Aaron, tell us a bit about yourself..
A couple years ago I left my management consulting job to drive around the United States. Three months and 20,000 miles later, I was hooked on exploring as much of America as humanly possible - from dense urban centers to single stoplight towns and everything in between... and, of course, the millions of acres of protected forests, parks, recreation areas, and other public land. Somewhere along the way I started taking pictures. I currently live in New York City, which is fantastic from the standpoint of professional opportunities and social life, but can certainly make you long for the peace and quiet of nature. I escape as often as possible to wilder places in the Northeast, and it was that impetus to escape that led a few friends and I to leave Manhattan after a particularly big city summer to build a cabin on a farm outside of Portland, Oregon.
How did you end up in the woods building a cabin?
One of my best friends in New York is from Portland, and he had access to a plot of land and permission to build a cabin. That was pretty much all we needed. One guy brought tools and know-how, the rest of us just showed up. It seemed like a fun, refreshing, way to spend a week.
What was the cabin project all about?
There were a couple themes that I guess you could say drew us to the idea. The first was: adults need to play too. Our minds get tired making a similar set of professional and personal decisions constantly, day in and day out, and at some point what we need is to do something totally different and totally outside the comfort zones. The friends I worked on the cabin with all sit in front of computers for work, so the idea was to do something way outside of that norm. The other piece was, as I wrote in this post about the project, to use our minds and bodies for something far away the realm of digital. No smartphones, laptops, Netflix, or cable.
What is your specialty in Photography?
I don't really have a specialty. I started taking pictures on my first cross country road trip because I didn't think my friends and family would be able to comprehend the incredible diversity of beauty in America without photos. I wrote incessantly on that trip, too, but it is the photographs more than the essays that draw me to return to particularly special places, and have drawn people close to me to visit some of these same places. I guess if there's one type of image I shoot again and again it's pictures of roads. I'm sort of on a quest to find the perfect road picture - an image of a two lane road that communicates a sense of endless possibility and also evokes immediate longing to get out and travel. Because ultimately I shoot with the goal of inspiring other people - and reminding myself when I need a kick in the ass - the get outside and explore. I've driven across America twice sort of searching for that perfect road, and funny enough I think I found it just 2 hours from New York City. But that's a story for another post...
Best gear you brought?
Wool, period. We built for the entire week in the same wool t-shirts. Seems gross, but wool is naturally odor resistant, wrinkle resistant, and many times more durable than fibers like cotton. We were basically able to build for the entire week, and explore southern Oregon, with a couple of wool layers and whatever else was in our backpacks.
All images in this post are original works by Aaron Flack. We'd like to thank him for his contributions and look forward to seeing his upcoming work!
You can contact Aaron at: