My brain invented sounds, smells, and sensations immediately-- the bears' snarls, the salty sea air hitting my nose, bare toes on a wooden dock. 

Click through for an adventure. 

Adventurer Q&A // Giulia Woergartner

Zachary Kilgas

The color yellow is bright, full of life, and undefinable. Many adults cower away from wearing yellow though, offering the excuse that yellow is "childish." Yellow is a color that requires a boldness to wear. It's not a color for the faint of heart. 

Giulia Woergartner calls herself, "the girl with the yellow jacket." Her yellow jacket she explained, is her trademark, a stamp that marks her adventures and photography as distinctly hers. 

[Q] Why do you adventure & Why do you explore? 

[A] Exploring means discovering new things, having fresh eyes for every new day and being inspired by little moments. I want to keep my eyes, ears and heart wide open. I want to create my own vision of the world and share it with others to inspire them to go on their own little adventures. I have a desire to see the most beautiful corners of this world. I have traveled and experienced quite a lot over the last few years, but the curiosity to see more keeps me going. My goal is not just to come home different, but better.

[Q] Why take risks in life?    

[A] Because life is short and it can be over at any given moment.

[Q] Where are you from?

[A] I am from the Dolomites, Italy.

[Q] What is your 9-5?

[A] I am a full time travel photographer, still sounds crazy to me if I say it!

[Q] When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?  

[A] I have always been a creative child, I always dreamed about being a painter or musician. Well any kind of artist really!

[Q] Favorite place you've visited?    

[A] The Faroe Islands and New Zealand still are my favourite destinations to this date!

[Q] Place you most desperately want to visit?

[A] Patagonia and a lot of places in the US.

[Q] What  has  changed  about  you  because  of  your  travels    

[A] I have become a more confident, open and loving individual

[Q] Who  is  the  most  dynamic  and  thought  provoking  person  you've  ever  met    

[A] Good question, I think that person is still out there!

[Q] If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?  

[A] I would like to go back in time and travel with some of the real explorers 

[Q] Must haves for travel?

[A] My camera and a yellow jacket! 

[Q] Travel tips?  

[A] Sleep in cars, cook for yourself, save your money for more travels.

[Q] When  did  you  feel  you  were  most  out  of  your  comfort  zone? What  did  you  learn  from  that  lesson?

[A] I did a 7 months solo trip to New Zealand after graduating high school. I flew from Italy all the way to the other side of the world to explore ad capture every corner of New Zealand. I bought a van and lived in it for about 6 months. The first few weeks were tough as I had to adapt to this lifestyle and to the new environment. After a few weeks I realised that I was free to do whatever I want and I could simply enjoy life and see all these stunning places. The few things that I was really worried about at first ended up being the greatest benefits and lessons of this adventure: when you have a dream or a vision, you just have to go for it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, no matter how silly or ridiculous your dream might appear to others. Following your passion is the only thing that will bring you happiness.

[Q] What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? 

[A] I would show them my pictures and let them speak for me.

[Q] What would you say to your former self?  

[A] Love more, hug more. Be bold. Don't let fear run your life. Have confidence in yourself. Don't be self-conscious. Don't be so hard on yourself and have more patience.

[Q] Where to next?

[A] Canada!

[Q] Is flannel always in season? 

[A] Of course!

Photographer Update // Joshua Fuller

Zachary Kilgas

I have always loved idioms. If you're unfamiliar with them, idioms are seemingly nonsensical phrases that by usage became loaded with meaning-- kill two birds with one stone, once in a blue moon, pot calling the kettle black. 

There's an Icelandic idiom, "Það eru margar undur í höfuðkúpu," which translates roughly to "there are many wonders in a cow's head." To my understanding, it's a way to say that the world is crazy. 

These landscape photos from Joshua Fuller's trip to Iceland had me pondering the wonders in a cow's head. 

Adventurer Q&A // Derek Tice

Zachary Kilgas

At Folk, we're actively trying to get to know our readers. We know that each person adventures for a different reason, and we aim to tell your stories. 

[Q] What's your name?

[A] Derek Tice.

[Q] Why do you adventure? Why do you explore?

[A] I want to see and experience as much as I can in this short lifetime I have been given. My brother and I grew up in a family that pursued an outdoor lifestyle. I was on skis by the age of two and dirt biking as soon as I had mastered the peddle bike. Growing up in this fashion has led me to appreciate and pursue a life of adventure where I feel most at home in the outdoors.
I didn’t find a passion for photography until I took a photo course in grad school where I picked up my mom’s old Nikon film camera and began to shoot. I was immediately addicted, the feel and sound of the shutter button was bliss. I soon found myself documenting all of the weekend adventures my friends and I would go on. Photography was a way I could implement design/art into the adventure lifestyle I had grown up knowing.

