Trek CX Cup: Fake Disposable Film Project

The Trek CX Cup, held in Waterloo Wisconsin behind Trek Bikes HQ, is one of 7 World Cup events and the first-ever to offer equal payout to the men’s and women’s fields.

Besides this really cool detail, Waterloo is a quick drive from Madison, WI where I reside. Plus - I worked at Trek as a Photo Intern and in the Marketing Department over 5 years ago, so it was a treat to be back for the first time since I left.

Knowing this event was more of a reunion with old friends and less of a bike race, I knew the stakes were low if I came back with zero photos. So I packed up my mirrorless crop camera (Canon M50), closed the rear preview screen, popped up the flash and shot from the hip. I wanted to be more connected with friends and less connected with the viewfinder. I treated this project much like someone years ago might have treated a disposable film camera and toned the photos to match the same vibe. I walked away feeling fulfilled both from shooting out of my ordinary technique, but also from connections with friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Overall, photos great or not, this event was a success in my book. Enjoy my friends riding bikes.


Meet Marlow & Benji

DREAM: Dogs Rule Everything Around Me

Just over 4 years ago Lauren and I made a decision (Ok…technically she made the decision as we were not living together yet) to get a dog. Our goal was to rescue a puppy and bring them into a loving, caring home as we both grew up with dogs, and we did just that with Marlow.

Marlow was left in a cardboard box outside of a fire station with only her and her brother alive out of the small litter. A local kill shelter in Tennessee picked the animals up and Wilson Animal Rescue saved Marlow’s (and hundreds of other dogs) life from there. Once saved the Wilson Animal Rescue uses a network of individuals to bring dogs back to health and place them with loving homes. After a few weeks of nursing for Marlow, we were finally able to take her home.

Fast-forward roughly 4 months later and we knew Marlow needed a buddy, so back to working with Wilson Animal Rescue we went! Not long after reaching out Benji came into their care, I immediately said yes, and Marlow gained a friend.

It’s been the best decision of our lives and Lauren and I try to take our dogs everywhere we can. We covered 8 states with these guys this summer, here are a couple images from that journey (and a photo from the short time Marlow was bigger than Benji as a puppy).

An All-American Summer Night

Drive In Movie Theaters Aren’t Dead

I remember as a child going to drive in movie theaters regularly with my parents to watch my favorite movies, play on the playsets near the big screen, and sit on the hood of the car drinking chocolate milk. That was 25 years ago and the drive in we frequented most is now a plot of land that houses a Ford dealership and 7 Eleven. There are still a few small towns that keep the tradition alive and this one happens to be a blast from the past with not much upkeep. It gives it a familiar vibe and makes a great place to spend a Saturday night.

Weekends at Home: In the Kitchen

All White

Lauren and I try to spend our summer weekends and months away from our house spending time with friends and family since winters are typically so rough in Wisconsin. Sometimes we find ourselves with a no-plans weekend and it’s the perfect time to kick back and do nothing.

I also put a solid few winter months into remodeling out kitchen from floor to ceiling. We did new porcelain tiles, countertops, sink, backsplash and even tore down a wall and mounted cabinets on the exposed brick. We’re not yet done (98% there) but still have to do some little things like venting the range hood outside and finishing up some trim work.

Anyways - warm light always fills out tiny kitchen so this morning I took a few photos of Lauren making pancakes and omelets. All vertical, which I used to hate and no absolutely love. Welcome to our Saturday.

#JetBlueForGood - Dominican Republic

#JetBlueForGood, helping dreams come true

Every year JetBlue works to help a community they serve in, aka they fly into, by supporting the community through their 3 corporate responsibility pillars; Community, Youth & Education, and Environment. Last year JetBlue helped local Houston schools affected by the massive 2017 floods by providing pop-up libraries in schools where books were damaged. I was happy to be along on this trip and be invited to come back for the 2018 trip too.

