These little plastic boxes of computer parts and glass we dangle from our necks don’t just produce rectangles. They give us access to our neighbors. They give us the opportunity to feed our passion for documenting the life of strangers, and lets strangers share their passion for living life.
I met Aaron as the sun rose and he was already working. The continental breakfast from the hotel in the tiny spit of a town called Live Oak was barely even finished on my passenger seat when I realized I was lost. After several U-turns on a one-lane road, I finally picked out the fake street sign depicting the silhouette of a wiener dog that I was supposed to find on a fence gate along the foggy rural landscape only broken by live oaks trees.
Upon opening the gate to his home and workshop, I was greeted by a weimaraner named Isabella who was running at my car full speed. She escorted me back to Aaron Wells of Cypress Kayaks who spends countless hours hand-making canoes and kayaks in a family workshop made of recycled wood. I would spend the day listening to Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson (and N.W.A. strangely enough) crackling through an old generation iPod plugged into web covered speakers.
We spent most of the day just chatting as he meticulously placed thin strips of wood along a canoe. I couldn’t see any progress visually, which gave me plenty of time to explore every rusty nail covered corner in that place. Pieces of saw dust wood shavings covered every inch of my gear. My boots went from black to brown in a few moments of shooting.
Look, I know they are just pictures of a guy building a boat. It was a simple, uneventful day where basically nothing happened except normalcy. Aaron wasn’t building the Ark and gathering two of every animal. There was no flood. Hell, there were very few words spoken. Just a guy living his life, doing what he does whether I’m there or not.
How amazing is that?
For more photos, check out the Photoshelter site: here
..and how Bay Magazine ran it: