Professional photographer looks to capture biker culture at spring rally

Professional photographer looks to capture biker culture at spring rally

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - While many experience the Spring Harley Rally from the seat of a motorcycle, Joel Grimes, a commercial advertising photographer, is seeing it all through a lens.

"The single most important thing I want to do is show the Americana side of it," Grimes said.

Grimes, of Arizona, said he's been practicing photography for 45 years.

"Twenty years ago I did a coffee table book on the Navajo Indians," he said. "It was called 'Navajo: Portrait of a Nation.' I spent two years living out of a Volkswagen van, photographing them."

Now, Grimes and his camera are at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet to capture Harley riders for a gallery exhibit that will go around the country.

"I'm kind of drawn to big-bearded riders," Grimes said. "We want to do all sorts. In fact, we need some women riders. We're looking for some really good subjects there."

Each person manifests the connection to the biker culture in his or her own way.

"Really, you have the whole cross section from your weekend warriors, you have your hardcore riders," he said. "You have riders that probably would be more like the celebrity."

Grimes looks at all of it as true Americana.

"Until you leave and go to Europe or somewhere, you don't understand how valuable this is to the American culture," he said.

Grimes is spending three months on the road for the project. He has already visited Nashville and Augusta.

"We'll probably go through Sturgis in the first part of August and then end up on the West Coast and come back down," he said.

Grimes will be in the Murrells Inlet area taking photographs through Saturday.

"For some of these people, this is their life," he said.

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