About Douglas Graham
His work extending from national politics to natural history assignments has resulted in several books and major exhibits. Doug has also received numerous national and international photography awards. He holds news photo awards from Florida Press Association, World Press Photo Contest, Virginia Press Association, Virginia News Photographers Association, North Carolina Press Association, The White House News Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association.
Graham grew up in West Point, Virginia, a small town in the Tidewater area near Richmond. There in motorcycle racing crazed family he spent the late 60’s, 70’s and part of the 80’ going to dirt track races every weekend all over the country. He and his brother Lee where well known on the dirt track circuit as riders to beat. By the age of 14 he was considered an expert rider by the AMA and also was a regionally top ranked Jr. bicycle racer in the USCF. His first real racing bike was a 1974 Yamaha MX 100 set up for dirt track racing. He raced everything from the wonderful Bultaco Astro 360 to the Triumph Bonneville 650 twin on a gorgeous redline frame.
Two wheels has been in his life as much as photojournalism and motorcycle racing was the catalyst for launching a career in photojournalism after he had some racing photos published in a national magazine. When I saw those photos and got the “check” the hook was set and nobody was going to change my mind.
After Graham hung up his racing leathers for good he was off to college in North Carolina to study photojournalism but he was never very far from a motorcycle or a bicycle. After college I bounced around from newspaper to newspaper but I always had something with two wheels to ride.
Riding the motorcycle for work in the latter part of my career was a perfect fit for recapturing some of the fire I had lost as a journalist. Having seen and documented all the terrible things people can do to each other. The never-ending travel, time away from loved ones and the intensity it takes to do this kind of work he found himself burned out. That’s when he decided to do as much travel as he could for his work by motorcycle. It has been by far the best riding experience of my life. I love reading about the guys that take a year off to do an adventure ride of a lifetime in some remote area but I get to do that a few times a year for work. I’m a pretty lucky guy and I sometimes just have to smile at how blessed I’ve been.
I’ve been to some crazy places on a bike for work and gotten access because of the motorcycle. People think its cool and it’s a wonderful icebreaker for subjects that normally shy away from newsmen. I like traveling by motorcycle to assignments because I feel like I’m more in touch with the real world. It clears my mind and it slows me down so I cannot only see the world I’m covering but take the time to enjoy the things I come across. Stories reveal themselves often out of this slower pace. Things I would have blown by in a car now pop out of nowhere. Distractions are the right kind not the wrong kind. I am a wanderlust after all and the motorcycle propels me into my golden years as a journalist.
Graham is presently covering the 2012 presidential race and working on his first motorcycle travel book.
Agence France-Presse, All Sport, Backpacker Magazine, Birder’s World, Climbing Magazine, Cycle Sport, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Classic Motorcyclist, Los Angles Times, Mother Jones, National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek, Outside Magazine, Rock & Ice Magazine, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Virginia Wildlife, Velo News, Washington Post, Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, History Channel, Trout Unlimited
Visions of Birds
Hunting From Home
“Half-Mile of Thunder”
Congress A to Z
By CQ Press
By CQ Press
Birds of Eastern North America
By Houghton Miflin
Reflections of Clarke County / By The Barns of Rosehill
The Inauguration of Barack Obama
By Roll Call, Inc.
Moments from the Clarke Country Fair / By The Ruritan Club of Clarke County