[Q] Why take risks in life?

[A] Have you heard of adrenaline? Yeah it’s nice.

[Q] Where are you from?

[A] Bozeman, Montana

[Q] What is your 9-5?

[A] I work as an Architect in training for a design firm.

[Q] When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?

[A] Growing up, I was always fascinated with the ocean. Being from the land locked state of Montana, it was a mysterious entity to me. As a kid I always thought I would be somewhere in the marine biology field, or scuba diving at the very least (sad part is, I have yet to go scuba diving).

[Q] Favorite place you've visited recently?

[A] Swingarm City= Epic Landscapes + Dirt bikes

[Q] Place you most desperately want to visit?

[A] Any place I haven’t been to yet.

[Q] What has changed about you because of your travels?

[A] My travels and photography have taught me how to see the world. Finding beauty in the everyday makes life worth living.

[Q] Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met?

[A] This is a tough question because it suggests I need to rate the people that have been/are in my life. I would have to say any person who has had the time to share a conversation over a campfire. Everybody brings their own ideas to the table, you just have to know how to listen.

[Q] If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?

[A] My girlfriend, she levels me out, and is the jokiest joke maker I’ve ever met.

[Q] Must haves for travel?

[A] A tripod. I tend to usually forget mine and end up stacking rocks or finding some other means of creating a stand that never quite adds up to a sturdy tripod. Oh, and a good attitude.

[Q] Travel tips?

[A] Go with the flow. Our lives are inherently based on routine. Take the time to travel and break the mundane schedule of the everyday world.

[Q] What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling?

[A] My girlfriend and I took a weekend trip to Glacier National Park. Knowing that the crowds would be outrageous during tourist season we planned on getting to the campground a little before 6:00a.m. to ensure we got a spot at the campground in the park (a first come first serve basis). We arrived before the sun was fully up to a line of cars waiting at the entrance of the campground. We ended up being the 14th car in line. Ridiculous, but we were anticipating it. Everybody was frustrated and there was even a car who managed to sneak their way into line, cutting a bunch of us off and putting us further behind in line. It was pure chaos. As we pulled up to the gate being the next car inline, the ranger told us that it was a 50/50 chance we would get a spot. 20 minutes later she appeared and told us we would be getting the last spot for the day. Feeling relieved we couldn’t help but feel bad for the 15 or so cars behind us that had wasted their entire morning. So we took it upon ourselves to have the ranger invite the car behind us to camp at our spot. They immediately took the invitation and were extremely grateful that they paid for the camp spot. Even if it were the slightest of gestures, we were relieved to offer some humanity in a morning full of disarray. To this day National Parks do not appeal to me as they once did, but I hope I left it a little better then I found it.

[Q] Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger.

[A] Kindness. Respect the people around you and treat this earth like you live here.

[Q] What would you say to someone who has never travelled before?

[A] To each their own

[Q] When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from that lesson?

[A] Any time I’m standing on a cliff edge I’m out of my comfort zone. This taught me that I’m very scared of heights.

[Q] What would you say to your former self?

[A] Good luck out there

[Q] What gives you hope?

[A] The two days at the end of the work week and a full tank of gas.

[Q] Where to next?

[A] I ask myself the same thing everyday. I normally don’t know until I get there. I travel for the in-betweens not the destination.

[Q] Is flannel always in season?

[A] Only if the sleeves are cut off, Hell yeah brother.

Stay Outside // Photographer Ben Hoffman

Ben Ashby

There's a specific kind of joy that comes from being outside-- toes in the grass, a cool ocean breeze, the smell that lingers after a long down pour. It's all magical. Ben Hoffman's love for photography stems from his love for the outdoors. 

Each photo he sent us feels like an invitation, a call to get outside, and stay there.  

35 mm and Marrakech

Zachary Kilgas

Katie Bird is a photographer with a passion for traveling. She sent this mini series of a single stop on her 18 month trip throughout Asia, and Australia. She captures life with vivid simplicity.  

Photographer of the Day: Nick Cagol

Zachary Kilgas

Thirty year old, Nick Cagol is a part time photographer who lives in Northern Italy. His goal is to capture more than just the beauty of a landscape, he aims to capture a story. More of his photography can be seen on Instagram @alchenick

Do What You Dream

Zachary Kilgas

The melodic words of Ingrid Michealson’s song “You and I” bounced around in my head as I read a long email from Christian Bendel. Truthfully, I felt silly about it. As I continued to read Christian’s candid recollection of his adventure through Provence, I broke down and got reacquainted with the song.

