As a child, the Volkswagen Beetle represented more than an unusually shaped car. It was the genesis of a car game where my backseat companions and I would punch each other on the arm upon first sight of a Volkswagen Beetle while shouting out “Punch Bug!” in reference to the Beetle’s nickname, the Bug. My fascination with this car continued throughout my teens and in 1984, a gently loved white ‘74 Bug became my first set of wheels.
It’s been many decades since I’ve owned a Beetle, but every single time I see a classic Bug on the road my heart skips a beat. With my series, Punch Bug, I decided to pay tribute to these round relics with environmental portraits captured on road trips across the U.S. Just like when I was a child, this photographic project has become a fun game and is all about the thrill of the hunt. These days when I shout out “Punch Bug!” I have no time to punch because I’m too busy reaching for my camera.