Mike Brodie is American, born in Pensacola. He was 17 the first time he got on a freight train as a stowaway, hoping to get to Mobile, Alabama, to visit a friend. Destination wanted me to take the wrong train, and travel in the opposite direction, heading to Jacksonville. After several days of wandering, Brodie managed to get on a train that took him back home.
That was the beginning of a unique story. Mike Brodie discovered that there were many other young people traveling that way, some for the taste of adventure, others fleeing their homes, some just for feeling more alive, freer...
Brodie started, then, a long journey that took him to travel 50.000 kilometers of roads through 46 states, both by train and on foot, or getting someone to drive him in his car. And he also started taking pictures of his eventual adventure mates.
First he used an old Polaroid 600 he found on one of his travels, and then a Polaroid Spectra. Soon he became famous online, where he posted his photos, and they started calling him " The Polaroid Kidd " (" The Polaroid Boy "). In 2005, when he no longer got film for his old camera, he started using an SX - 70 Sonar One Step (which still preserves). The movie for this machine was expensive, so Brodie bought what he could and, what he didn't, steal it from stores.
Maybe the feeling of freedom is real, maybe most of these young people enjoy not knowing where it will take them every day... But their hard looks (when not sad or simply empty) goes through like darts to who looks at these photos.
It's likely that the true story of these young homeless people, the one you don't see in the photos (but guess), is the reason Brodie stopped traveling, several years ago, and dedicated himself to automotive mechanics. After all, as he himself says, almost like an apology: "I never wanted to be an artist".
Mike Brodie - A Period of Youth Prosperity