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A photo road trip to retrace Robert Frank's journey around The United States from The Americans Read more

Lakeland, FL Fine Art
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A photo road trip to retrace Robert Frank's journey around The United States from The Americans

Lakeland, FL Fine Art
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About this project

The idea for Retracing America is something I’ve been mulling around for quite some time, and I quickly came to the conclusion that there’s not going to be any better time to do it than the present. 

The project will be an epic American journey inspired by a photographer named Robert Frank, who made nearly the same trip over 60 years ago. His vision: to capture America in a living moment, just as it was, and to photograph what truly makes America American. Frank photographed the everyday lives of the American people, and his refusal to shy away from subjects like racism, religion, and suburban life was part of what made his work truly revolutionary in its time. He put these photographs into a book titled The Americans. 

More than a half a century later, this collection of photographs forever preserves the visual ideas of our nation during that era. It stands as history for anyone to see. That’s part of why I believe there is power and value to street photography; It’s like holding up a mirror to society. These photographs are the reflection of what was happening at a unique moment in time, and they’re also segues to bigger ideas which are sometimes easier to ignore.

There is no doubt that America has changed in the past 60 years. I'd like to follow in Frank’s footsteps and retrace his journey around America as a project of my own. My goal is not to recreate Robert Frank’s work, but to acknowledge the historic importance of his original journey and use it as an inspiration to share the way that I see America. 

When Frank went on the road in 1955-56 there were no interstates; it was just the original National Highway System. Part of the project is also studying the roads that were once traveled by Frank, many of which have practically been forgotten due to the interstate system. I want to capture what those areas look like now, and the people who live there.

This Autumn, I will head out on an epic road trip to more than 90 stops throughout America. Some are big cities, some are tiny specks barely even noticeable on a map, but all are important. 

During this three month road trip I’ll be photographing as much as possible: the people, the buildings, the traffic, the simple, the complex and all the things in-between, all the things that make up life in America.

The funding from this kickstarter will go toward:

  • basic supplies
  • food 
  • gasoline 
  • car maintenance 
  • lodging expenses
  • general travel expenses
  • the cost of creating the book 
  • printing
  • kickstarter swag/incentives
  • shipping


How can you get involved? You're in the right place! We've listed some ways for you to be a part of the experience via the incentives!

If you are unable to give financially but still want to help, you can always post this project to social media. A like on facebook or tweet on twitter can mean a lot more than you might think. Spreading the word in person is always a possibility, too.

I invite you to follow along with me, lets see things differently, live outside the box, and let's retrace America.

 Below is a visual breakdown of each reward level. For details, please consult the list to the right. If you have any questions, feel free to send a message.

If you'd like to add an item that isn't available in your backer level, simply select your level and add the extra amount to your total. Once the project is funded, we'll send out surveys to work through all of the details. Add as many as you like!

         

Risks and challenges

Anytime you set out on a large project they're always potential risks involved. What if I get lost? What if the car breaks down? What if I run into bad weather or, worst of all, lose internet?

I'm fully aware that things don't always go exactly as planned, but I'm maybe even more aware that the unexpected bumps are sometimes what make the best adventures.

I believe in always having a plan B, and sometimes plans C and D too. I'll continuously be preparing for the worst, but expecting the best. Almost every element of the project has some level of flexibility, and adaptability is a paramount component of every plan made.

So what if the car does breakdown?
Well, we've allotted money to have it repaired, and I'm lucky enough to have country-wide roadside assistance and other programs on my side.

What if there's bad weather?
I've allotted extra time to wait it out. The project schedule will, in a some instances, be a bit of a moving target with a certain amount flexibility.

What if the wifi goes down?
The world will come to an end as we know it ...
Realistically, this might lead to an interruption of updates and bring other difficulties, but we'll deal with those as they happen.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • If the project is successful, you'll be charged on the end date: August 20th.

