More and more Americans take less and less of the paltry vacation time they are alloted. (Not me!) And many of us Type-A's feel compelled to take along at least some work when we do get out of town ('gotta catch up')!

For me, each year's Summer Vacation is a driving-adventure. Long ago I decided to leave our nationwide I-system, clogged with brain-dead zombies on cell phones, for the pleasure of traveling old U.S. highways and the States' pride of well maintained back-roads: bucolic landscapes, wonderful 'home cooked' regional meals, classic 'mom & pop' motels and cool old towns you're never gonna see on the Yellow Brick Road to WalMart.

Shot some great stuff on this year's cruise. I call it 'The Goldmine Tour' because I found so many great places for my location files and my art work! Please use the links on the postcard below to check out a bit of what I saw. More will be added to the redesign of my website, coming 'soon'. (LOTS of pictures!)

this postcard has picture links

Of course there is more to being a good location scout than knowing where things are.

When the phone rings, undoubtedly the clock is ticking. The client has already been shopping online or asking around for suggestions – from other photographers or from someone in production: who's smart, who's honest, who gets it right?

Even with a good referral, if you haven't been 'there' – where you or the agency think the layout or the boards would best be shot – you just don't know: What is 'Marlboro Country'? What is 'you know, that Route 66 look'? 'Where can I find a field of sunflowers, an alpine meadow AND a classic small town – or two – within an hour of an airport I won't have to charter a plane to get to?'

When that call comes in and you are presented with a layout, invariably it is one of many headaches the producer needs to know will be finessed. One had best be able to sell them options and know that you are at least in the ballpark. We can provide some of our answers by way of coffee table picture books or a quick, thoughtful picture search in Flickr or Picassa but there is no substitute for knowing by having seen it for yourself.

I didn't grow up at the beach and I wasn't raised in a city with world renowned museums, living that 60's California dream or losing myself in some other travelers' worlds hung on walls. I grew up in the heartlands, the Midwest, home of The Road Trip. So each summer when I drive east to visit my tribe back in Wisconsin it's time for me to pull out a Rand McNally and search for the 'new'.
Now how much fun is that?!