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From $400 and an old bus under a tree
to the beaches of Mexico and back.

It was December 13, 2006. Our wedding was fast-approaching…

…and Travis wracked his brain to think of the perfect gift: one that symbolized the adventure upon which we were about to embark – our new life together. Both of us always loved the open road and dreamt of a future together filled with beauty, spontaneity, and adventure. When Travis came across a vintage orange 1974 Volkswagen Bus for sale sitting under a tall oak tree north of Boulder, he knew it was the perfect fit and the perfect wedding gift for Laura. The bus’s name was Guanella.

We didn’t know a thing about VWs, but with orange plaid interior, a camper setup complete with a pop-top roof containing a bunk bed, and a price of $400 Travis couldn’t say no. He brought Guanella home only days before the wedding – putting and backfiring the whole way!

The night of December 29, 2006, amidst an historic blizzard, we jumped in and drove Guanella away from our wedding reception, sporting a foot-high platform of snow atop her roof.

That summer, we experienced a rite of passage to becoming true VW owners: completely breaking down in the Middle of Nowhere, Wyoming.  In true, epic  ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ fashion, we somehow limped the bus safely back to Boulder.

The years between then and now are bursting at the seams with precious memories in Guanella.  A road trip to Mexico; another over to California and up the coast to Seattle; then east to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills; lots of trekking all over Alabama from the Sand Dunes to Aspen to Telluride to Buena Vista.

Guanella gave us a place to lay our heads on Mexican beaches, on Californian coastal cliffs, in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, beneath the vast and incredible night sky, behind shady New Mexican gas stations, discreetly in Seattle neighborhoods, and in the freezing late summer of the Rocky Mountains.

Our crazy old Volkswagen has become a part of our family history. Our son Tate, born March 2012, has been on several trips already and his most dearly loved toy is a 6″ long toy VW Bus. Our son Reid, born September 2014, anxiously awaits his first trip (and we can’t wait to bring him along for our next adventures!).

We’ve been photographing people for a living since 2007, and we started The ShutterBus to combine our loves for VW buses and photography – it just made perfect sense. We are beyond excited to introduce The ShutterBus and to share a little of the adventure and V-dub magic that we’ve experienced through the years!