For 2018 JetBlue decided to help one of their largest non-stop flight destinations, the Dominican Republic. They partnered with local charities through the D.R. and not quite simply said, “Hey - How can we help?” and when they came back with a list, JetBlue delivered. During this trip JetBlue reconditioned Special Needs schools, create safe play places and helped build buoys for a small non-profit that keeps local reefs safe.

I was able to capture some of the excitement around this Week of Giving and came backed touched from the stories I heard and the smiles I witnessed.

Tacos w/ Friends

Snagged some Tacos and stuffed our faces during one of the first nice Spring nights of the year. Midwest weather has been pretty rough - we took advantage of the light. And food. Featuring my girlfriend and our best friends Ben & Emily, with mouths full of food. Enjoy

Mighty West Trip - Wisconsin to Idaho

Madison, Wisconsin to Sun Valley, Idaho and all the places in between

It’s wedding season! Which is usually a bummer because it takes up your weekends, but it’s NOT a bummer when you have amazing friends who get married in meadows in Sun Valley Idaho. Why? Because you get to make a road trip out of it and hit a bunch of camp spots along the way.

I’ll keep this blog short, so here it is: Madison > Badlands > Black Hills > Bighorn > Yellowstone > Tetons > Jackson > Sun Valley > Park City / Unita > Denver > Madison

We mostly focused on ourselves, building stories for our future and relaxing. I did still make a few images along the way - so enjoy.

Luftgekuhlt Weekend 2019

A trip back to the (old) homeland.

I had the opportunity to accompany Kelly Moss Road and Race to Los Angeles to cover the events around Luftgekuhlt 2019 and it did not disappoint. From the cars, to the location, to all my friends and past colleagues I got to see at the show this was the best way to spend my first visit back after moving out of LA two years ago. Here are a few photos from the weekend including the Petersen Museum, Luft 6, and Rod Emory’s Shop and a VERY small sneak peak from a full shoot that will be released at a later date with Larry Chen and Hoonigan.

Wisconsin Trout Season Opener

Joining friends in the Driftless Area

To some, the Driftless area of WI is one of the best kept secrets in the world of Trout fishing, filled with hundreds of natural springs that feed 13,000 miles of clean, cold streams. Season opener kicked off early Saturday morning and I tagged along with a few friends on their journey. Here is how it all started.

Yellowstone Lake, Wisconsin - Spring 2019

Remembering to make the most of down time

A pretty booked summer leaves you making the most of free weekends when you have them, which often includes squeezing in as much as you can into a couple days off. With piles of spring yard work needing to be done at our house, @laurencestark and I opted to spend a quick Friday night at a nearby campground just outside of Madison, WI. We've found making the most of Friday evenings as the best way to extend the time away from computers. Here are a few images I made while Laure and our two dogs Benji & Marlow kicked back.


Chasing the Sunrise in the Northwoods

The Northwoods of WI is the perfect backdrop for an adventure-filled summer weekend. A few years ago a few friends and I headed up to enjoy a few days in solitude and support a fellow friend racing his mountain bike. I didn’t shoot a lot that weekend, mostly made memories, but here are a few I enjoyed from the trip.

#WillySafari: The latest 911 from Kelly-Moss Road and Race

Kelly-Moss Road and Race is a client of mine on the Digital Media side of my business. I have the luxury of working from a space in their HQ a few afternoons a week which is a nice break from my home office. After all, I’m a huge car enthusiast and being around this shop really keeps the passion alive.

Andy, Director of Operations at KMR, has a love for clean Safari 911s and wanted to take this personal project to the next level. I won’t go into details on the build as you can see that HERE, but I will share a tiny amount of the photos I snapped of this project along the way.

Circuit of the Americas - A Rain Filled Test Day

I was able to join Kelly-Moss Road and Race to capture the unveiling of a new 911 Safari build in Austin, Texas. While there, I dropped by Circuit of the Americas as I’ve never been to the legendary race track. Needless to say, it was pouring and I also didn’t have a proper photo badge so I was only limited to pedestrian sidewalks but I still tried to capture a couple shots from the few laps I was able to watch on the track.