“Let’s get rich and buy our parent’s homes in the south of France,” Ingrid says whimsically. 

The rhythmic song dared me to dream, but Christian’s words pushed me further. The goal of the adventure was, in his words, “to do what he dreamed, instead of simply talking about it.”

Much like the song, Christian’s adventure was a love story, and his photo series captures their relationship intimately. Together, they traveled through canyons, cities, and around mountains. They cooked their meals on a fire, and slept in their car.

Christian said he aspires to do things differently. He explained that living this dream was not a straightforward path, but one that required spontaneity, and flexibility. He called this adventure, and his past ones, “Crossroads” for that reason.

Joshua Fuller // A Look at Landscape

Zachary Kilgas

Josephine Hart believed that our souls have an eternal geography, a landscape if you will. She said that we constantly search for its outlines. Much like explorers, we attempt to chart maps of our souls, day in and day out. Landscape photography, at it's best, allows us to see the shapes of our souls. We're able to juxtapose ourselves with the divinity of nature, and decide where we sit between the two. 

Photographer, Joshua Fuller submitted this series from his travels. More of his work can be found on Instagram @Joshua_Fuller_ 

Alex and the American Kids

Ben Ashby

image.jpg

Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Alex and the Red Hair

Ben Ashby

image.jpg

Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Alex and the Boy with Flowers

Ben Ashby

image.jpg

Photographer Alex McDonald has shared dozens of photo essays with us over the years. This one was a few years ago and remains one of our favorites. 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Wolf Jaw Press | A Conversation

Ben Ashby

We love upstate New York! between Earth Angels, Upstate Stock, and now Wolf Jaw Press we are itching for a visit! Recently we sat down with Alicia Burnett, the owner of Wolf Jaw Press for a brief chat about what she does, why she is a maker and why you should support American made. 

Who are you?

I’m Alicia Burnett, and I am a designer, artist, and all around maker. I’m also the sole proprietor of Wolf Jaw Press, a small independent printmaking studio that produces fine art screen prints inspired by the beauty of the natural world.

Where are you?

Right now my studio and I are located in the northern Hudson Valley region of New York State. I’m really happy living and working here. I think it’s a great location for makers like me that love nature and feel more comfortable living in the country versus living in a city. The countryside and farmlands of Upstate New York are a beautiful place to live; it can be quite rural, but it’s not so rural that I feel isolated and disconnected to the surrounding makers and local arts communities. I love the fact I’m surrounded by serene farmland and plenty of open space while still being close enough to New York City, Hudson, and Albany to be physically involved the art communities of those cities. 


Why are you a maker?

I am a maker because it feels like the most authentic and natural way for me to live my life and make a living for myself. I am a maker because for as long as I can remember, I have had an insatiable compulsion to create. It’s just something that is in my DNA I guess. 


What do you make?

Through my studio, Wolf Jaw Press, I make limited edition screen prints. 


How long have you been a maker?

While I’ve always identified as being a creative, artistic individual with a strong desire to make and create, professionally, I haven’t been a maker for that long. I graduated with my MFA from Pratt Institute in 2015, and shorty afterwards I established Wolf Jaw Press. I’ve been a professional maker for less than year! Establishing my own studio and business has been quite the process, but putting in the long hours and hard work has been so worth it. Everyday I learn something new, and seeing my studio slowly but surely grow and flourish gives me an indescribable sense of satisfaction. 


Why did you decide on what you do?

It took me a long time to find myself artistically. I attended the Rhode Island School of Design where I spent most of my time as an undergraduate student trying to find a medium that felt comfortable for me. I watched so many of my friends as freshman and sophomores immediately gravitate towards a specific major, and then to a specific medium or process. Meanwhile, I felt like I was interested in too many things. I wanted to do any try everything, but nothing I artistically experimented with felt right. 

It wasn’t until the tail end of my junior year that I had a moment of clarity. On a whim, I decided to take a screen printing class with RISD’s printmaking department during the spring semester of my junior year. Within weeks I was completely in love with the screen printing process, but it still took me a few years to find the courage to establish my own screen printing studio and business.

The catalyst that finally pushed me to take the leap of faith and start my own studio were the repeated failures I had at trying to break into the corporate world of design. After my graduation from RISD with my BFA, and then from Pratt my MFA, I had interview after interview with companies and design firms, but it seemed that no one wanted to hire me. In hindsight, these “failures” in getting hired, while discouraging and frustrating at the time, pushed me to realize that maybe I should try to open my own studio and be self employed.


Favorite part about being a maker?

