Idaho on the weekend

by justin on March 4, 2013

in Writing

Snowmobiling in Island Park, Idaho

It was just getting dark by the time Gheen and I reached Rexburg, and Christian was all packed up and ready to go. We drove to to the grocery store and bought food for the weekend: pancake mix, bagels, pork chops, carrots, eggs, sausage and a cucumber for a healthy snack.

The little town of St. Anthony is on the way to the cabin, so we decided to stop at Chiz’s for dinner. It was Friday night and packed, but it only takes 20 people for it to be packed. Still, this little diner is crowded nearly every night. We waited a few minutes before we could sit at the counter. Everyone sits at the counter. There aren’t any tables. Inside, the place hasn’t changed in 30 years. It looks like the sort of restaurant that would sell chicken strips and fruit cocktail from a can. Instead, they serve delicious steaks, shrimp, and Chinese food.

It’s not my cabin, but I’ve got some stories here. Like the very first time I visited. It was built in 1985 and the next year, Christian asked us if we wanted to go up there and watch some movies. The road to the cabin wasn’t finished and there wasn’t a TV or VCR up there, so, in the dark, we hiked about 1/3 of a mile from the main road, taking turns carrying a giant TV and some movies. We also carried a giant jug of water. At that time, the water wasn’t hooked up, either. Also, the place hadn’t been carpeted yet. I remember my brother Jeremy was with us and our friend Chris Hancey.

Ten years later my brother got married. I told his new sister-in-law we were going to a cabin for the night. I asked her if she wanted to come with us. She did, and I don’t remember much of that trip, other than I was surprised she said yes, and the next day we ran out of gas while a bunch of us were piled into Christian’s Land Cruiser doing some exploring around the area. While Christian walked back to the cabin for a gas can, that gave me some time to try and charm this girl that later, and temporarily, broke my heart.

Another time, another girl–a few of us came to the cabin in the winter. Christian and the others wanted to take the snowmobiles down to Island Park. I wanted to stay back. So did the girl I was with. So while everyone was away, we kissed a little, then I wanted to take a nap. She wanted to watch TV. I woke up an hour later and the TV was fuzzy and she was sitting there changing channel after channel. She said she couldn’t figure out how to get that TV to work. That had been going on for a full hour. That there, if you ask me, is a girl that’s determined to watch some TV.

A couple years ago, Gheen, Christian, and I all came up for what we called a work retreat. We all had long to-do lists we needed to tackle, so we came to the cabin to block out distractions like the internet and phone calls. We also came to snowmobile. And eat good food. It worked, mostly. We got up, did our work, then went for long rides on the snowmobiles in the afternoon. Worked more. Ate a good dinner. At night, we watched movies.

We all agreed it was time for another trip. So here I am again. I’m writing, Gheen’s working, and I don’t know what Christian’s doing. He’s still upstairs. We’ll eat breakfast soon, work some, then maybe take the snowmobiles to Sheep Falls, or Warm River, or Bear Gulch, or Jackass Loop. It doesn’t matter where. Getting out is the goal, not the place we go.

It’s been 27 years since the first time I came up here. It’s good to be back. It’s good to get away. It’s good to stay friends with someone for that long.

Idaho landscape photography


It was ten degrees outside when I drove to the airport in Salt Lake City to catch a plane to Cancun. Luckily, it was warmer when I arrived in Mexico. I met Peter and Lauren in the lobby while I was checking in to the hotel. They invited me to go dancing that night with their friends. I went. I danced. I looked like a dork. But what the heck. You weren’t there to see me so I’m not too worried about it.

The next day–the day before the wedding–we met an hour before the Mexican sun went down to take some pictures of just the two of them. Meet Peter and Lauren.

Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography Azul Sensatori photography

Coming soon…Peter and Lauren’s wedding pictures.


Justin Hackworth photographs weddings in any climate and he wants to photograph your wedding.


Sort of like a journal entry

by justin on September 3, 2012

in friends, Writing

The colors around here are already changing. You can look up on the mountain and there’s gold and orange. Air conditioners are off at night and windows are open. Like now, while writing this, the back door’s open and all I hear is crickets and every once in a while, a car driving by. The kids are back in school, and the swimming pool is now closed for the rest of the year. Amy loves fall. I love summer. I don’t mind sweating a bit. On the other hand, I do look good in sweaters.

