Southern Focus

Road Dogs

Flying the chair with motorcycle rider and photographer Theron Humphrey—and his hound, Maddie

Photograph by Theron Humphrey 1974 BMW R90, 2015

Don’t try this at home: After prepping for this shot, the photographer Theron Humphrey hopped onto his vintage motorcycle, his trusty coonhound, Maddie, in the sidecar. At the moment Humphrey (an experienced rider) executed a maneuver called “flying the chair,” his assistant waved a treat to get Maddie (also an experienced rider) to look back as the camera clicked. “She’s well trained,” the North Carolina native says of his dog, “and we spend a ton of time together on the road. This image is all about the circumstances created outside the frame.” You may recognize Maddie: More than a million people follow her adventures with Humphrey on Instagram (@thiswildidea). She has joined him on countless trips—including during his yearlong This Wild Idea series, for which he visited all fifty states to capture everyday people—and has served as the muse for two books of his photography. 

This article appears in the August/September 2020 issue of  Garden & Gun. Start your subscription here or give a gift subscription here.