Chris McClure and Justin Weaver were drinking a few tall boys at the hangar last night, standing around a fire that lit up their grins like Jack-o-lanterns, when inspiration struck: Let's ride our mountain bikes down the tallest volcano on earth and shoot it from every angle. They are men you want to drink tall boys with, even if you are a short boy or girl who was born without grinning muscles. (Bummer.) They know about airplanes and skateboards and heavy metal music and the secrets of the dark room. They know about gardening and shooting guns, too. And how to grow prize-deserving facial hair. Not that they're bragging; they aren't good at that. (That's why they called in the big gun.) Chris and Justin are both from Atlanta, and based there, near the oldest mountains in the world, the Appalachians, where they hike and ride and run as much as possible. But they've been influenced by exploring New Zealand, skiing the Canadian Rockies, shooting photographs in India, talking to a Georgia taxidermist they found on Craigslist, and enjoying a slice of brisket that smoked all night in a rural Texas pit before arriving on their plates. (Some things are too good to photograph.) Even law school, if you can believe it, has left a useful imprint. They like grit and grace, the hills over yonder, merriment right here, and being married—though not to each other, except in a business sense. They make photographs—portraits, product shots, adventure and documentary narratives—that make people smile and wonder and even click "BUY." Just ask Fruit of the Loom, Newell Rubbermaid, Travel Alberta, the Wall Street Journal, and Pat-the-Craigslist-taxidermist. If you'd like to hear them growl, or just say hello, holler. They will holler back, you have my word.
--Charles Bethea, runner-up to the runner-up in the 2013 Georgia Museum of Agriculture's "Back Roads" essay contest