Traveling in America with Maddie

Theron Humphrey travels around America with Maddie, a surprisingly photogenic dog.

In 2011, Theron Humphrey, a photographer from Atlanta, left his job to spend time with his grandfather and document his life story. When his grandfather passed away, Humphrey was inspired by his grandfather’s story and his own ability to capture the memory of his loved one. He decided to travel around America shooting stories about other people. That’s how This Wild Idea was born. Humphrey was able to collect more than $15,000 with the help of Kickstarter to spend a year traveling around the country and interviewing a new character every day.

Before he hit the road, Theron met a dog by the name of Maddie in an animal shelter, and took the dog with him. They have traveled 65,000 miles together and have become best friends. While on the road, Humphrey wanted to take a picture of the dog on the roof of a truck, but worried about whether Maddie would stay still for the photography. She was surprisingly patient and photogenic. Humphrey began taking pictures of her everywhere — on motorcycles, in telephone booths and even on top of a giant turtle. He made a project about her, Maddie on Things, made her a website and eventually a book. Photos of Maddie created a splash on social networks.

In 2012, Theron won National Geographic’s “Traveler of the Year” contest. Afterward he began new project called, “Why We Rescue,” dealing with people who found their pets at shelters. Recently, the photographer also started another new series called “Four by Three” where he and Maddie will ride across America again, collecting stories of 25 female bikers and publish them in the magazine Iron & Air.

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