There is so much I love about being a maker! In short, I love the freedom and control it gives me in my personal and professional life. While being self employed undoubtedly comes with an expected level of uncertainly and stress, I have been able to experience a level of freedom that is both liberating and exhilarating. By being a maker, I get to do what I love everyday and I get to be my own boss. I decided what I want to make and when I want to make it, I create my own hours, I decide what projects and collaborations I want to work on, and I get to decide how and in what direction I want my business to grow. 

I also love that each day always hold something new and different. I could never have a job where I do the same thing everyday sitting at a desk. As a maker and a self employed artist, I get to first and foremost create the art that I love to make, but I also get to explore and learn about financial management, business strategies, legal procedures, accounting, and marketing. I’m learning and exploring so much. I find that my days bouncing between slinging ink in the studio, compiling and analyzing finical reports hunched over my laptop, or researching small business growth strategies are engaging and deeply rewarding. 


Why support makers?

When you shop for items made by artisans and makers, you can expect receive high quality goods crated with care while your dollars contribute to and strengthening a local economy. By supporting makers, you are also helping support someone’s passion. We makers care so deeply and passionately about what we do, and through buying our goods you enable us to make a living off of our authentic passion for creating.

FOR MORE: WOLF JAW PRESS

A Lifetime of Leather with Duluth Pack

Christophe Chaisson

In the year 1870, a man named Camille Poirier came to Duluth, Minnesota with a dream of opening a leather and canvas good's store. Over 130 years later, this dream is still alive and growing. 

Duluth Pack is the is oldest canvas and leather bag and pack company in the USA. Still located in Duluth, they have not ceased manufacturing high quality, built-to-last canvas and leather bags, packs, and outdoor gear in their century-old factory.

Their quality and values have not wavered or waned since their beginning. Duluth Pack continues to embrace their American made heritage. Not once have they compromised quality for quantity, instead they continue on in the one-customer-at-a-time way of doing business that they have always valued.

 

Duluth Pack sticks to tradition well as their craftsmen and women have been using the same reliable, timeless artisanal techniques since the beginning of the company. Not only do they cherish their customers, but also their employees. The talented sewers are actually able to sew their name with pride into the high quality product that they have thoroughly hand crafted with skill and precision. 


Typical products found other places are built to fall apart and be thrown away. One of the many amazing things about this company is the life time warranty that they offer. It is a guarantee of the longlasting quality of their products.  



 

 

 
 

As they honor tradition, they also have been cutting edge in their designs and keeping up with the times while maintaining the beautiful essence their company carries. There are 15 canvas colors available, along with wool, American bison leather, and an assortment of other American leather products to choose from. No matter the product you are interested in, you can be reassured of the highest quality.

 

Duluth Pack is special for a myriad of reasons. Their packs carry the power of storytelling and so many memories are made with the packs. Adventure calls when you get your hands on one of these packs. 

Their humble beginnings back in 1882 has grown and amassed into a worldwide organization. Products are sold to a global consumer through their flagship retail store in Duluth, MN, their online retail store, and a global network of dealers.

Duluth Pack has extended a 15% discount in the online store for all of those apart of the Folk Family. Go pick out a pack perfectly suited for your next adventure. With so many styles and colors to choose from it is going to be a hard decision. (Personally leaning towards a Burgundy Scout Pack myself) 

CODE: FOLK15

Click here to view their website and online store

 

Follow them on Instagram to share some love with the Duluth Pack team for their generosity and commitment to their customers! 

Instagram: @DULUTHPACK 

America The Great: A Roadtrip with Alexander Miles

Christophe Chaisson

These last few days have been incredible stressful and emotional for many Americans, so to hear what Alexander Miles, an Australian, had to say about this country was balm to my soul. To see the beauty of the land that this nation was built on and to hear the affirming insights from a foreign traveler was a refresher for the love and hope I hold for America. 

Enjoy a glimpse of Alexander and Lana's Great American Roadtrip where these two  traveled, explored, and photographed the grand natural landscapes of the West.


Where are you from:

I was born in Sydney, Australia.

I've spent just as much time in Melbourne, Australia.

Age:

Depressing

Where do you live:

I live in East London.


From someone on the outside what is the appeal of visiting America? 

 As a kid, I always thought the USA was like the wild-west. Fame, fortune, wild people and wild nature. Most of the media we consumed in Australia - especially growing up - has been centred on America. We are spoon-fed doses of Americana all our lives. As an adult, and having spent a lot of time in the USA, I realise that its part true and part fallacy. America is stunningly beautiful, complex and surprising. Anyone i've ever spoken to that've taken a trip in the states comes out of it enlightened and humbled by the people and the beauty of the nature. 

