kristy renee behrs
photographer, sometimes writer.
administrator of www.vagabondbond.com
i’m sure i spend more time in my car than a bed. i love driving with the windows wide open, blazing hot or freezing cold. i can’t tell a joke to save my life. there isn’t a day that goes by that i don’t miss life in new england. when you become one of my best friends, you get a song: i make one up on-the-spot using my piano and title them after your name– and never remember the song again. i’d like to hope in the power of change.
if you were a vespa, what color would you be…in a hexadecimal code?
on a road trip, are most of your clothes in suitcase, a moving box, or a laundry basket?
laundry basket (and milk crates), always!
swim suit or skinny dip?
skinny dip. especially during oregon’s summer nights– in the river.
one place in the world where you haven’t been, but you MUST go.
africa, namely, the democratic republic of the congo.
the longest road trip you’ve taken … solo or with a road trip buddy?
los gatos, california to marfa, texas. only me and the open road.
when visiting a new city, what intangible items are you hoping to capture?
the city’s intricate dance: its movement, its breath– which is quite the task when i’m limited to single frames in camera. i experience this motion without needing to see it; it’s something i see as shapes and colors in my mind when i close only my eyes, only my ears. take away each sense individually [ and what remains is that which i aim to capture. ]
what is your favorite junk food when traveling?
a hotdog from pilot + sugar free black licorice (i know, i know) and perma-coffee resting in the cupholder. which, now that i think about it, is probably the worst thing on earth one could eat. but that’s why it’s so damn good while i’m driving long hours.
tell a story about a memorable, intriguing person you met while exploring who you never saw again.
i spent a lot of time flying during the first half of this decade. because i lived in the midwest and east coast, i flew out west frequently to visit my family and friends. one thanksgiving, my flights from the la guardia airport to medford, oregon were overbooked and delayed. i flew for 48 hours just to touch down in oregon. i found myself in airline pergatory: not really sure where i was, not sure where i was going next. at one point, i found myself boarding a flight east, in the wrong direction, just to make another flight that would bring me west. needless to say, i was tired, frustrated, and exhausted. i was desperate to get home to see my family. i had been on four flights and had another three to board.
with my sony cd player in hand, i staggered sleepily through the long isle, expecting to fall into my flying routine: turn on my music and relax. i found my seat next to a boy about my age, early twenties. his hair was almost-black and he had dark chocolate eyes that emitted the same dreary, just-take-me-home-to-my-family glances as i’m sure mine did. we made small talk about our many hours of travel for a few minutes then quickly found ourselves weary and drowsy. when we woke up as the plane was landing, i realized i’d fallen asleep with him: my head was resting on his shoulder and his head balanced perfectly on the top of my head. it was such comfort in a turbulent time in my life. i no longer felt homesick. a stranger became my temporary family. we made more small-talk before we exited the cabin and as we walked toward our respective terminals for the next flight, we kept watch on the other as we walked away. even after all these years, i wonder where that boy is. who he is. and if he still flies united airlines. ;)
describe how you feel when you’re alone with your camera and in a new location …
i feel within, without: there’s no longing for something i don’t or can’t have– only aching for that which is all around me, and therefore, reaching. i can’t catch my breath. i’m lonely without being lonesome.
i am surrounded on all sides. and it is good.
what inspires you to take the next step by photographing, writing, or composing a song about the area you’re in?
not only do i crave amazing (dramatic, unusual, unexpected, intense, or subdued) lighting and an inspiring image (scenery, emotion, a little detail that captures my attention) to shoot, but i need the right opportunity. i am not one to photograph anything and everything. i am also not one to ‘fire away’ when i see something that sparks my interest. i don’t hold down my shutter button until i get the ‘perfect’ image. often, all the elements of a decent, inspiring image are presented to me, but i won’t step out to shoot it if i feel that the moment isn’t right. more times than not, i need to enjoy what i see without photographing it; i need to study it, break it down in my mind into elements of light and color and movement and even purpose. there is something lost when capturing only a snippet of time of my subject’s existence that is also regained in a different way after the image takes place.