A stop by the old weekend, skateboarding, stomping grounds.
After being shut down a record number of times since starting this project, I ran into the “Ice Cold Ryders” the motorcycle gang that has a club house right below my apartment. Going against the biker gang stereotype, they all seem to be super nice guys, and more than one was happy to help me out. Out of the couple guys I shot this was my favorite one …. yeah, even with the sloppy framing.
This one was almost too easy. I walked out the door of the coffee shop I frequent in Williston while working on the blog, and this gentleman here, happens to be sitting on the bench right outside the door. I popped off my lens cap, said hello, and even tricked him into looking at the blog on his phone as I set up the shot, two birds with one stone.
So here in Williston I am staying in a hotel that practically shares a parking lot with wal-mart, which is a pretty awesome for the project. There’s always healthy potential for stranger nagging plus you can find all walks here, more so than your average wal-mart due to Williston’s lack of all things outside of the oil industry, it’s great.
On the other side of the truck stand my initial targets who, in a finish each others’ sentences fashion, declined my request and simultaneously pawned the duty on this guy, by saying, ‘Nahhh you don’t want our photo, we don’t look good for photos,’ as they, in a nervous tough guy way, readjusted their hats and pushed at their hair. “but hey! He pays a hundred bucks for a pair of jeans, go take his photo.” Funny, I thought, jabbing at him for his supposed vanity as they were too worried about their appearance to have a photo taken.
I have actually been surprised a few times now by gruff looking oil workers who don’t want their photo taken because they are in their dirty work clothes, but have suggested it would be fine if they weren’t just getting off work and maybe had a chance to shower.
So here we have the MorningPortrait that almost never happened…. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have a new schedule with work, no schedule at all, on call 24/7.
So on this day I was talked into going out to the lake instead of doing my days blogging duties, for some jet skiing and wake boarding! While at the lake I was called to work in Williston, ND, the very heart of the modern day wild west, that is the Bakken oil boom.
Very literally, on my way in the door to work, I spotted this guy standing next door at the Amtrak station. So I quickly ran over and got his portrait just before his ride rolled up. He had just gotten in from California in pursuit of the no experience needed, 100k a year, black gold good life.
Super stoked to have snagged this shot, as it is exactly what I have been wanting to capture in this area. A life packed into a couple small packages, and no idea what is to come next, other than hopefully, the means to a better situation in life. A parallel to my own journey, and reason for being where I am today.
For a more in depth look at what’s going on over here in the Bakken, I met some people having coffee the other day who are doing an awesome project on the area. I highly recommend following what they are up to on their blog, The Oil Men.