Last week Justin was in Tucumcari, New Mexico to photograph a hotel for their advertising. The life of the a photographer might seem glamorous (maybe?), but there’s a lot that goes into just paying the bills.
Beyond the struggle of shooting for a personal project versus shooting for commercial projects comes the question: what do you do when a project comes into conflict with your own values.
For instance - how do we preserve and advocate for historic America - while also taking jobs that advertise the glitz and glam of chain hotels?
The photo above, the Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66, is a relic from the grand days of Route 66.
Opened in the 1940s, the Motel quickly became iconic - partially because of the kindness of the Motel’s owner, Lillian Redman:
When guests didn’t have enough money for a room, the Redmans accepted personal belongings in trade or provided the room for free. Ms. Redman and the Blue Swallow became icons of Route 66 folklore. She described the special and close connection she had with the Route 66 motorists who came in each night this way. “I end up traveling the highway in my heart with whoever stops here for the night.”
The Blue Swallow suffered the same fate as the rest of Route 66. When I-40 was built, travelers were offered a faster way to get from point A to point B - and that way didn’t include Tucumcari, New Mexico.