What are the most iconic ideas/places/landmarks/narratives of "America" to the foreigner?

The great American Road Trip is something that almost every person I ever speak to states as the thing that they want to do. A rolling landscape of the road, dotted with weird and wonderful Americana. A lashing of the kitsch and miles of tired, weather-beaten signs advertising cheap gas or rooms. 

I keep going back to the desert. There is a bleakness, a tiredness which I find really compelling. You can drive for days and at the end of your journey you can end up somewhere like Zion and you feel like you've landed on another planet. Incredibly rewarding as a foreigner to have the interplay of bleakness and the grand scale of the natural sights.

Also, not to be discounted are the people and places - those roadside truck stops with funny 'attractions' and museums. Diners always about the diners.

 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

 

Where did you go on this trip?

We flew from NYC straight to Vegas. Picked up a convertible Mustang and hit the road - it is totally cliched, but we're from Australia, so we figured we had to do it. From there we drove through the deserts to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Moab, finishing in the refreshingly green Colorado Rockies for a week.  

Where all have you visited in the past?

Lots of California, highlights being Yosemite, Death Valley. Nevada, Utah, Colorado. A little bit of the east coast, NYC and Boston, basically. For me it seems like the bigger attractions are always more in the west. 

13731699_10153658838485936_3013442622320099763_n.jpg
 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

What are some tips for navigating America if you aren't American?

Hire a car. There is no other way to see the USA other than by using a car. We were intimidated by the idea of driving on the 'wrong side' of the road, but it's a cinch and having the mobility meant we saw so much more.
Get out of the cities. For me the charm of the USA is in the nature, the small towns and the people who live out there.
Plan your trip and give yourself more time than you think you need. The place is damn big, and most great landmarks, national parks etc would need more than a single night to do it justice. We didn't do that last time. Lesson learned.
Try pretty much everything you can get your hands on - the variety of food you've got is staggering. S'mores! What a thing!

 @lanadelporto

@lanadelporto


Biggest pet peeve about America: 

Honestly? There isn't much. I'm trying to think of something? 

Oh! Ah! I've got it! Outside of NYC more often than not you'll find the worst coffee in the universe. It's totally butchered. For the record, to be fair, any coffee is better than no coffee, but for an Australian it's always a bit of an adjustment to get used to the heavily filtered coffee. Or, worse yet, Starbucks! 

Let's just chalk that down to cultural differences. 

Biggest thrill of America:

The feeling of anticipation when arriving somewhere extremely grand like Yosemite, Death Valley or Monument Valley knowing that it's going to be good and then it's so much better (and bigger) than you expected. When you sit there, looking at these amazing sights, jaw hanging, quietly just taking it in. It's probably not the thrill you'd expect, but it is the one that sticks with you.


What makes America, America? 

America has had a bad wrap for a long time and a lot of people still judge it harshly and unfairly today. It's a beautiful country, full of great people who are just finding their place in the world. It's far from perfect, but nowhere is. 

I always think about a very sarcastic quote from a good friend of mine in LA who said when I mocked him and the USA prior to ever having visited: "You only hate us because we're number one!" I never really had much of a comeback for that and after having travelled through much of the USA, it was really apparent to me what he meant. 

It's a damn good country. 

To me, America being a country of 'more'. You want something? Well you can have more of whatever that thing is. You want a canyon? Well here's the biggest damn canyon in the world. You like steak? Well how about a huge, table sized t-bone? You want to buy absolutely everything organic shop in a vegan-friendly packaging with a soy latte and a kale salad? Welcome to WholeFoods! 

You guys live large in pretty much every way, and it's pretty hard to fault the pleasure and charm of that way of life.

I'm inclined to agree with Alexander. America is a damn good country. Let's continue to uphold, appreciate, and fight for the beauty & values of America the Great.

You can catch more of Alexander and Lana's travels on Instagram.

Alexander: @bethebravest                 Lana: @lanadelporto

Sit in awe as you watch their breathtaking timelapse of their journey through the desert.

Beautiful Masculinity: An Interview with Ricardo Rico

Christophe Chaisson

Ricardo Rico is a 28 year old Brazilian living in São Paulo. His passion and career is photographing people. The photos he takes are very intimate and they portray a beautiful side to man's masculinity and beauty.


Christophe: When did you first become interested in photography?

Ricardo: I remember the first picture that I saw and I thought, "Wow how beautiful is it!" I wondered how that picture was created. I was a child and the picture was of Naomi Campell, from Playboy Magazine by David LaChapelle.
Ever since then, everytime that I saw a beautiful picture, I wondered how and why it was made. When I was a teenager I met a photographer and he invited me to help him during a photoshoot of a new upcoming model. That moment was my first real contact with photography and I fell in love.

