Monthly Archive for October, 2012

Page 2 of 8


Last night made ski/cowboy town Durango, Colorado appear a bit more cosmopolitan than many might view it. Surely late night in Durango usually has me playing dominos with my mother and so this was my first “night out” ever in Durango. Well surely Halloween parties are for those who want to become somebody else. I too succumbed. I can’t get the damn glitter off.

Never a straight line…

I guess we all know the shortest distance between two points is not really a straight line. Matter of fact, in reality, I have never done what I set out to do. Things change. Stimuli gets altered. Circumstances vary. The wind changes direction. All  pretty normal for me. The way it has always been in my experience. So while some of you may think it a bit odd that I would turn the camper van around and now go back to Los Angeles on what was originally billed as a journey from Los Angeles to New York, my old friends who know me well were just waiting for some version of the same. They will smile and say “of course”.

Fact is, I did not run out of gas, but I did run out of time. There is no way to get from where I am now in Durango, Colorado to New York within the two weeks or so I have left to do this chapter of Off For A Family Drive. Sure I could “make it”, yet that is not the point. So I am turning around and heading back to where I started and yet taking a different route both geographically and psychologically.

This is all part of process.

For sure it happens every single time  to me one way or another. The creative process is never a straight line. Check out the video below. Shot a few weeks ago in Chile. How can this video relate to this trip? Well it does. Because the “trip” is nothing. It is all about state of mind. So I am going now to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Just those two places will wrap up this chapter. There will be more of course. Maybe done in a different way. Technique is just technique. So stay tuned. You may be very surprised in how this adventure turns out. Does any really interesting trip turn out the way anyone on it thought it would be? Oh no, it is the misadventure that becomes way more interesting than the original concept.

For those of you who were planning to meet us in New Orleans, sorry. Not now. Yet later for sure.

Vegas? hmmm, not my town in theory, yet I am a gambler to the core.

Sunrise Moab #2

Christopher Capozziello – A State of Mind

Christopher Capozziello

A State of Mind


This story began two years ago at a funeral home in the center of my hometown in Connecticut.

I stood in a line of a thousand or so people, with my good friend Laura, and her mother Bea. As we mourned the death of our friend Vinnie, a recovering drug addict, who relapsed and died of a heroin overdose, Bea told me how Vinnie had helped Monica, her youngest daughter, detox from heroin 5 months prior. She explained how afraid she was that his death would put Monica into a tailspin. Unfortunately, that is how this story goes.

When Monica was a young child, the pastor of the church she and her family attended, allegedly molested her over a 5-year period. When she was 18, she told her family what happened. Her accusations have never been confirmed and since the offense took place so long ago, Monica’s parents cannot bring suit against the pastor. Her parents believe this explains her many years of drug abuse.

Last year, Monica became pregnant with a man she met in rehab in Florida. Monica and Kyle stayed clean for 7 months before they both relapsed; just two months before the birth of their daughter Juliette. Following the birth, they both continued to intravenously use opiates.

When the baby was born, Bea traveled to Florida to help her daughter’s transition into motherhood. While Bea was there, Kyle became extremely volatile one night, and threatened to kill Monica, yet they remain a couple. Before Bea left for Connecticut, Monica told her to take Juliette, ‘I can’t raise her like this, not while I’m using.’

Today, baby Juliette is safe with Bea and her husband Don, in Connecticut, while Monica remains in Florida. I plan to investigate deeper into the molestation allegations.




Christopher Capozziello (born 1980) is a freelance photographer and a founding member of the AEVUM photography collective.

His work is primarily about inviting the viewer into personal stories in order to understand different facets of life. His projects often make unpleasant realities beautiful, not by misleading anyone, but by allowing the viewer to stop and look more deeply at the subject.

Christopher’s work has been honored by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, the Alexia Foundation, the Aftermath Project Grant, PDN Photo Annual, Photolucidas Critical Mass, Review Santa Fe, American Photography, Communication Arts, National Press Photographers Association, among others.

He currently lives in Milford, Connecticut, where he accepts assignments and works on long-term personal projects.


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Christopher Capoziello


sunrise Moab

sunrise Moab

Warm Creek Ranch House

I demanded an immediate “stop here” as we almost drove by this cafe. Dixie Evans owns Warm Creek Ranch House in Fayette, Utah. She says “My mother and father were second cousins. I am terribly against polygamy. Viciously against. I have had to live with the aftermath for all my years”.

Dixie holds up a family portrait as her sons Justin and Derek hang back. Dixie and her family are Mormons yet support Obama rather than Romney perhaps because they totally support the large Mexican immigrant population who help run their ranch. “We could not run our business without them”.

Singing Disney Songs

Utah S2

I will be testing extensively the Leica S2 in the coming week. This my first shot somewhere in Utah. We are camped now in Moab.

On the Road

a political science...

a political science and art major, is missing a week of classes to get a real education with us on Road Trips…hmmm

bill kotsatos – oh lonesome’s a bad place


Bill Kotsatos

“Oh Lonesome’s a Bad Place”


Lonesomeness. Family.

Each word depicts contrasting images, however, each is often found in the other. This slideshow, “Oh Lonesome’s a Bad Place”, shot over the span of five days which began in San Francisco and ended in Winnemucca, Nevada on a workshop that took place during David Alan Harvey’s ‘Off For A Family Drive’ project, is titled from a line in the Kenneth Patchen poem “Lonesome Boy Blues”.

Workshops, like assignments, are meant to challenge but this workshop experience has been unique in that not only did I instantly become a member of a family drive, but was also tasked with producing a piece by time’s end. My on-the-road family for the past week proved to be as nuclear as it was non-traditional, as were my bar families. In each instance, communication was key, which, to me, threads any group of individuals living under one roof, or in this case, a Christmas light adorned, hand painted RV.

Here now in Salt Lake City I peel away with the gained knowledge that lonesomeness is a place where you can check-in or -out of at any time but families, like ’em or not, remain.

Long live the open road.



Bill Kotsatos is a New York based documentary photographer and photojournalist whose images have appeared in Businessweek, Time, The New York Times Lens blog and The New York Daily News and featured in Newsweek Japan’s 2011 Pictures of the Year issue. He contributes to Falcon Photo Agency and Polaris Images, as well as various newspapers.


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Bill Kotsatos


Thanks Bill for being a great student. Bill shot the above essay while we were driving down this road. -dah-