Who are the Flash Nites?

The same FN you know and love. Just with a little something extra.

Nearly a decade ago, while staring at a huge pile of Polaroid instant images amassed from years of travel along Route 66, Chris gathered that the best way to put them to use was to create a book, a book aptly titled, Fading Nostalgia: Polaroid Adventures on Route 66. Little did he know, this tiny book would someday inspire his entire career.

fading nostalgia: Polaroid adventures on Route 66

For a few years later, we launched a whole business based on the name and spirit of Fading Nostalgia: we explored the backroads, sold our updated Route 66 Polaroid book door-to-door, wrote about our travels, with some art festivals scattered in between. With the essence of vintage Americana practically dripping all over our stuff, both day and night, the moniker seemed to resonate.

fading nostalgia road sign

Over the past few years, though, we’ve felt a shift. While Fading Nostalgia was born out of old roadside brochures, greasy diner food, and old Polaroids, not-so-suddenly the light painting and night photography became our bigger calling. Our spring, summer, and fall are packed with art festivals, and our winters dotted with midnight photo shoots under the full moon. This isn’t to say we don’t still grab a handful of rack cards at rest stops or collect the kitschy tchotchkes at the gift shop counters on the way to our night time locations.

But, perhaps, a change of name might help clarify our primary focus.

The Flash Nites

The Flash Nites. Drawing inspiration, and an abundance of obviousness, from our use of flashlights in the dark, our new name was definitely one of those ‘a-ha moments’ waiting in the wings for just the right time to reveal itself. That bright burst of clarity arrived this past February, once our run at the Pfister Artist in Residence was finally over and we needed something new to boost our spirits for 2017. Once we nailed it, the rest just fell into place.

No worries, highlighting America’s fading nostalgic culture of yore still plays a pivotal role in our work. And the reboot rises out of the same good stuff, only with a slightly more melodic theme.

A love of old soul singers, jazz musicians, and doo wop groups.

Glowing jukeboxes and dusty record jackets.

Dreamy, drifty night drives from the busy downtown streets into the quiet countryside, with each town’s radio station leading the way.

Plus it’s a hell of a lot easier to spell.

So in this next chapter, we will continue to work really hard to separate ourselves from the “here’s our art, buy it” pack and, instead, further elaborate upon the narrative of the places we find, both via the written word, but also through the music that inspires us along the way. The seeds of this path were planted last fall during our #gowestfindgold trip to the Dakotas, and this summer, when we offered our first one-of-a-kind package, which included a night photograph, Polaroid, and written story of an old Spartan trailer resting quietly in the ghost town of Griffin, North Dakota. While offering one-of-a-kind work in other mediums like painting and sculpture is commonplace, it’s extremely rare in the photography world. And it tacks a little more weight onto the story we share inside the three walls of our little white tent. These unique experiences are those which drive us as The Flash Nites. We will literally travel the distance and seek out these rare, lost places in order to bring them back to life, and make our digital space (theflashnites.com) as interactive as our analog space (The U.S. Tour).

And finally, as already noted, music is our biggest influence. Between the two of us, we own around 1600 LPs and 2500 45s, God knows how many CDs and cassettes, a half dozen working and non-working record players, and one jukebox. Even though we’re photographers, music is going to take such a bigger role in how we share our work and our journey. Enter: Adventure Soundtracks. We kicked this idea off a little while back in our post, Night in the Life of a Night Photographer. But now we’ve got a Spotify dedicated to the cause, and you’ll see a lot more of this influence interlaced in our work. So, of COURSE, we threw together an Adventure Soundtrack for our launch. Head to the garage and turn it all the way up.

No matter what the name, the mission is and always will be the same:

Explore the Lost.

Play in the Dark.

Illuminate History.

A million and one thanks from your Flash Nites co-pilots for keeping our dream alive.

Illuminate History

 

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