Boarding Pass – Anthony Georgis
American photographer Anthony Georgis is a photographer whose clients include Nike, Converse, T-Mobile and Monocle magazine. His work has his sent him all over the world including a a commission for a documentary style shoot for Levi’s that sent him on a 30-day road-trip across the United States. I have to admit I was pretty much in awe of this dream assignment when I first met Anthony in Berlin in May, but as cool as the project was I also believed him as he talked about how intense it was to keep up with shooting and their pace on the road. I could stare at the images that resulted from that trip for hours, and I’m so happy to have a deeper look into Anthony’s travels on today’s Boarding Pass. Thanks, Anthony! –Anne
last trip taken:
The last trip was a long one. I left Portland in April of 2011 and spent a year traveling all over Europe and the US on a bit of a vision quest to find a new place to call home. It was all rather spontaneous and some might say ill-advised, but I sold off everything I owned and hit the road. There wasn’t much of a plan—I just knew I needed a change and the perspective that comes from traveling.
Photograph taken with my iPhone looking through the viewfinder of my Folleiflex TLR of tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower.
I helped a friend record some music in a tiny town in Finland, went to Paris for the first time, and wandered around the Andalusia region of Spain. Then a call came to shoot a project in Berlin, which wasn’t even on my list of places to visit. I totally fell for the city and met the lovely and talented Rebecca Silus from the fieldoffice.org blog. It quickly became obvious that the journey was going to be a team effort from there on out. I convinced Rebecca to spend the next five months traveling all over the US with me, exploring what it would be like to live in LA or Texas or even Minnesota. Ultimately we came back to Berlin, which seems like the best place for us to be right now.
Photograph of bubbles on 5th Ave in NYC made during my 30-day roadtrip across America commissioned by Levi’s for the launch of the Go Forth campaign.
next trip on deck:
There are a ton of places on the list, but I’m really looking forward to exploring Berlin/Brandenburg this summer. There are so many exciting things in the city that I still haven’t seen and the area around Berlin is dotted with amazing little lakes that are perfect for day trips.
Field Report 033: Berlin Flora
one place you would go back to again and again:
The West Coast is bit of a magnet for me because I have a lot of history and great friends there—plus there is the ocean, the mountains, and the sun. I always end up back in Oregon or California and love visiting my friends Chris and Sasha who live up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, especially when the weather is warm and you can go swimming in the Yuba River and hike around.
Postcard of the Painted Desert
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
It depends on the friend. A safe bet would be Spain. Sevilla was my favorite city. I was there in the early spring during the Feria de Abril and it was amazing. I danced in the casitas and ate oranges off the trees that grow along the streets.
Portrait of Carmen at the Ferria di Abril in Sevilla, Spain
preferred method of transportation:
That would have to be via VW camper van. I love long, aimless road trips and the freedom of a having a home on wheels is rad. Plus it’s small enough that you can easily navigate the city when you need to. I used to own one in the 90s and Rebecca and I rented one for a week in California. We don’t have our own yet, but it’s at the top of our list.
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Tokyo. I think it’d be totally overwhelming, but totally amazing.
Kid in red, white, and blue afro wig photographed on the 4th of July a 30-day roadtrip across America commissioned by Levi’s for the launch of the Go Forth campaign.
place you’d never go back:
I like to think that even the worst places I’ve visited have some kind of redeeming quality, but you have to be willing to look for it. That said, I’m not in a big hurry to go back to visit Tulsa, Oklahoma, anytime soon.
Portrait of a well-dressed Oklahoma “oil man” at a diner in Tulsa photographed during a 30-day roadtrip across America commissioned by Levi’s for the launch of the Go Forth campaign.
most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
When I was in my early 20s, I took a 5 day Greyhound bus ride from San Francisco to Boston, then drove back across the country in drive-away cars with my good friend Michael. I’m surprised I survived.
Canoeing on the Liepnitzsee
how do you prepare for a trip?
When I travel I like to be flexible, so I don’t do a ton of planning. I might glance at a travel book or look online a bit, but there is never a big agenda. The most important things for me are finding someplace to stay that is unique and comfortable and having a short list of good places for food or coffee. I leave a lot up to chance and like to leave room for getting lost and letting things happen.
Street portrait, Philadelphia, PA. Photographed during a 30-day roadtrip across America commissioned by Levi’s for the launch of the Go Forth campaign.
how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
Usually I have at least one or two film cameras with me and sometimes a DSLR. I use my iPhone and Instagram to take snapshots. Occasionally I’ll make a video and I always carry around a pocket-size notebook for notes and random thoughts.
Tourists talking pictures of the Mona Lisa
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Big skies, odd landscapes, and real people. When I was in Paris, I was fascinated with all the tourists taking photos, so I took a lot of pictures of people taking pictures. I also like to take photos that are de-focused and impressionistic because for me it’s about making something that will remind me how a place feels.
Cloud patrol with Rebecca in Telingua, Texas
Impressionist photograph of a park in Paris
on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
If I’m shooting medium format film, I might only take a roll of 12 exposures a day and shoot a bit more with the iPhone. I don’t go too overboard with photos because I like to experience a new place by being there, looking around, listening, and just being in the moment.
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
Packing light is important to me. I can easily travel with just my Timbuk2 shoulder bag, which I’ve had for almost 10 years. It’s permanently organized with all kinds of travel-related essentials. The camera I use most often is an old Rolleiflex TLR, which is my favorite camera in the whole world. If I only have room to take one camera, it’s the Rolleiflex. The other things that I always take along are a small Moleskine cashier journal and a mechanical pencil.
Vintage Rolleiflex 2.8FTLR
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I let like things sit for a little while. It’s nice to have a break while I wait for film to come back from the lab and then have that moment of surprise when I pick it up to see what I got. We try to put things up in a more timely manner for the Field Office blog.
Self portrait of me on a mountain in Andlucia, Spain
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I’m not much for souvenirs. Because I pack so light, an object has to be pretty special for me to merit taking it along—or needs to be useful on the journey, like the pocket knife I picked up while traveling in France.
My pocket knife
BONUS: how do you navigate a strange city?
With a combination of the iPhone, asking strangers for directions, and random wandering. Often I just pick a destination and head in that general direction. If I get distracted or lost along the way I consider that just a part of the plan.
The American landscape – sunset at In-N-Out Burger
Boarding Pass is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel. Don’t miss all the amazing participants.