An unlikely story….
Seldom do we know where our steps will ultimately lead us. Most photographers search for ideas and fidget around hoping to find a body of work that strikes some deep creative chord held secret in the inner reaches of our own mind. My trip was different. ‘Faces of Grayson’ was never something I set out to create. The idea of photographing the wild ponies of Grayson was not some product of careful planning and artistic intent. It was not something I searched for and finally achieved. In truth, the ‘Faces of Grayson’ project found me.
The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 states and takes the adventurous soul on a 2,181 mile journey through some of the most beautiful country in America. The AT crosses the Grayson Highlands of Virginia just north of the Roan Highlands and around the 500 mile mark from it’s genesis at Springer Mountain in Georgia. There’s something magical about this leg of the AT. It’s different, unordinary . There are wild ponies.
These feral ponies of Grayson survive on the rugged balds of the Highlands and range freely among the crags and draws along the trail. These horses are robust, wild, and as uniquely individual as any human. It became my goal to photograph these wonderful creatures in a style of portraiture.
During my time in Grayson an incredible thing happened: I began to realize everyone else was seeing the same thing. There were photographs of the Highlands, of the wild ponies grazing and every combination of the two. Admittedly, I was somewhat drawn into this weird fairy tail landscape myself. Until by chance, I made the photograph at the left. This image the genesis of what would consume the next two years of my life. I saw in that single photograph what everyone else had seemed to miss. These wild ponies where not ornamentation to be gawked at and blended into the background. Each one of these horses has a unique spirit; a unique soul. It was these individual identities which I set out to capture.
Before long , notion of presenting portraits of these ponies began to spread and their images caught local and national attention. One of the photos from the book even caught the eye of a certain well known magazine….
Courtesy National Geographic-https://goo.gl/sLjy73
An unlikely book…
No photography crew. No team of designers. No publishers or big name marketing teams. From the ground up, Faces of Grayson was conceived, designed and manifested personally by the man who had his finger on the shutter button for each and every photograph…me. The book you will receive is personally inspected before it ships out, even the dust jackets are individually fitted in house, literally. Here’s a quick video showing the process of fitting the dust jackets for each book.
Extreme quality standards were the driving force behind the printing of Faces of Grayson. My intent was to produce a collected work that will be enjoyed for years to come. The book is 44 pages and 10×8 inches(25x20cm).
Each page of the book is super heavy matte art 180gsm paper which have been painstakingly Smyth Sewn and casebound. Smyth sewing is a superior binding method for books that is intended for prolonged use and long shelf life. Groups of folded pages called “signatures” are stitched together using binder thread. Each folded signature is sewn together individually with multiple stitches and then joined with the other signatures to create the complete book block. In a Smyth-sewn book, you will be able to see the thread in the center of the binding between each signature.
Note the visible stitching of the binding. Another outstanding feature of this type of binding is that the book will lay nearly completely flat when open. This is an excellent way to be sure you can appreciate each and every image the way it was meant to be viewed.
The hard cover features a fine linen wrap with debossed gold-fill front and binding titles. Even if you lose the dust jacket the book will forever be identifiable.
Buy a book, become a hero…
Faces of Grayson isn’t just about displaying the beauty of these incredible ponies but it also serves as a reminder of the responsibility we shoulder for ensuring the protection of other feral horses and burros throughout America. Not all of these wonderful animals are as fortunate as the ponies of Grayson. Many herds of wild horses, especially in the American south west, are constantly threatened by forced removal and in many cases, slaughter. The news isn’t all bad, however. There are many organizations who are working to protect the lives and habitats of wild equines and one in particular, The Cloud Foundation, caught my attention. This Colorado non-profit organization was founded protect the herd of “Cloud”, a wild Pale Palomino stallion, located in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. Since then, The Cloud Foundation has extended it’s reach nationally in an effort to protect other wild horse herds on public lands, especially isolated herds with unique characteristics and historical significance. For all these reasons, I’ve chosen to donate 10% of the proceeds from each book directly to The Cloud Foundation each month.
Faces of Grayson is now available for an exclusive price of $40 including FREE SHIPPING anywhere within the Continental United States(international buyer please add $20). And you’ll be receiving more than just a book. You’ll get…
- An expertly case bound and Smyth Sewn hardcover photo book like no other in existence
- 44 pages of incredible photographs showcasing the unique spirit of the Grayson Highlands wild ponies
- Super-heavy 180gsm matte art pages
- Linen wrapped cover with gold-filled debossed title on front cover and spine
- High quality 180gsm hand fitted dust jacket
- 10% of each purchase donated to The Cloud Foundation
- The knowledge that you played an active role in the protection of wild horses, ponies and burrows throughout America
Get your own copy of Faces of Grayson today by clicking on the button below. Making certain your private information remains private is my top priority. To make sure your information remains secure the entire transaction will be completed safely with PayPal.
Own a copy?Leave a review!
If you have already became a part of the Faces of Grayson project I hope you’ll take a quick second to submit a review! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or long and can be submitted anonymously. Please take a few moments and click here to be taken to the review page.