These days, there is definitely some allure to life on the road, and photographer Scott Gable and his wife and partner Sarah would probably agree. They recently set off on a new adventure, aptly named the Big Scout.
About 5 years ago we agreed to make some type of major life change. We had settled into a pretty comfortable life routine, and we knew it was time to shake things up. We explored all kinds of options: relocation, shipping container homes, converting industrial space, and many others.
Scott and Sarah were looking to alter their lifestyle, and eventually they decided to custom-build a Mercedes van and convert it into a living and working space. Over the course of two years, they used foam core models, CAD schematics, taped outlines, and cardboard mock-ups to plan their new home.
I had to teach myself plumbing, electrical work, carpentry. Many trials and errors and many awesome helpers along the way.
The final converted van is a product of their intricate planning and customized lifestyle. There are aspects any home would need, such as a queen-sized bed, cooktop, and an outdoor shower, but there are also special inventions built around photography, including a convertible workstation for editing and specialized storage space for gear.
Now sixteen months into their grand experiment, Scott has found plenty to appreciate about going mobile.
Road life has really improved my opportunity to work on my passion projects. I am shooting and editing every day, and I am able to wake up immersed in what I’m shooting.
When Scott and Sarah book jobs, they either drive out to meet the location, or plan a place to park and fly out normally. Since they’re still fully connected with cell phones, laptops, and a desktop screen, it’s also been easy to maintain communication with friends, family, and potential clients as they trek across the country, finding adventure along the way.
We’ve been stuck in the Mojave desert, watched the world’s weirdest talent show, camped at 12,000 feet in Colorado in February, had a grouse fly under the hood at 75mph, rafted some rivers, rode bikes down amazing trails, viewed the eclipse in its totality, learned to surf in 40 degree water, visited old friends, and made some crazy new ones.
In between shoots, Scott has found plenty of time to explore self-assigned projects. Without having to worry too much about traveling or making their way home, Scott and Sarah would let inspiration dictate how long they stay in a certain area. Sometimes it even helps them make some new connections.
We shot an oysters project last spring, and while reaching out to local oyster farmers on Cape Cod, we happened upon a farm that needed new images for their website. We ended up shooting at several of their locations, parking and camping the van at one of their farms, and getting invited to the company director’s house for a really nice dinner (with oysters, of course).
If you want to follow Scott and Sarah on their Big Scout, you can check out where they’ve been and where they’re headed on their website and Instagram. They were even kind enough to invite you into their home for a tour.