The Importance of Stopping Along the Way

By Kurt Johnson Photography • June 5, 2023

You’ve heard the saying: life’s about the journey, not the destination.  I think it’s about both.

I’ve taken several trips to Alabama recently to photograph local spring flowers for a healthcare project there.

I love getting to know people in the area.  They have unique perspectives of the landscape and know the stories behind local landmarks and where to find nature’s hidden treasures.

I owe a lot of the images I’ve captured to kind strangers pointing me in the right direction.

And of course, there’s the food.

Part of my research, when traveling, includes trying out the local cuisine.  I mean, someone has to report back for the rest of us, right?

Even though I’ve traveled almost 1,000 miles for this project, I try not to get too laser-focused on the destination, because there are always possibilities for images and experiences along the way.

Some of my most requested photographs have been taken when I pulled over for some shots on my way to somewhere else.

On my latest trip from Omaha to Alabama, finding Reed Springs in Mo was that opportunity.

Reed Springs Mill is a hidden treasure, filled with flowing water, lush trees, flowers, and lots of native grasses.  A photographer and nature enthusiast’s dream.

I love exploring random places like this.  Because you never know what you might find.  In this case, lots of healing views – able to bring calm and serenity to healthcare environments.

Reed Springs Mill is off the beaten path, but worth the stop if you can make it.

And that’s the beauty of photography and life, right?  Getting out sometimes, even when it’s not part of the trip.  Creating an opportunity just by stopping to look around.  Being open to what you might find.

For me, those opportunities usually take place in nature.  And I’ve discovered I’m pretty much always bound to find something amazing nature has left in some quiet, not-so-traveled spot.

And I love being able to bring those moments to patients and healthcare workers who need them the most.

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