 

C: Were you self-taught or did you learn in school/from a mentor?

R: Self-taught.  My first exposure with photography was through a professional, however I did not have them as a mentor.
I researched and read about photography back then, and nowadays I continue do to do the same. I never stopped seeking more information.
Knowledge is an endless cycle, never stop seeking.
 

 

 

C: How did you develop your style?

R: So difficult, I have many doubts if I developed a style.
Hehehe "I love making new experiences"
Nowadays, my experience with 'The Lonely Project' has made me happy

 

C: What themes do you explore through your work?

R: Masculine beauty in physical and emotional forms is my current theme. I try to portray another man by mixing and molding a little of my subjects and a little of myself together. 

 


C: How do you find and choose you subjects or locations?

R: The intimate/nude theme is a set for 'The Lonely'.
Normally the first contact with the candidate is online, and I explain my job and they tell me the reason that motivated them to seek being photographed by me. I get to personally know them,  and we  start a building a strong connection based on confidence. After all nudity is still a taboo and it is not easy to get naked in front of someone.
Usually, I photograph in their house. I see this place only on the day of the photoshoot.

 Sometimes the place is amazing with a lot of light and I can explore the place many ways, while other times it is a patient game where I fight against the darkness to explore the maximum that I am able to do. However, the place is not very important, the focus is the human.  The pictures I take and conversations we have are the most important objective.
 

 


C: What inspires your work?

R: The people are my inspiration. I loving walk on the street and observing the people near me. It’s fascinating to observe someone that have no idea they are being observed. Mainly lonely people, seated in the park, in the square, public transport, waiting for someone or something. 
And movies, TV series, songs, and some photographers that I like so much are João Guedes, Wong Sim and Haris Nukem.

 

 
C: How do you compose an image? Do you go into the shoot with a specific shot in mind, or does the inspiration strike when you place your model in the setting?

R: All is an experiment. First, I need to get a harmonious atmosphere to feel free and confident. After that the experimenting starts. I continue to study and search what will be visually pleasing for the photoshoot throughout this entire process. 
 

 

C: What has been your biggest lesson learned through creating your art?

R: I have learned to listen. 
I have gained the opportunity to meet a lot of different people with culture and histories totally different and this has enriched me a lot as a human.
 

 

C: What do you hope your art says to people?

R: The interpretation is free and totally personal. In my opinion, the body is art and can be interpreted to many ways; it depends on the way that you see. 

C: Why did you choose your craft? How hard was it to become profitable at it?  

R: It is necessary for me and I cannot see myself doing anything different than photography in my future. Just like any other self-employment, this is a battle with ups and downs.
 

 

C: Any suggestions to newcomers to the field?

R: Make experiences, observe, make mistakes & correct them, do not give up, remake and try it again!

 

C: If you couldn’t be doing your craft, what would you do instead?

R: I cannot see myself doing something different than photography, however Graphic Designer is another option.

 
 



C: Any favorite moments of your career so far?

R: The gaze, of who I captured with my camera, this make me feels happy.

 


 
C: What would you do differently if you could start from scratch?


R: If I changed one thing that I did, I probably could lose good things that I won during this time.

 

Rico is currently working on a project that we can all support by clicking here on the Catarse website. (Brazilian Crowdfunding)

The second edition of Lonely Magazine is in the works and he needs our help to publish his fantastic work of art.  

You can also share some love and check out his website & Instagram:

Website: RicardoRico  Instagram: @the.lonely.project
 

Meet Michael the Maker

Christophe Chaisson


Michael Stricklin is a maker located in Opelika, Alabama. The business he founded, Loyal Stricklin, is a leather goods and accessories company. He shares with us the in's and out's of being a maker and tells his story of becoming the maker that he is today. 

 MICHAEL STRICKLIN
OWNER, FOUNDER, AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF LOYAL STRICKLIN


Christophe: Tell us about your process to becoming a maker. Did you go to college? Did you come from the corporate world? Or were you always a maker?

Michael: I took a serious interest in product development after returning from a study abroad trip in Italy. I realized I wanted to be able to create beautiful items on a smaller scale than the degree in Architecture I was pursuing would allow for. I started working with leather to make a phone case/wallet combo, mostly because I could make them at the desk in my living room. The material spoke to me and so I continued to develop my skills and products over the next year and a half. I launched Loyal Stricklin in the Fall of 2013 as I started my masters degree and went full-time once I graduated.

 

C: How did you decide you were finally ready to be a full-time maker?

