A world, a pen, a camera. Inspired by a slow, immersive, and messy journey around the world, MilesAstray is a mongrel of photography and writing. Framed by candor, but not caged in by any one genre, style or color pallet, this body of work goes beyond catchy, one-dimensional black or white narratives and notions of misery, happiness, modernity, and exoticism. Instead, it aims to portray authentic glimpses of here, there, and elsewhere. The result is both homage and appeal.
My work documents today's challenges, all too easy to procrastinate with our ill-conceived sense of safe distance – far away and down the road – but that we must face, together, now. I hope my photos and words can contribute to the forward movement of our day, which seeks unity over divide, compassion over greed, sustainability over hyper-consumption, and awareness and action over ignorance and indifference. I want to chip in a better understanding of the increasingly intertwined societal dynamics of our globalized world, and chime in with activism’s call to tackle injustices and inequities between polar extremes like dirt poor and filthy rich.
In-between these extremes, my project shows another vital angle in times of polarized political discourses and media outlets readily catering to audiences with an appetite for sensation: a lens pointed at everyday life that never ascends to newsworthiness – a soothing testimony to the beautiful normalities of a mass-middle carrying on ordinarily. At every corner a prominent spotlight is cast at the moments next door: noteworthy normalities hidden in plain sight of destinations extraordinaires, unsung heroes disappearing in the shadows of headline happenings, modest neighbors of the iconic – from Argentina to Zimbabwe, Manhattan mingling with Mangroves, poverty vis-à-vis worry-free.
How can I tell you who or what I am, when I know so little about it? Of course, I will share gladly what I've gathered so far: read my words and you’ll read my mind, look at my photos and you’ll see the world from my angle, wander through MilesAstray and you will know me more intimately than any bio or self-portrait could express. If you are interested, let me tell you how I got here and how this project came about.
In May 2012, I set out to work with grassroots nonprofits for a year while traveling from Colombia to Argentina. Little did I know that I was really embarking on a six-year odyssey around the world. That day I left was a deliberate second birthday, the first step of a new chapter of a reinvented life. I lived and worked with local communities in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and as months became years and then yesteryears, the initial journey became a nomadic lifestyle.
All the photographs and notes I took along the way were personal keepsakes, and it wasn't until four years into my travels that I started sharing these impressions online. I adopted the pen name Miles Astray, because that's where I often find myself – miles astray.
When I returned home for the first time in May 2018, it was no longer a place to settle, but one to stop by. And so I am still out here, not so much to find answers, but to keep asking questions.
MilesAstray is free of advertisement, affiliate marketing, and exclusive content. If you like my work and want to support it, a great way would be to get a print from my shop.