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Trucker Project

 

 

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I traveled back to my hometown of Wahoo, Nebraska to meet my driver, Kristen.  It was a beautiful foggy morning with snow on the ground when I climbed up into the cab.  I remember feeling uneasy but reminded myself that this was going to be an adventure. Kristen did not like to stop. She drove hard to get every load in ahead of time and move on to the next. We were on the road all day long, pausing only for quick restroom breaks–motor running. It didn’t take long to realize that shooting was going to be a challenge. I struggled to find photos, but there was little time to talk with other drivers or fully explore truck stops. I ended up snapping a few images on my way to the restroom or shooting out of the cabin window. On the road, I had less control over circumstance, and the subject matter unfolded and evolved with each new day. I was not out to definitively document this subculture, but wished to connect with the social and cultural fabric of the trucking life through the camera.

Truck drivers leave behind families and homes for days at a time to work a job that offers independence and isolation, adventure and monotony. This work is quintessentially American and connected to all of our lives, but it is rarely acknowledged or investigated. On the road, I saw men eating cheap food under fluorescent lights. I met roadside preachers and stared out a rainy window for hours on end.  Bedtime came early and at night the truck was very cold. Kristen didn’t run the heat when we were parked. More than the cold, it was the stale, stagnant air of the cabin that kept me awake most nights. For a job which promised open spaces, I realized that Kristen and I were confined and isolated much of the time. Before sunrise, we would get up and begin to drive again.

 

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