Attempting to define the Burning Man gathering to someone who hasn’t been is like trying to explain the color of blue to a blind person. The gathering, which started in 1986 on the beaches of San Francisco, has evolved to over 50,000 participants yearly in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. This year the gathering will be from August 26-September 2, 2013.
The gathering attracts people of all backgrounds including many artists. Every year there are many forms of art to be found and it is a major aspect of the environment every year . There are also many photographers, both professional and amateur, that attend. One photographer we covered a couple years ago was Eric Schwabel and his one man studio. Recently, we were made aware of another photographer who has been attending for some time from our friends at Ignite.me. His name is Patrick Roddie and he always seems to capture the essence found at Burning Man.
Roddie has been attending Burning Man for 15 years now and has been photographing the spirit found on “the playa.” While his portfolio is extensive from the past years, we decided to focus on his “couples” images. Many couples attend every year at Burning Man and many couples are created. In such an amazingly free environment with an emphasis on no judgement, finding love is certain to those who seek it. Roddie’s images of the many couples he has captured conveys a piece of that “life” that exists in the ambiance of Burning Man. In his interview with Ignite.Me Roddie speaks on the subject of love on the playa.
“Although many do get married at Burning Man, it’s more of a place where people fall in love – a very different experience to already being in love. While openly proclaiming your devotion is a beautiful thing, it can’t match the intensity of that first stolen glance, your first kiss.”
“There’s so much more than just romantic love at Burning Man. To me it seems that all those thousands of people expressing good will, empathy, selflessness, gifting and warmth collectively manifest an almost tangible entity of Love. It explains the almost comical levels of serendipity we accept as the norm on the playa. There’s even a truism/saying for it: “the playa provides.”
Patrick Roddie also shoots weddings, portraits and children in addition to his Burning Man portfolio. To see more of his work visit his website and if you are considering attending Burning Man yourself, then read up on the “Survival Guide to Burning Man” before you go.