M: I had my first mild success the Christmas season of 2013, and business never slowed down after that. By the time I graduated, I went full time with a few part-time employees helping me make everything. I haven’t looked back since.
 


C: Why are you a maker?

 M: I wanted to become an entrepreneur so I could have time to do the things I loved and not have to answer to a boss. Turns out, it’s not the days spent leisurely doing whatever that I had hoped they would be. It’s a full-time 9-5 job spent in the studio now. I’m never really “off” though, and am constantly thinking about ways to improve a design or how to run the business.

 

 



C: Why are you still a maker?

M: God willing, I’ll be one for as long as I can. Even if Loyal Stricklin could not pay the bills for some reason, I wouldn’t stop. Creating and working with my hands is my passion, and always has been.

C: As a child what did you want to be?

M: I was always drawing and creating as a kid, which is why I went into architecture. I knew I wanted to be in a creative field, but you have to make a living too. My childhood experiences spending time in the garage with my Dad on DIY projects and the skills I learned in Architecture school really lent themselves to making this business possible.

 

C: Tell us about your creative process and the evolution of that process as you've perfected your craft and as you've grown as a business.

M: I stay pretty passive on design for a long time while I think about the next product. I usually mull it over, sketch something out, and then it might be weeks before I look at it again. Because I am heavily involved in so many as parts of the business — from marketing to production and running the business and all that entails—  It can be hard to find time to set aside just for design. I keep a journal and pens in my bag at all times. Once I’ve fixated on the next product I want to create, then that’s when I get down to design, sketching slight variations until I have something I’m pleased with on paper. Then it’s onto the real design, which is creating samples and working the kinks out with the actual product. It’s important to me that our products are simple and cost and time effective, yet also beautiful and useful. One of the most important things to me is that our designs are coherent across our entire line. I don’t like to make something new just to fill up a void in our product line. I need it to fit into the overall aesthetic and design of our entire product range.

 

C: What inspires you?

M: For design itself, I’m inspired by anyone creating beautiful work. I love 2D design, but I really get excited about 3D design, from true craftsman in the leather world to furniture and building design. A lot of the time, inspiration has to take a backseat; I have employees and bills to pay, and I have to put product development on the back burner and instead go into production mode most of the time to make it all work. 

 

C: How have you grown your business?

M: We’ve been really blessed with this business. It’s hard to explain how we’ve gotten to where we are in a “do this and you’ll succeed" kind of way. I’ve found myself surrounded by wonderful people who really pushed this business forward. Friends like Folk helping us on social media when we got started. If I were still working alone, I don’t think that I’d be where I am at all today.  Our small town is cheap to live and work in, but beautiful with an incredibly supportive community; my wife has been my biggest supporter, pushing me to be a better husband, boss, designer, and businessman; My employees are hardworking and loyal, and really carry the weight of our better selling items, and Instagram has been an instrumental tool in our growth and presence online. We take careful consideration of our designs and how our products wear in, and don’t release a product we’re not completely happy with. All these things, plus our amazing customers and fans have really propelled us forward. I think we were also lucky that I started doing all of this before being a “maker” was a normal thing. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time, and I think that’s been huge for us as well in the relationships we’ve forward with our retail partners and customers as a whole. 

 

C: How have you perfected what you make?

M: I’m obsessive over the things I love. I always have been. My mother used to get mad at me because I’d find a hobby, get obsessed, and then drop it once I had had enough of it. I’m lucky to have that trait, as it’s allowed me to push forward with this business. I’ve matured at least a little since my younger days, and don’t plan on dropping this obsession anytime soon. I need to create to have a fulfilling life, and this has been the perfect outlet for my desire to create.
 

 

C: Has this growth been easy?

M: Nothing about running a business is easy, but it’s worth it to my wife and me. Even the toughest moments are something to be thankful for, as it’s the hardships that reveal and refine your character and allow for the most personal growth.
 


 

 

 

C: What has been the most successful way to get your product out there?

M: Instagram and trade shows by far. We’re starting to look into more traditional methods of advertising in the new year, but connecting with our customers directly online and with small business and store owners in person has worked well for us. Life is all about people, and connecting with them. You can’t do anything worthwhile without including someone else, and that has been a core belief in our business since the get-go.

 

                                                       C: What does the future hold for you?

M: We hope to continue to be able to do what we love, hire more people and create more jobs, and grow as big as we can while maintaining our values. We’re constantly improving and refining our current product line and coming up with new ideas. I didn’t put “leather” in our business name, because it was never just about that. We hope to move into many different forms of design and product development and will continue to expand our offerings as we continue to grow.

C: Give us three tips you've learned as a maker that can be applied to everyday life:

1. Whatever you do, work your ass off.
2. Refine, refine, refine.
3. Always continue learning something new.

 
 

C: What is the biggest lesson you've learned?