My takeaway from this shoot: I enjoyed being in the pits more than the track. While I love trackside action shots, I liked the hustle and bustle of the teams prepping cars as it tells a better story. Enjoy a few shots from this rain filled day.

The Camera In My Pocket V.1

The best camera is the one you have on you.

I love my camera (shout out to Canon) but I LOVE my iPhone. I don’t even have the latest model, I’m still on the 6S, but it does what I need it to do and it does it fast. it also keeps me thinking about light, shadows, and composition. Plus I don’t get back pain from carrying it around too long, and it’s built into everyday culture so there is no shock or freeze when you take it out to capture an image. “The Camera In My Pocket” will be an on-going series where I’ll drop some of my latest adventures and images created with my iPhone. No theme, no order, just some fun shots.

Want more? Follow me on Instagram @ChrisBacarella


Trek Emonda ALR Launch

Everything is bigger in Texas.

The last big project I was able to do for Trek Bikes before moving across country was their all-new Emonda ALR launch, in Austin, TX. The Emonda line is Trek’s flagship, ultra-light road bike and for this shoot, was all about the new aluminum model. This shoot was less about the product details and more about the fun, good-vibes that could be had on this bike. We wanted to break from the serious road rider of past shoots and just go out and do what we’d normally do, - have fun on bikes. The weather didn’t cooperate (freezing temps, snow, rain) but we made due. Here are a few shots from the trip and a few screen grabs that appeared in print.

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Enduro Life w/ Trek Factory Racing

Doing what you love, together.

I had the chance to spend a few days living the Airstream life with former cross-country MTB Olympians Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger in Colorado while they competed (in retirement) in the US Enduro Race Series. Heather and JHK have an energy about them that can not only be felt in person, but in photos, too. It took only a couple hours to feel like I’d known them for years. The goal of this trip was to show a bit more of them and a bit less of racing. The story was featured in Trek’s Women’s Ride Guide - Check out a couple snaps from my trip.


Rapha Women's Prestige

123 Ladies | 123 Miles | 13,000 ft of Climbing

It was the middle of lunch when my phone rang and Emily Dutton’s, Global Women’s Marketing Manager @ Trek Bikes, name appeared on my lock screen. I answered with excitement (spoiler alert, we’re friends IRL) hoping she had something cool for me, and what she had was cooler than cool. Emily asked if I wanted to shoot the Rapha Women’s Prestige ride in San Francisco for a feature that would appear both in the Trek Brand Book Issue 1 and the Trek Women’s Ride Guide. I knew the history of Rapha Prestige rides, how hard they were, and the epic locations they went through and this one was no different. The women who all participated and especially the Trek crew pushed through some of the most beautiful, and at times, technical terrain I’d ever seen. I’ll never forget this day and the ladies I got to see push themselves to the limit. It’s absolutely inspiring to say the least. Here are a few snaps plus some of what the story looked like in print.


Tour of California with Bontrager U23

Oh West, you’re beautiful.

On Stage 4 of the Tour of California I was given the unique opportunity to ride along in a race support car with none other than Axel Merckx - yes that Axel Merckx - behind the wheel. Let me start by saying he’s faster in this car than he is on a bike, and he’s FAST on a bike. I’ll also mention the thought of chasing the race in a support car sounds thrilling and full of photo oppertunities, but it’s actually the opposite. Majority of the time the racers are far ahead doing what they do best. But every now and again someone drops back to grab bottles for the team or we get to shoot ahead of other support cars to swap wheels or fix a malfunctioning bike. With that said, shooting gets pretty tough, but I was honored to be sitting in the passenger seat and enjoyed my time chatting with Axel and getting some behind-the-scenes info on how a professional road race goes down. I have a lot of appreciation for Axel and his work with U23 teams as well as professional cycling in general. Here are a few snaps from the passenger seat. Enjoy.