Photographer Jesse Burke’s book, Wild & Precious, is an adventurous pictorial chronicling a series of road trips he took with his oldest daughter, Clover. Although Burke was a nature lover long before becoming a parent, the unique challenges of having children in the digital age is ultimately what inspired him to bring Clover on a series of expeditions in the New England wilderness.
On the trips, the Rhode Island-based photographer tried to give his daughter as much education about the earth as he possibly could, encouraging her to respect and feel at home in nature. Along the way, Clover learned about something else from her father as well: a love for Johnny Cash. “I would play songs in the car and teach Clover the lyrics,” says Burke. “It made the miles fly by. She had her favorites and we would make playlists of his music. To be clear, these were her playlists, or as she would emphatically say, ‘Can we play my playlist?’” Because of this shared love of the iconic singer, all 134 striking photos in Wild & Precious are named for Johnny Cash songs.
Burke’s hope for this project is that it reminds people to get outside—and so far, his mission seems to be working. “For what it’s worth, the response I have gotten from this work is just that. People are always telling me that the book has inspired them, or reminded them, to spend more time outdoors,” he says. It could be the book’s stunning landscapes, or maybe Clover’s wild spirit as she collects leaves, swims in rivers and inspects dead animals, but something about this book makes you want to leave the modern world behind and embark on an adventure.
Check out the gallery to get a peek inside.
Wild & Precious, $50, wildandprecious.co