M: It all takes a lot more time than you think. Don’t compare yourself to someone that looks like they’re doing better than you. Keep your head down and worry about you, and you’ll get there.

 

 

 

 

C: Why should we support and buy maker and American made goods?

M: The maker movement is just so real, so tangible. You're not just buying a wallet, or a candle, or a mug; you're buying into someone's passions, their dream, their livelihood. It's as if you get a glimpse into a part of their day--through their eyes--where they spent hours looking over and shaping the same piece that you now hold in your hands.  That same care and attention will rest loyally in your hands, in your pocket, and in use for years to come. There's a beauty and a warmth to it that just isn't possible with your normal big box store purchase.  
Even if you decide not to purchase from us, we hope that you will purchase with a purpose from makers, from artists, and from average Joe's just chasing their dreams and living life by their own terms.

 

If something isn’t good enough, we redo it. If a stitch doesn’t look right, we redo it. If a piece of leather doesn’t look right, we don’t use it. Quality control happens throughout the process.We make sure to only use certain types of leathers, with certain thicknesses for certain things. If the material is too thick or thin, it won’t work.
 Since everything is made in-house, it isn’t too hard to maintain the quality we want. 

C: How do you ensure quality of your brand and your products?

M: We’re a small team- only four of us make all of our products. I make all of our bags, my wife makes all of our wallets, and our two production employees, Kelen Rylee and Seth Brown, make everything else. The team has been trained to really understand the quality that we’re going for, and I trust them to only let products that pass my standards go out the door. If they have any concerns, I’m right there everyday in the studio alongside them to guide them.

 
 

C: How do you live authentically?

M: I keep the same schedule and routine everyday. I speak my mind, but have learned when it’s important to remain silent. I do my best to treat others well and with respect, and I love what I do.

 

C:How do you find the divide between work and personal?

M: The actual work takes place between 9-5. Thinking about the business never stops, but when I’m home, I do my best to be at home. Rest and turning off the business mind makes your work far better than if you just think about it nonstop. Don’t be afraid to take a break. You probably need one.


C: What is the biggest question you've yet to find the answer to as a maker?
 
M: Why are there so many different taxes? It’s insane. As a small business owner, I’m taxed from all sides. I’d love to be able to put more money back into the economy by providing more jobs, and buying more supplies and materials and equipment to expand, but sadly, growth is often slower than I want because so much has to go to the government. 

 

                                 C: How/Where can we find your products?

M: The best place to find us is at our website at www.loyalstricklin.com, at our flagship retail store at 711 Avenue A in Opelika, AL, or at one of our many fine retailers across the globe. A complete list of stores carrying our goods can be found at www.loyalstricklin.com/pages/stockists

By humbly and passionately pursuing his dream, Michael plays an important and vital role in the maker movement. People like you and me have a part to play as well in supporting our local, small businesses. It is a privilege to see Michael and his incredible business continue to grow and prosper. You can continue to follow their journey on Instagram @loyalstricklin

Candied Violets

Ben Ashby

Candied violets are perfect for spring. They are perfect for cake toppers, fruit salads, or beautiful garnish when creating a platescape. They also couldn't be more simple to create and to master.

Simply take clean, organic, violet blooms. Place on a flat surface. Make sure they are dry. In a bowl mix together one egg white and two tablespoons of fine white sugar. With a small brush. I use a paint brush. Paint the egg white and sugar mixture very carefully on each bloom. Allow to air dry for several hours. Then you're ready to decorate cakes, plates, and more with these beautiful sweet petite moments. 

Muir Woods

Ben Ashby

File Aug 16, 10 06 17 PM.jpeg

I create these stories and never remember to publish them. This is a set we took last year at Muir Woods outside San Fransisco. The woods is the most insane pocket of giant red wood trees, and is only about thirty minutes outside SF. 

You'll want to reserve tickets online as the wait to get in the park is otherwise rather strange and intense. 

Muir (1 of 18).jpg
Muir (2 of 18).jpg
Muir (3 of 18).jpg
Muir (4 of 18).jpg

A Moment at La Push, Washington

Ben Ashby

PNW-0002-2.jpg

Last fall Brandon and I made our way from Seattle out to the Pacific coast for a night at La Push, Washington. If you've never made the leap and visited the Pacific Northwest, your visit is long past due. The nature is just insane. From the forests, to the rocky coasts everything is pure magic. These images were shot with a Canon 5D IV. 

PNW-0021.jpg
PNW-0035.jpg
PNW-0040.jpg
PNW-0071.jpg