Maine is a proud state filled with natural wonder. From the gorgeous shores to the towns located within a short drive from those shores, Maine's splendor has been well-documented and celebrated and that splendor is not what I'm interested in. This project is a photo book about the rest of Maine. The Maine I know, the one I grew up in. The one I saw from the windows of a school bus as we drove to play basketball against another remote, Class D school. The brick mills shuttered, the asbestos-shingled apartments. The puddle in front of the only gas station in town, filled with slush, freezing rain pouring down from the halogen-bulb lit sky. This is the Maine I'm interested in showing.
This project will be about photo documenting the parts of Maine that the brochures and magazines would never touch upon. The photos and accompanying text will be put into a lovely book called "Maine from the Inside."
I feel like most of Maine is seriously underrepresented or misrepresented in media depictions of the state. Many of these representations are patronizing accounts of small coastal towns, where the scenery and the people are both described with the same adjectives, things like "weather-worn" and "rugged."
In "Maine from the Inside," I'll capture photos of the local hang-outs where folks pass around a half gallon of Allen's: the bars in the woods, the Machias dike. I want to show communities doing the things they've always done, like baked bean suppers at Grange Halls or cheering at high school basketball games. Places where real Mainers, who don't fit the cozy narrative, have a good time and survive another winter.
I want to show the Maine no one else is bothering to look at, and to do it with respect.
The book will be published on-demand. If the book proves popular enough, I'll work on selling it by traditional methods, in book stores and gift shops. There will be a website for people to order the book in hardcover or paperback once the book is completed. I'm looking at lulu.com right now for publishing, but that is subject to change depending on how well the funding goes and if a sweeter deal arises.
Funding will pay for sample books, equipment, software, and travel expenses.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges this project faces will be travelling the state of Maine. Winter time can be pretty brutal, after all. Hopefully weather doesn't affect travel too much, but if it does, the September 2014 release should provide enough of a buffer to reschedule a visit. Another potential challenge will be finding places to stay. Some towns are remote enough to not have a motel or hotel, so staying in the nearest town will be necessary.
If these setbacks arise, one of two things will happen: either I'll reschedule my voyage or I'll find a different place to document. Maine has a lot of really interesting places.
The funding goal also takes into account the fact that some places don't have year-round lodging, or any lodging for that matter, so I'll need to stay near-by and do a bit of extra travelling.
Another possible bump in the road is the ever-present threat of equipment failure. The funding goal gives me a buffer to hedge against that risk.