Claiming inspiration from “old-school American values mixed with a little punk-rock idealism,” Mike Brodie, aka The Polaroid Kidd, hopped trains across the U.S. for seven years, documenting his friends, lovers, and travels with a Polaroid and a 35-millimeter camera and amassing a critically acclaimed body of images. Like a 21st-century Jack Kerouac, replacing pen with pictures, Brodie rode the railways with a motley crew. In 2004, two years into his journeying, he acquired a camera and began photographing this gritty youth subculture. His intimate portraits, saturated with color and often set against moving backgrounds, capture the reality of this life in raw detail—its dirt-encrusted bodies, sickness and exhilaration, dangers and comforts. After traveling more than 50,000 miles through 46 states, Brodie has since become an itinerant mechanic. He says he has abandoned photography—at least for now.