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Candid Behind the Scenes iPhone Photos

Have you ever wondered what a movie would look like if you could see the moments behind and between scenes? If you could catch the comments, the bloopers, the actor selfies, the tears and the arguments? The National Park Quest is a story we are crafting with careful photography and writing, often enduring tough weather conditions and pre-dawn mornings for that perfect shot, or spending eight hours writing a post that could take one. Our Centennial Posters show epic moments through the beauty of our natural world, yet you would never know where these were illustrated.

All you see is the end result, which most artists hope to be something beautiful.

Any visual storyteller understands there are stories within a story, and the crafter molds the perspective. We can’t control how folks might react, but we can aim for a certain reaction or emotional response. For those following our quest, you might have picked up on our style these past three months – (yes already three months!) – so it may seem strange to take an entirely different approach with this post.

But we all like change, right?

That’s why I’m sharing a glimpse of the last three months with a collection of grainy, candid iPhone 4 photos.

Yep, iPhone 4. I finally crumbled when my flip phone broke three years ago, but I’ve been sticking to the 4 for awhile.

So without further ado, enjoy behind the scenes:

Moving Out to Backpacking with Amazing People

A glimpse of our Cleveland apartment with the move-out chaos neatly organized, as you can see. We thinned out our material possessions to a small corner of my parents’ basement, it feels good to live lightly now. This was our second to last day of utility bills and lease agreements.

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Day 1 of the quest, April 16th.
Freshly squeezed orange juice on April 17th, we no longer have any of the items in this photo, except for the knife and green cutting board.
Freshly squeezed orange juice on April 17th, we no longer have any of the items in this photo, except for the knife and green cutting board.
Trick to keeping the iron skillet rust-free: oil!
Trick to keeping the iron skillet rust-free: oil!
Working in Mammoth Cave National Park.
Working in Mammoth Cave National Park, April 2016.
Typical meal, very typical.
Typical meal, very typical. Oh rice and lentils, we love you.
Except that we've been eating in restaurants way more than we planned to.
Except that we’ve been eating in restaurants way more than we planned to.
...And making campfires way less than we planned to. The days get late, and we get too tired.
…And making campfires way less than we planned to. The days get late, and we get too tired.
So it's good to have a comfy mattress and big tent to sleep in.
So it’s good to have a comfy mattress and big tent to sleep in.
...Except that sleeping in the Outback is way cozier sometimes.
…Except that sleeping in the Outback is way cozier sometimes. Especially in bear country.
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It’s pretty spacious; our gear goes on top and the front seats so we can roll out the mattress. Pack light! But it’s usually messier looking, for sure.
We especially love the car on nights like this one. Yep it was a rainy one.
We especially love the car on nights like this one. Yep it was a rainy one.
Libraries offer great places to work, like this nook in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Libraries offer great places to work, like this nook in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
It's way better to work out our campsite though, or anywhere outside.
It’s way better to work at our campsite though, or anywhere outside.
Staying in the National Parks has been made easier by the annual $80 pass.
Staying in the National Parks has been made easier by the annual $80 pass.
It really is beautiful.
It really is beautiful.
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When we get to a park we usually set up camp first, like here in Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Even though it's bear proof, the Yeti fits perfectly inside a bear locker.
Even though it’s bear proof, the Yeti fits perfectly inside a bear locker.
Most of the time we set up our smaller tent, shown here in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Most of the time we set up our smaller tent, shown here in Rocky Mountain National Park.
It's handy for backpacking and quick set ups, taking less than 10 minutes to assemble.
It’s handy for backpacking and quick set ups, taking less than 10 minutes to assemble.

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Much of the time is spent exploring, absorbing, reflecting, researching, listening, observing, climbing.
Much of the time is spent exploring, absorbing, reflecting, researching, listening, observing, illustrating, or climbing (Mesa Verde NP).
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Very little time spent cleaning, not much to clean after all. We’ve used this twice?
Instead we spend a lot of time in here.
Instead we spend a lot of time in here, taking selfies.
And here.
And here.
And here.
And here.
Here.
Here too, on both sides of the camera.
Adjusting the GoPro.
Adjusting the GoPro.
Illustrating in super awesome libraries.
Illustrating in super awesome libraries. (Jackson, WY)
We've worked in about 12 different libraries across 8 states now. (Alamosa, CO)
We’ve worked in about 12 different libraries across 8 states now. (this one is Alamosa, CO)
Collecting stamps.
Collecting stamps at all park visitor centers.
Seeing new states.
Seeing new states doesn’t get old. Wearing the same two pairs of clothes don’t get old either (not yet).
Improvising breakfast.
Improvising breakfast does get old.
Even finding a way to watch important soccer games.
So we switch it up by discovering local eateries, especially when there are important soccer games to watch like Colombia vs. U.S.A.
Reading warning signs.
Most of the time we’re in the parks, reading warning signs.
Seeing people ignore warning signs.
Seeing people ignore warning signs.
Learning American traditions.
Learning American traditions with the U.S. flag in Yellowstone.
Accidentally leaving the U.S. at the Canadian border.
…Accidentally leaving the U.S. at the Canadian border in Glacier NP. Here we did have an argument: “Weren’t you realizing we were leaving the country???”
Because we just don't get along with our GPS.
Because we just don’t get along with our GPS.
And the roadmap is usually here or wedged between the seats.
And the roadmap is usually closed or wedged between the seats.
But we always find our way.
But we always find our way.
And a way to laugh in the cold.
Along with a way to laugh in the cold while playing camera assistant.
Or inside a Walmart at midnight "Wow, I've never seen so many chips in my life!"
Or inside a Walmart at midnight “Wow, I’ve never seen so many chips in my life!” before sleeping in the parking lot.
Because moments like these are priceless.
Because moments like these are priceless. Taken with my dear cousin in our most recent park, Glacier NP.

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