At eighteen, self-taught photographer Mike Brodie rode the rails of America, shooting fellow box car hoppers and traveling youths with a Polaroid SX-70. Nicknamed “The Polaroid Kidd,” over the course of three years, the accidental photojournalist captured a segment of American population that lives on the fringes of society whose only necessary comforts are a bonfire, a knife to defend against vermin, and no homestead anchors, save for the occasional communal squat. Not just an artifact of a particular kind of freedom, it’s a document of human bonds, movement itself, and the places you go when you let go.
“Photography has made me what I am. It pulls me in all directions. It gives and takes friends, and pushes me to move miles and miles,” the photographer explains. “My desire to photograph these people in the beginning is what led me to develop such great relationships with them; some being relationships that will last clear on ’til the day I die. I’m really lucky ’cause I never used to be this social.” Get voyeuristic with our slide show of our favorite Polaroid Kidd shots.