"I pulled into Nazareth, I was feelin' about half past dead. I just need some place where I can lay my head..." - Foster Huntington
We’ve all had that moment: sitting at your desk at 11am on a Groundhog Monday, realizing there’s another 6 hours to go and just wishing that you were somewhere – anywhere – else. For Foster Huntington, waiting for a change was not an option. He decided to make it happen. Ditch the job, buy a van, rally up a couple buddies and take off to North America with nothing but the air in your lungs and a roll of film – sound ridiculous? Unrealistic? Impossible? Here’s one guy who has not only turned a dream into a feasible lifestyle, but into a passion, a talent and a career.
Traceable as A Restless Transplant, Cinder Cone, plain old Foster Huntington or the veritable hashtag: #Vanlife, his photos permeate the interweb, the blogosphere and your coffee tables alike. An adventurer, a traveler, a carpenter and true story hunter, Foster’s imagery captures his wandering lifestyle in a way that makes you want to follow suit and head into the wild a la Emile Hersch. However, he is not alone. We see the friendly faces and hard-working hands of his friends, companions and fellow travelers sneaking into various photographs as they contribute to creative construction, culinary endeavors or crashing on a hammock in the woodland sunlight, all tuckered out from a day of being absolutely awesome.
Foster’s wanderings are not entirely aimless, and his objective neatly culminates in photographic collections arranged by the project at hand. His most recent publication “Home is Where you Park it” captures various #vanlife stories with images of loved and weather-beaten vehicles and anecdotes of the drivers, inhabitants and adventurers behind the steering wheel. Throughout his travels, he has encountered many people embarking on similar journeys and reaping the same benefits of this liberal lifestyle. Without preaching, this photo-book gently encourages readers and viewers to consider this means of travel and homemaking, if not as a permanent fixture then perhaps as a temporary escape from the constraints of city or “ordinary” life.
Following his Instagram feed, you can live and breathe this nomadic lifestyle alongside Forest and his tall, beautiful, bearded (besides the women) companions. Their most recent feat was designing and constructing an enormous treehouse / studio between two Douglas Firs in Oregon with a little help from family and friends.
This is a dream that Foster has always hoped to achieve, and given his tendency to follow those dreams through, it’s no surprise that this treehouse has managed to come to life. Intimate documentation of early stage construction, surrounding scenery and smiling workers invite viewers into the process and allow behind-the-scenes access to the lives of people that are by no means “celebrity” but are far more interesting that any MTV nonsense plaguing our screens.
This is a simple life, depicted only by imagery and occasional words, and yet it has such a fresh, invigorating
and tangible narrative that leaves you instantly hooked by Forest and his childlike dreams. His personality pervades his photography, and one look at his Kickstarter promotional video will have you fall in love with his boyish smile and infectious charm. By capturing the natural beauty of North America’s woodlands, forests, sunsets and snowfalls, Forest is a modern day, real-life Christopher Robin; escaping into the wild with his friends, meeting kind and homely folk along the way and building dream tree houses in idyllic settings before setting off on the next adventure.
While most of us will peruse his blogs and Instagram feed from the solid, grounding safety net of the very type of office desk that he fled from, the desire to pack up and leave leaps up from the screen and draws you right in. If we cannot muster up the courage to escape at this exact moment, at least we can live vicariously through Forest and watch as he continues to capture the magic of pure, uninterrupted, beautiful freedom.
Photography by Foster Huntington
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