Neighbors Project in West Virginia

Driving through the endlessly curvy roads of West Virginia, I spied a wooden footbridge spanning the Big Coal River. There's few bridges across the river so, if you have a house on the other side from the road, you pretty much need to build your own. The river is fairly wide so building a bridge big enough for a car isn't really an option. Hence, suspended wooden footbridges run from the road side of the river to the other side where a house in the woods usually awaits.

This bridge was fairly long and tall and picturesque so, like good tourists, my assistant Zach and I exited the RV and began snapping photos of its teetering expanse. After a few minutes of photographing, a pickup slowed and the driver, an older man with white hair, leaned out. "That's my bridge. Gonna cost you five dollars to take a photo."

I knew he was pulling my leg so I tossed it back with a, "No problem. Send me the bill. I've got a special place for it." With a friendly smile, he got out and explained that his father built that bridge but it was leaning because of some flood damage.

Of course, I asked to take his portrait - to which he obligingly agreed. After setting my lights up and snapping a few photos, he punctuated the session with a "How about we bring some color into this shoot" and whipped out a pistol from the back of his waistband and stuck it in the front of his pants.

If a man wants color, I'm not gonna say no.