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  • The add-ons were developed so that you're able to get exactly the rewards you want. For example: You want to donate $5, but don't really care about having your name on the supporter list. You can click on the $2 backer level and add $3 to your pledge on the second page. Once the project is funded, we'll make sure you get the correct add-on. Add as many as you like!

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  • After the project is successful, we'll send you a survey via email that will collect all of the details to make sure you get the correct add-ons, t-shirts, sizes, etc.

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  • Absolutely! Given that you're not an axe murderer, meet other basic qualifications, and we don't already have someplace in your area, this is a great way you could help. Please send us a message.

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  • Candidly the books are a bit of a moving target, at the moment. We're doing everything we can to make sure you receive the absolute best 8"x10" (or bigger), full color, and approx. 100 page book possible.

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  • The project dates are a bit of a moving target, as well. Obviously, we'll have to make some plans and keep pace along the way, but given weather and other conditions we're really trying to remain as flexible as possible.

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  • The kickstarter prints will be an edition of their own, and the number will be based on how many people have ordered that print. Down the road, it's possible that a second edition of the prints will be made, but yours will be the first and most meaningful.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $2 or more

    4 backers

    Reward #1: This will put you on a special email list for our Kickstarter friends. You’ll be involved in the project and get periodic updates from the road. You'll also get our unending thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    4 backers

    Reward #2: Your name will be added as a supporter of the project on the Retracing America Website.

    + Reward #1

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    1 backer

    Reward #3: Digital Wallpapers of your choice from the trip for your phone and computer

    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    1 backer

    Reward #4: You'll get a special video greeting from the road, sent to you via email.

    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    1 backer

    Reward #5: 2 Handwritten postcards sent to you from the road.

    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    7 backers

    Reward #6: Digital Edition of the Retracing America book. (PDF or ePub)

    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    5 backers

    Reward #7: Your choice of Retracing America t-shirt.

    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    0 backers

    Reward #8: COMBO PACK
    Digital edition of the Retracing America book, and your choice of Retracing America t-shirt.
    + Reward #2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    8 backers Limited (17 left of 25)

    Reward #9: LIMITED SWAG PACK Reward #2, #5, #6, and #8. Retracing America stickers, and a signed 8x10" print of your selection from the journey.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    3 backers

    Reward #10: paperback copy of the Retracing America book + Rewards #2 and #6

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    3 backers

    Reward #11: a SIGNED paperback copy of the Retracing America book, a special thank you note, and Rewards #2 and #6

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers

    Reward #12: hard cover copy of Retracing America book
    + Rewards #2 and #6

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    2 backers

    Reward #13: a SIGNED hard cover copy of the Retracing America book, a special thank you note, and Rewards #2 and #6

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    2 backers

    Reward #14: Coffee meet up! If you're within 25 mi. of the route, I'd love to meet up for coffee, or tea, or whatever beverage you prefer, really. If you don't live along the route, we can still meet up for a virtual coffee date via skype.

    You'll also receive Rewards #2, #6, and #11.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    3 backers

    Reward #15: Coffee meet up! (see #14 for details) You'll also receive Rewards #2, #6, #7, and #13

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    0 backers

    Reward #16: A signed 16x20" print of your selection from the journey. You'll also receive rewards #2 #8, and #13.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    Reward #17: Photowalk! If you're within 25 mi. of the route, I'd love to take a day to tour your town and go shooting with you. You'll also receive rewards #2, #6, and #11

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $550 or more

    0 backers

    Reward #18: Photowalk! (see #17 for details) You'll also receive rewards #2, #8, and #13

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)

    Reward #19: Spend 2 days on the road! You'll get a hands-on experience of what life on the road is like, and have plenty of opportunities to make a few great photos of your own. You must be willing and able to come to a location along the route, and will be responsible for your return transportation. You'll also receive rewards #2, #6, and #13.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Reward #20: I'll fly you out to visit me along the trip for five days! You'll get a hands-on experience of what life on the road is like, and have plenty of opportunities to make a few great photos of your own. You must be willing and able to come to a location along the route. You'll also receive rewards #2, #8, and #13.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (35 days)