Results tagged ‘ Andrew Ke ’
A Different Kind of Road Trip: Cruising the Information Superhighway with #SocialSuiters on an Adventure.
You never know what you’ll find in the #IndiansSocialSuite from @eightyonegames to #RallyRum to a couple @SocialDudes the attendees of the Suite never cease to amaze us with their passion for starting trends and taking digital media risks. During this past series against the Reds, we had the pleasure of entertaining two of our most interesting attendees to date: Andrew Kenney and Jake Jones of GoingNowhe.re.
Longing for adventure, these two Brooklyn, NY photographers decided to pack up their car, travel the lower 48 states, shoot photos and share their memorable adventure with postcards they create themselves. Andrew and Jake have leveraged Facebook and Instagram to establish a generous online-fan base which has raised nearly $29,000 for their project on the social media fundraising site Kickstarter.
TribeVibe: How did you get started?
Jake Jones @goingnowhereusa : This whole thing started in December when we first met. Andrew and I were both working on fashion photo shoot in New York City. I do digital tech and he [Andrew] works with lighting. We started talking about how this wasn’t what we wanted to be doing and how we both wanted to shoot more travel stuff and work on our own projects. We both talked about doing a road trip and from there the whole project evolved.
TV: How do you balance the project with your family and work lives? Do you travel a bit and return home? What’s your schedule?
Andrew Kenney @goingnowhereusa : We’re traveling for three months straight – non-stop. It gets tough but, we try to call family and friends often. We definitely make time to stay in touch with everyone we know. I’m originally from Maryland and [Andrew’s] from Alabama and staying in contact with people is tough for sure. We’re also very busy while we’re on the road. We don’t have any down time. We’re either sleeping, eating, taking pictures or printing postcards. Even right now, we’re at the game and talking to you but, as soon as we’re finished we have to start researching for the next day. There’s really no time to relax.
JJ: Yeah, we bring our laptops wherever we go. Three months seems like a long time we’ve allotted ourselves but, it’s really not with everything we want to do.
TV: What places have you been to so far?
AK: We started in New York City, obviously, then, we went to: New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Upstate New York and [now we’re in] Ohio.
TV: Is Progressive Field your first ballpark visit on this trip?
AK: Actually, it is not. We watched the Connecticut High School State Championship game…
AK: Yeah…unknowingly. We saw a game going on and we had time to kill. We saw these kids playing and we noticed that they were really good. We couldn’t believe it was a normal High School game.
JJ: …they were making really good plays.
AK: We caught the final game too. They threw their gloves in the air and dogpiled on each other it was so cool…exciting.
TV: Are you big baseball fans?
AK & JJ (in unison): YES!
TV: Favorite teams? No pressure by the way…
AK: The Nationals are my favorite team. I grew up an Orioles fan and then, I tried to like the Yankees when I moved to New York…but… I hate the Yankees. But, the Nationals have a few young players that are fun to watch.
JJ: I would say the Braves because that’s around where I grew up. Being from Alabama, we don’t have any professional sports teams. So, I just ended up rooting for whoever was good at the time when I was a kid, around ’93 or so.
TV: Let’s talk a little bit about your digital campaign. You used Kickstarter.com and social media to raise almost $29,000 for the project. How you get started with the campaign and why do you think it has become so viral?
AK: Well, it wasn’t even our main idea. We started along and just thought: “Hey, let’s make a Kickstarter and see what happens.” We didn’t really think anything would happen. Then we thought about what we could make for people because we didn’t want to just make prints or a book. We wanted something really interactive that would let people follow along with us on our trip. Somehow we got to the postcard idea and from there it just blew up.
JJ: And people still like to receive tangible things that they can hold onto – like a postcard. I think that people miss the nostalgic feel of receiving a postcard in the mail. I also think people are attracted to it because most people have always wanted to take a road trip.
AK: [People we meet along the way] always ask, “When can I join you?” Everytime. That [was] our inspiration for finding a way to have people involved in our trip and experience some part of it. We didn’t just want to do a blog or just do photos on Facebook… that just wasn’t enough for us. Another secret [benefit] of this is that we’re able to get our work, our photographs in 900 people’s homes. As an artist, that’s amazing. People are excited to receive our work. It’s crazy.
TV: Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers or photojournalists?
AK: You have to be super self-motivated. That’s what it really comes down to. Just shoot a ton and do what you really want to do. I know a lot of assistants that are going to be assistants for the rest of their lives because they always say: “Oh, I’m working with this guy and eventually I’ll start shooting [photos].” But, really, if you want to shoot just shoot. It’ll happen from there.
JJ: It’s always a scary thing to do but, you have to try.
TV: How do you keep your work fresh and interesting while on the road?
AK: During our trip we stumble upon a lot of our material. Or we can drive for six hours and not really see anything. Sometimes we have to plan, like our trip to Progressive Field, or when we go to Detroit we plan to go to this factory where they build Corvette engines by hand. We have to keep planning events to punctuate the trip and everything in between is the exploration and the mystery.
There’s also a bit of pressure just from thinking of how many people want our postcards or just how many people are following us on Instagram or Twitter and our website. We’re always conscious that there’s people waiting for us to find cool stuff so, we try to do that. There’s always stress until we find that crazy thing of the day.
TV: What’s the craziest or most memorable thing you’ve seen so far?
AK: The fork factory?
JJ: Yep. The plastic fork factory.
AK: Yeah. We found an abandoned plastic fork factory in Maine.
JJ: It was really weird.
AK: It was a big, huge building. The walls were falling apart. The building was really half way gone. We crawled around…
JJ: …We did not trespass…
AK: …Yeah, we don’t do any of that on this trip.
JJ: Oh, and we found an underground river in Hartford, CT. We send a survey to everyone who has signed up on Kickstarter asking them to suggest interesting sites in their area. So we met this guy who gave a place to stay and invited us to explore this underground river. It’s a 9 mile long river that use to be above ground but, I guess they somehow submerged it as a part of a government project. Now it just runs underneath the city and there’s huge 30’ by 30’ conduits that you can canoe down. Then, about 100 feet in, it just gets pitch black. So we were cruising down in these canoes with torches – the whole shirts on a stick dosed in kerosene deal. It was crazy.
That’s also the greatest part of our adventure. We meet people who share their where they’re from with us; All the completely interesting stuff that we wouldn’t know about otherwise.
-Erin Parker – TribeVibe Contributor
-Photos Courtesy of Andrew Kenney & Jake Jones