When did you go on your National Parks road trip, and how long was it?
"We left July 1st and got back [Aug. 9.] It was 40 days from start to finish.”
Who else did you travel with?
"Adam Fairbanks." He is her older brother, who studies at N.C. State University.
What was your inspiration for this photography series? Why did you do it?
"The previous summer – the summer after my freshman year – I did an internship with 3000 miles to a cure, which is an organization that raises money for brain cancer research through Race across America, which is a 3000-mile non-stop cycling race cross-country. So I spent 3 weeks with them, we drove across the country twice. It was really fast-paced. I was seeing parts of the country that I’d never seen before. It was beautiful, and I loved waking up in a new place every day. I was like, this is what I want to do – this is what I want to do with my life. Ever since I picked up photography in 8th grade, I really loved shooting landscapes and nature. I’m very much like an outside kid. When I thought of the project originally, I went to my advisor and was like, 'hey I just want to spend 6 week traveling to national parks,' and she was like, 'that sounds cool but you need to have a purpose for it.' I saw that it was the National Parks Centennial, it was an election year, so climate change was a big topic. Climate change is something I really believe in and am very passionate about. My brother, who is a creative writing major at NC State, we decided to go to these National Parks and look at how climate change was affecting them. So I did all the photography, and he did all the writing."
Photograph taken in Redwood National Park By Alexis Fairbanks
What role did you have for this project, and what role did your brother have?
"While we were traveling, he wrote all my Instagram captions for me. I have a specific photography Instagram that I was running during this summer. He didn’t write every single one – you can tell the ones he wrote and the ones I wrote because the ones I wrote were like, 'This is a picture of a rock,' and the ones he wrote were very informational. We also kept up a blog on my website, and he wrote about a 2-page thing on each park we visited."
What was your favorite part of the trip?
"I think it’s really important to take a minute and step back and realize how small you are compared to this world and this universe. We get so wrapped up in our everyday routines, and it was really incredible to spend six weeks – not necessarily off-the-grid (definitely not off-the-grid) – but outside of my routine, seeing all these incredible places. It really puts things in perspective and makes you think about your everyday actions and what you’re doing with your life. In short, a sense of perspective."
If you had to pick your favorite photograph, which one would it be?
"There’s that one vertical of the deer. There’s that one, and there’s another photo – really wide shot – like mountains, there’s a small really blue lake in the middle, and my brother is standing on a rock, and he looks this big (small). Those would be my two favorites, I couldn’t choose. The deer was in Yosemite, and the one of my brother is in Olympic."
Photograph taken in Yosemite National Park By Alexis Fairbanks
What was your favorite park?
"Probably Olympic. I was looking forward to all the parks, but on my list of parks that I was excited about, Olympic wasn’t super high up, and it was just so different than what I expected it to be. Really really awesome."