theshawsontheroadTravels & Adventures

Day 87: Marfa, Texas

By January 5, 2016 No Comments

On new years day morning we woke up, took a brisk walk around our campsite, saw the Pacific Ocean from afar (waved goodbye!),  and both looked at each other with those knowing eyes: it was time to start the trip back east. We’re not sure exactly when we’ll reach home but we made headway driving all the way to Tucson, AZ where we slept in a Walmart parking lot, woke early and then headed to Las Cruces where we had one of the best margaritas of our life. The next day, we woke up and left early again, crossing into our third time zone in three days as we made our way into Texas.

We finally pulled into Marfa, TX around 3pm where we situated ourselves for the next two days.  When we first arrived we were hungry so we stopped at one of the only places open: Marfa Burrito. We finished our Burrito’s and started researching things to do and soon came to the sad conclusion that all of the museums closed on Sundays around 4pm and stayed closed until Tuesdays or Wednesdays. We were only staying for two days so we unfortunately missed all of the museums and galleries… but, we’re making a promise to ourselves to come back here so we’re not too sad. (You have to leave something to come back for, right? We compiled a list of things to do in Marfa at the bottom of this post. Some we did. Some we’re coming back to do.)

With nothing open on Monday we decided to create an assignment for ourselves: explore Marfa on foot for one hour, one camera, one lens. Only create images taken with one click of the shutter, no retakes.

As wedding photographers we’ve created a (bad) habit of over clicking the shutter to make sure we catch the moment. This habit of over clicking has transcended into our personal work and left us overwhelmed with hundreds and hundreds (ok, maybe thousands), of personal photos that never get sorted or printed. Sometimes we get overwhelmed at the thought of having more photos to go through that we put down our cameras entirely for personal events and don’t document a thing which sort of makes us sad.

We had so much fun with this and when we returned back to our camper to view the pictures we could really sense our point of views of this town more intensely because it wasn’t watered down by ten photos of the SAME EXACT THING, or photos that weren’t composed properly or even cared for enough to think about them before taking. Its interesting to see how slowing down and really focusing on what we wanted to capture created a stronger body of work in the end, with less editing to do.

We’re going to work hard to bring this back into our personal work and our bigger hope is to bring this concept back to our professional work: slowing down, focusing on the image we’re trying to capture, shooting less and creating a stronger body of work in the end. We’re also working on creating a minimalist wedding package that will explore a simplified way of documenting a wedding, providing a more intimate collection of around 50-200 final images. This is only in the beginning phases of creation but if you think this is something that might resonate with you on your wedding day, please reach out for our initial details. And lastly, we’re going to be bringing this walking photo assignment back to Buffalo, (and other cities we visit),  where we’ll continue to explore neighborhoods on foot, for one hour, with one lens, 25-35 images taken, no retakes.

Also, we’re just putting this out there in the universe because you never know who’s listening or reading, but we would LOVE to photograph your wedding in Marfa or west Texas, or anywhere in Texas for that matter. We’re a short 27 hour car ride away and we’re willing to make the trip for you. Interested in learning more about our wedding collections including our intimate and more simplified offerings? Contact us here. 

 

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12 THINGS TO DO IN MARFA:

  1. Tumble In RV Park. Affordable, minimalistic, friendly, and a communal vibe. In our top 5 RV parks for sure.
  2. Marfa Walking Photography Assignment (see above).
  3. Chinati Hot Springs (two hours south of Marfa, but we’re coming back for you!)
  4. The Chinati Foundation  (The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 9am to 4pm. Grounds close at 5pm) 
  5. Marfa Lights : Our first night here we looked from our campsite which we should have been able to view. The problem was we were looking in the wrong direction. The next day we were blessed with a cloudy evening. No luck. Next time.
  6. Galleries
  7. Freda : this little shop was the only store open on Sunday evening. The owner was super friendly and she has a mix of locally made goods, vintage clothes & curated gems
  8. Prada Marfa: You’ll pass this outside of Valentine, TX on your way to Marfa. Don’t blink or you may miss it. And be sure to read up on it before viewing.
  9. Marfa Burrito, don’ think too much, just get the Primo
  10. Salsa Puedes, get a breakfast burrito after exploring Marfa on food and completing your Marfa Walking Photography Assignment.
  11. Padres Marfa we arrived on Sunday night to find out this was the LAST night it was open before it closed down forever… (or until someone purchases it). They were selling EVERYTHING in the bar for $1.00 until they were cleaned out. We had a few beers, played shuffle board, talked with the manager who is moving part time to Alaska and dreamed of buying the place ourselves realizing we were $795,000 short on cash.
  12. Restaurant Cochineal, go for a fine cocktail ( more specifically, get the Oaxaca Old Fashioned)
    Have you visited Marfa Before? What are your recommendations? We’re headed east to Marathon today.