4 minute read
Why Did You Move Here?
August 17, 2016
Now people ask us, ‘why did you move here?’ We’ve met a lot of people in our first six weeks, and everyone asks the same question, so we’ve told the story many times. ‘What brings you to Washington?’ ‘Did you move because of your job?’ ‘Are you in the military?’ All very reasonable questions; still no one ever just assumes we are modern vagabonds. Okay maybe vagabond is a strong word — but more on that later.
Basically we just wanted to move to make a change and have a great bonding experience within our family. After our trip to Europe impressed on us (or maybe reinforced our existing beliefs) that a lot of American living is isolationist and superficial, we wanted to extend ourselves in new ways and live in a new place. We love Europe, but that’s too expensive and too far for the first jump. So being a frugal (read: cheap) engineer, Christian suggested we start with income tax-free states. Since we already lived in one, moving to another tax-free state would help ease the cost of living change.
There are nine states that don’t tax earned wages; Alaska was too far from Texas, tennessee not far enough; florida too much like Texas (humidity). So really the choice was among Nevada, south dakota, Washington and wyoming. We narrowed down the search to Nevada and Washington because the other states were extremely cold; we chose Washington narrowly over Nevada. I don’t even remember why.
The next question is usually, ‘why Spokane?', to which we usually say something like, “we thought we wanted to move to Seattle but we don’t like city life….” that and we need to be near a major airport nearby. Spokane just made sense.
So now what?
We have plans.
Part of how we want to integrate is to do a series of local documentary shoots of people and places. Or both. We thought that getting to know the people around our new home, and visiting the unique local areas was the best way to become a Washingtonite (or Washingtonian? Who knows) and find a way to be part of the community. And since we are photographers, why not bring a camera?
So over the long term you’ll find here a series of blog posts about our experiences here in Washington and around the state. They will be mixed in with other posts, but there will no doubt be many because we aren’t leaving any time soon.
We don’t post pictures of our son. We just don’t. Okay we do, but we don’t show his face because we want to maintain his privacy and because he’s a young kid and we don’t think it’s appropriate. That’s just how we are. So normally we find creative ways to show him in public, like recreating at a local watering hole.
Long story short, we often have trouble being creative. All photographers probably go through something like that at some point in their lives… anyway, we live on a big chunk of land with a huge meadow at the foot of a mountain, so when Christian is done with the day job and all the household things are done he likes to go out and find a way to make something satisfying. This is the first of an entire series of grass images dedicated to simply to being creative and making new things, new connections. That’s the whole point of being here, right?
We are all outdoorsy type people, so I asked Myesha to draw a tree sketch for me to get put on my arm (since she has my flowers on hers); this was waaaaaay before we ever thought about moving to Washington. Now we look back and realize we were destined to come here.
Sometimes accidental photos end up being great. Christian was shooting whatever on the rocks in the river at palouse falls state park, and accidentally hit the shutter button to remind us of our son dropping his backpack to get in the water.
Myesha found these trees while at bear lake county park near where we live in Chattaroy. The image depicts our family of three in relative size, and thoughtfully depicting its strength through the vertical trunks of the trees.
Normally when shooting we try to think of an image in either terms of black and white or color, and while walking to the river at palouse falls I found this patch of daisies along the path and thought of both. In color the image has an entirely different look, more organized and with yellow flowers the subject is very obvious. But in black and white it’s more chaotic and seemingly disorganized, more about the interaction of flower and shadow. More complex.