freedom of choice
80,000 km, empty cargo containers, roofs of wagons, elevator mines, no money, no food, thousands of pictures, two books, awards and exhibitions – Teenager-marginal Mike Brody wandered five years traveling on the roofs of trains to feel life and photograph a little of real romance.
17-year-old Mike Brody lived in Florida, packaged products in the supermarket, but once in the morning just sat on the train and went throughout America. For five years, he traveled, overcoming more than 80,000 km in empty cargo containers and wagons. During this time, Brodie met a lot of the same as he, free marginal travelers and made thousands of photos that occasionally laid out on the network under the Nick of The Polaroid Kidd. In 2008, Mike Nastagla Glory – For his pictures, he received a prize of Baum Award for American Emerging Artists, released the books of Tones of Dirt and Bone and A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, began to be exhibited in the New York and Los Angeles galleries. However, success did not change the fate of Brodi – he gave his fees to his mother, he scored a camera, trains and vagabonds left, and now looking for a romance in the car repair shop, where it works as a mechanic.
About how it all started
– Usually I tell people that was born in Pensalla, Florida, but in fact I am from Arizona.
– I got on the train and went. I did not have any idea where I’m going, why and how. I was 17.
– In the soul, I never felt like a photographer. But I always felt like a fan of trains. The main inspiration was a punk scene where I grew; radical anarchists, feminists – all this gave me food for reflection.
– books were quite difficult to do. I could not print many pictures at once because of what was usually done on the freebie in Kinkos (photo print shop), until someone from the friends distracted employees. Or while employees needed to carry out any important event. It is quite difficult.
Some traveled because they needed to hide, some – from love for adventure. But all of them became homeless in their own will
– I was something to say. My photos are not just pictures, beautiful landscapes; All my life and youth are displayed on them.
– I guess, the photo is always slightly romanticizing reality. Trains on trains – this is romance. At least in spring and summer. Trains on trains – it’s cool if you love life in the fresh air, do not mind to blocked a little and you don’t care that you are wearing for several months.
– I lived on trains, in different abandoned places, for example, in the old industrial building in North Philadelphia. My bedroom was an old elevator mine with a precipice width of 15 feet around.
– I could not have a job. Because I wanted to be able to do, damn, all I want and when I want. But sometimes interrupted by dubious earnings: for example, somehow I checked the medicine in the laboratory. I stayed alive, and I paid $ 3500.
– I removed at the beginning to Polaroid, who lent me a friend, and then on Nikon F3. Polaroid cassettes were not easy: I mostly have their cradle or bought the cheap on the site. When I started, every cassette cost $ 15, so I had to think about the scenes, so as not to spend it. Then Polaroid cartridges ceased to release, and I switched to a 35mm film chamber. My Polaroid, by the way, is still with me, keeps on scotch and bent.
Trains on trains – it’s cool if you love life in the fresh air, do not mind to blocked a little and you don’t care that you are wearing for several months
– Community of those who travel on trains is very small, close, and everyone knows each other: we are for each other as a family, always ready to help. Some traveled because they needed to hide, some – from love for adventure. But all of them became homeless in their own will; When you live like this, then quickly penetrate all American values: independence and hope only for yourself.
– Sometimes I did not go there, where I needed, but always consoled myself: if at least one photo is successful from this trip – the trip was not in vain. Steve McCarry was inspired for some work, I saw a couple of his portraits in the magazine National Geographic, on some – Mary Ellen Mark cards. But actually I don’t care about the photo.
– I mixed feelings about the fact that now my photos are published and hang on the walls in galleries, the same mixed feelings and my heroes who came to the opening of the exhibitions. But one is good – that these frames saw everything.
I could not have a job. Because I wanted to be able to do, damn, all I want and when I want
– I tied up with a photo, I studied in college and trying to become an excellent auto mechanic. But sometimes I really miss trains, in freedom, old lifestyle. True, always speak: I’m no longer a teenager, you need to grow up and move on. I made more than 7,000 pictures, I ranked first at the competition, won $ 10,000 – money gave mom. I don’t take pictures anymore. Is that your dog on a mobile phone – some photos are getting anything, and mom advises to put them on the competition.