One of the best parts of getting to blog is that I often get to be creative with my husband. The blog is a place where we get to work together, dream together, and create together.
Travis is a designer by day and often a writer and engineer by night — so let’s just say I pick his brain a lot! He’s also helped with photography, a ton actually, with some of my favorite images like this one in Washington or this one in Mexico City. He’s taken up photography as a passion of his own, and has helped out with campaigns on the blog. I adore getting to shoot with him, and always puts a smile on my face.
I realized I’ve never properly introduced him, and wanted to take the time share the biggest piece of my life: my husband. I wanted to do a fun Q&A with Travis to share more about our life together and what it’s like being behind the camera.
(Hope you enjoy!)
J: What’s been your favorite place to travel to this year?
T: Mexico City. The food, architecture, and people were simply amazing. I can’t wait to go back.
J: How do you take your coffee, current music obsession, and Converse or Nikes?
T: When I’m home, decaf pour over with 1 sugar and a splash of half and half. Currently I’m making my way through a batch of Ritual’s Decaf Los Gigantes. On the road, decaf americano with 1 sugar and a splash of half and half.
For music, St. Sleep. They’re an alternative indy/electronic band from London. No one really knows about them yet, but they’re the real deal.
Most definitely Chucks. I’ll admit, my collection has slimmed in recent years, but my black leather Jack Purcell’s find their way onto my feet most days.
J: How do you balance life on the road with work?
T: In short, I don’t. Balance implies that equal time must be given to all things in all seasons, but life doesn’t work that way. Instead, I’ve found pursuing one integrated life—and embracing the ebbs and flows that each season brings—to be a much more fulfilling way to frame my life.
That said, it took me a long time to learn how to blur the lines between being home and away. Compartmentalizing the two worked in the short term, but it quickly unraveled as we started to spend as much time away as we did at home. Today, maintaining fullness year round means being constantly in-tune with our creative and rest rhythms and intentional about creating space for each—regardless of where in the world we happen to be. We always joke that Jess’s job is to plan our adventures, and my job is to plan our rest time.
At a practical level, preparation is everything. We work together to outline in advance what needs to be done in each category of life each day or week—and allocate our time and energies accordingly. Don’t get me wrong, living in constant motion isn’t without it’s logistical challenges and a bit of juggling. But with clear priorities, planning, and good Wi-Fi we always find a way to give the things we care about their due attention 🙂
J: Any tips you’d give for taking photos?
T: I’ve got three:
1. Shoot sunrise.
The light’s soft, the water’s flat, the wildlife is out, and all the cities and popular landmarks are deserted because everyone is still asleep. Wake up before the world and you’ll have the world all to yourself.
2. Raise or lower your shooting angle.
I try to avoid shooting at eye level. Shifting the angle up or down, even slightly for portraits, helps me see a scene in a way that I normally wouldn’t experience it. That shift in perspective has a way of creating something curiously unexpected. For example, I spent most of our time shooting at Lake Tahoe crouched at the waters edge or climbing up and through huge boulders on the hunt for a unique perspective.
3. Be patient.
We’ll often work a shot or a location for an hour or more, as the lighting, clouds, weather, and wildlife are in constant flux. It’s impossible to predict which moment is going to be the most captivating, so we patiently shoot as the conditions evolve. So many times, the most amazing light came after an hour-plus wait and lasted for a few fleeting seconds. For countless other shoots, the conditions never materialized. Photography is truly a war of attrition, the stand-out moments are few and far between and the only way to capture them is to shoot often and shoot patiently.
Typical scenes while on the road together.
J: What’s it like working together on the blog?
T: It’s an incredible adventure. I’m ever-amazed at the community that’s formed around you and your work. It’s such an inspiration to know there are so many other like-minded souls out there who are compelled to see the world and seek a life beyond their comfort zones. It’s a comforting feeling to know we’re not alone :).
I’ll admit, having to get up so early to be behind the lens means I get a lot less sleep than I’d like (haha), but the moments we get to share at the break of day are truly the highlights of my life.
Having an opportunity to venture out of our comfort zones and experience each other at our best and worst, has forged within us a bond and resolve that is unbreakable. I wouldn’t be the man or husband I am if it weren’t for you and the adventures your love of travel has swept us into. And for that, I’m forever grateful.
When it comes to the work itself, I’m simply astounded by the immense amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating the blog. An iceberg is the perfect metaphor. There is a mountain of effort underneath the small amount of polished work that gets shared on the blog or social media. Pulling the trigger on the shutter is the easy part in comparison to all of the planning, coordinating, writing, editing, and post-production that goes into telling the story of a location or experience.
J: Where’s one place you’d love to go vacation?
T: Bora Bora. I’d love to bring a stack of books and practice the art of doing nothing for a couple weeks 🙂 Can I throw in a second? I desperately want to see the northern lights. I don’t care where we go to see them. I just want to lay on my back for an evening and watch them swirl above us.
J: What’s one of your creative outlets?
T: My latest obsession is architecture. I recently had the opportunity to design and build my first house. At work I design software tools that are trapped behind the glass of a computer or phone screen, so having the chance to design a physical space that can engage all of ones senses was an exhilarating experience. Not wanting to come across as a dilettante, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m using the term architecture here loosely. Architecture requires a vast ocean of knowledge and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. But I’m totally addicted and looking forward to diving deeper in the years to come.
J: Okay we have two cats. Which one do you relate to most?
T: That’s cold, but I’ll play along 😉
In temperament, Suki is definitely my spirit animal. We’re both introverts and LOVE sleeping. When it comes to schedules, Miko and I both stay up and get up late (it’s not uncommon to find me and Miko still asleep at 11am on a Saturday). Miko also puts in a solid 9-to-5 sleeping in my lap most work days. So in the end, I’ll say: I relate to Suki the most, but I hang out with Miko more.
J: Your favorite SF neighborhood and why?
T: The Mission. Why? One word: Burritos.