While over the past 17 years Staci and I have called Chicago home, I spent most of my life in rural Michigan where we both grew up. I’ve prided myself on always embracing my small town roots but recently it was brought to my attention (thanks to Staci) that I was becoming soft and a bit citified. She’s not entirely wrong. There are few creature comforts that I find myself craving on a regular basis, including a good cup of strong coffee, a robust cell signal, and on occasion one of those fancy-schmancy bakery cupcakes. But still I wanted to prove her at least a little wrong and show her that there’s still a rough and tumble country boy underneath all those boutique cupcakes. So we set out for a quick camping trip to beautiful northern Wisconsin to visit the famous Door County.
Like all well-intended camping trips where you dream of open blue skies and brisk fresh air, it rained the entire time. But we made the most of it and I found myself gravitating toward the things I loved photographing in Northern Michigan. Door County is very similar to Northern Michigan, but without a quickly growing town like Traverse City there seemed to be fewer people and less tourism on the western side of the lake.
I rarely do this but I loved this location so much I decided to shoot in both color and black and white. I shot the black and white versions with a slightly wider angle lens.
Where I grew up many of the views are populated with abandoned farm houses from a time long gone. I’ve always found solace in photographing these farms and imagining how much it strength it took to survive, let alone thrive. My guess is they weren’t spoiled by $6.00 cupcakes.
The quick road trip was an amazing time even given the bad weather. It actually provided some nice active skies and a bit of a moodiness for my photography. I’m not sure I’ll give up my creature comforts any time soon, but the trip was a nice reprieve from our daily lives and allowed us to break away from the minutia and spend some quality time chatting, laughing, photographing, and connecting with the wonderful people of Door County. Next time we go I’m told not to miss the fish boil at the old Post Office. We’ll be going back for sure.