Where does your desire to explore the unfamiliar stem from?
Growing up in a small town, it could feel very closed off from the world, and we never had any money to travel or go anywhere. My family life as a kid was also filled with some strife and chaos, and I was motivated by the idea that escaping where you are from would lead to personal happiness, which it does in some regards. Once I recognized how easy it was to set out, that all you really needed was gas money and a few camping supplies, that was a big realization.
Do you think social media has created an ‘experience envy’? Is this something that has happened to you?
Yes, it’s totally changed how we experience every aspect of life and is definitely a medium that creates feelings of envy, jealousy or missing out. I don’t think it was supposed to be that way; at its roots, Instagram was such a great idea—just sharing an iPhone photo. But it has morphed into a beast of a different nature, and now people use it to show how amazing their lives are, or to create brands for themselves and sell things.
Of course, I have gotten ‘experience envy’, you see people having some crazy time and you question your own life and what you are doing. But you realize how bizarre it is, and then you don’t really feel envious anymore. I think photography is an art form and yet a lot of people are replicating things they have seen online. It has changed the way we look at, consume and create photography because ultimately the semiotics of what we previously thought made a good photograph are morphing towards something that accounts for the largest universal appeal.