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Matt Mills McKnight April 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Morning Campfire with Light Foot Militia, Priest River, Idaho, 2011

Matt Mills McKnight (b.1980, USA) graduated from the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University with a degree in Photojournalism, and currently lives in Seattle, where he is a photo editor and freelance documentary photographer. His work has appeared with The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, The New York Times, Stern, High Country News, Southern Poverty Law Center, Wired.com, Associated Press, Reuters, NPR and many others. Before moving to Seattle, Matt was living in a small northern Idaho town working on personal projects related to fringe right-wing culture in the region. He continues to travel throughout the American West and beyond for assignments and personal work. He is represented by Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“After spending about six months of attending meetings and training events with members of the 21st battalion of the Light Foot Militia, I was invited to photograph a weekend-long training session on public land near Priest River, Idaho. When I arrived to photograph them I found they had also included children in the event, an effort to share their staunch constitutionalist values and beliefs with a younger generation. ‘We’re trying to build a sense of community, not just the guys but the families also,’ said Jeff Stankiewicz, Commanding Officer of the Light Foot Militia, of opening  training sessions to families. ‘Other groups won’t do that, but we’re trying to prepare our families. Schools don’t teach our kids this stuff so we have to teach them.’ Brandy Vanderzander from Couer d’Alene, Idaho, sits around the campfire with Josiah Hoyt after a night of camping in the forest. Vanderzander’s boyfriend and Josiah’s father, Cody Hoyt, is an active member of the militia. Josiah struggled with sickness from allergies and a general fear of guns & loud noises throughout the weekend, but his family and the militia insisted he learn their ways by being present.”