portraits of ordinary people

4

Airportraits

Photographers Dan Meyer and Brayden Olson are longtime friends of VICE, so when they pitched us this crackpot idea we were all ears. They were determined to fly around the US for a few days and photograph unsuspecting people in airports. The catch: They would never leave the airports themselves and would barely sleep, devoting all their energy to documenting the beleaguered pilgrims who enter America’s nodes of air travel and hope to escape as quickly as possible. Dan and Brayden began their journey at LaGuardia in New York City and then flew to Orlando, where they missed their flight to Portland, Oregon, and were sent back north to Newark Liberty International in New Jersey. From there, they were routed through Denver to Portland, flew down to Houston, and then returned to LaGuardia. Brayden forgot to bring a valid ID, so passing through security was always a struggle. He claims that contrary to accepted wisdom, you don’t actually need an ID to fly domestic—this was news to us. “But I got tons of pat-downs,” he said. While Travel + Leisure magazine recently called Portland International the number-one airport in the country, Dan and Brayden say Orlando’s was their favorite because there’s a swimming pool overlooking the tarmacs. Dan didn’t bring a bathing suit, but he shopped around and got a good deal on a pair of Billabongs. He hasn’t filed his expense report yet, and it’s unlikely he will be reimbursed for this purchase.