There was rain at the wedding I photographed on Saturday. Not a down-pour, but enough of a reminder that summer, if you haven’t already figured it out, is slipping, slipping away. We have another Rooftop Concert this Friday, but my weather widget says clear skies and warm weather. That weather widget has lied before, but I’m crossing my fingers that this time isn’t one of them. We’ve had such good luck with nearly all of our concerts. I want that lucky streak to continue.

On Wednesday morning I’m hanging the show for the 30 Strangers project. I’m so excited with how things have come together. Seeing everything printed, framed, and hanging in a beautiful gallery space is such a satisfying feeling. It’s the culmination of hundreds of hours of work and many meaningful conversations with those that were once strangers; now friends.

Last week when I returned from New York, it felt so good to be home. I always like being on the road, but I always like coming home, too. I’m really happy that I’ve been able to go a few places this year and I’m really looking forward to a couple out-of-state weddings that are already scheduled for 2013 (Mexico and Austin, Texas). It doesn’t take long for me to return home from a trip and feel like it’s time to go some place again. I feel blessed that this job takes me to other destinations. I’m looking forward to posting pictures from my time in New York and the five portrait sessions I did while I was there. I met very cool people and I’m excited to introduce them to you in pictures.

My friend Trevor is leaving town. I’m happy for him because he’s got a job he’s excited about. And he’s moving to St. George, a town I visit often, so we’ll still get to see him. But I’m sad he’s leaving because he’s a good friend. He’s funny, interesting, his photography inspires me, and I like being around him. Now, though, he’s leaving. I’m one of those folks that likes things to stay the same. I think the older I get, the more I’m like that. It’s silly to wish Trevor would stay here in Provo. This opportunity he has is just what he wants and right up his alley. Good luck, Trevor. I’m happy for you. And here’s a picture I took of him tonight.

Trevor Christensen


Happy fall, y’all.


Happy Thanksgiving

by justin on November 24, 2009

in blogging, Writing

Wet Like Seals

I never wore a seat belt when I was a kid. Instead, we flopped around the back of the car like cutthroat trout on the bottom of a boat. And it was there, behind the back seat in my parents’ station wagon, back with the sleeping bags and suitcases, that my older sister told me she was from another planet. She was sent here, she said, to observe. She would not harm us, she said. She would, in her role as a sister, tease from time to time, but only to fill her role as sister.

I didn’t believe for one minute that my sister was an alien. When I laughed and said I didn’t believe her, well, that just made her mad. See. She was really my sister after all. Would an alien care one way or another what I thought?

We were driving West. California. I remember we sang “This Land Is Your Land” and listened to old radio programs like “Fibber McGee and Molly” that my mom had checked out from the library. I was eight years old.

The car didn’t have air conditioning unless you count rolling down the windows. It was the middle of the summer. Hot, hot.

In Nevada we stopped at a gas station. It had a cafe next door. That was back in the day when you’d roll up to the pumps and tell some kid “fill ‘er up.” So we rolled in to the station and my dad told the kid to fill ‘er up and we all went inside and I drank a Coca Cola for the first time in my life.

It was cold inside. You only had to be in there five minutes before you kind of wished you had a coat. Chilly for a few minutes, sure, but when we left, I mean the second we walked outside, the chill vanished in a soft wall of crushing heat.

My dad told us to follow him. We walked around to the side of the gas station and he took a water hose and sprayed us all down. Back in the car, dripping, happy, wet like seals, I heard my dad tell my mom, “Fellow inside said it’s 114 in the shade.”

Jump ahead. 2009. Now, I’m driving. Now, I’m looking back in the rear view mirror and seeing my two boys there in the back seat. They are strapped in. Car seats and buckles. They joke and tease. And sing. They’re singing a song I taught them.

There’s a girl downtown
With freckles on her nose
Pencils in her pockets
And ketchup on her clothes
She’s a real nice girl
Pretty as a plate
The boys call her Katie
When they ask her on a date
And who knows, Katie
Maybe you could be the one.

It’s a small moment. Simple and, for me, beautiful. So when my family celebrates Thanksgiving this week, I’m going to be thankful for driving in a car with my two boys. That, and air conditioning.

Song lyrics by Hayes Carll

A friend of mine asked me to write an essay for her new blog that you should check out. That’s why this was written. Each week she posts short little essays like this from people she knows. I thought I’d make my essay all Thanksgivingy. And I like how it turned out so figured I’d post it here, too.

Happy Thanksgiving.