If you've ever wanted to travel but don't get out much, head over to Inman Perk Cafe on the downtown Gainesville square.
Works by photographers Eric and Jenny Hanson will be on display at the cafe at 102 Washington St. through July, promising to take you places most people only see in the pages of National Geographic.
"I have been pursuing photography for approximately the last eight years. Growing up in Arizona and exploring the Southwest afforded me plenty of beautiful scenery in which to photograph," Eric Hanson said.
"Even though my passion in photography has always been strongest in landscapes and nature photography. Travel photography has been a natural outlet for me."
Eric's photographs push the boundaries of both composition and tone, giving the viewer an escape from small-town Georgia to fantastic locales.
"In 2007, I did a yearlong mission trip called ‘The World Race,'" Eric Hanson said. "This trip took me to 13 countries in 11 months, and of course, I brought my Canon DSLR along."
He says traveling to and photographing people and places such as Cambodia, Mozambique, Peru and Thailand challenged him as a photographer.
"But it also opened my eyes up to realities the rest of the world faces, challenging and growing me as a person," he said.
During that trip, while in Swaziland in southern Africa, Hanson met Jenny, who a year and a half later became his wife. Jenny Hanson spent six weeks working with The Well in Bangkok, Thailand. The organization aids women and girls forced to work in the sex trade, seeking to provide a way out of the lifestyle by rehabilitating them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
"In the way only God can do," Eric Hanson said.
He said Jenny's time at The Well left a lasting impact on her.
"It has inspired the two of us to live in such a way that creatively represents what we believe, what we live for, and what we stand against," he said.
Last year, the Hansons quit their jobs, put their stuff in storage and flew to Ireland on a one-way ticket. Over six months, the couple backpacked through 20 European countries, staying with people they met along the way and photographing everything they could.
"It was our photography, over 30,000 images before we were done, that provided the basis for our business, World Image Mission, when we returned home," Eric Hanson said.
The Hansons moved to Gainesville in January after returning from Europe.
"A number of people in Gainesville recommended that we try to get our photography in Inman Perk," he said. "After asking, we were granted the month of June to display our photography. And through a bit of a lucky break, we ended up being given July as well."
The Hansons plan to travel to the western United States, the Canadian Rockies and Alaska for their next photographic endeavor.
"We have a line of greeting cards that we hope to get picked up by more retail outlets; currently, we are sold in three Gainesville venues, Inman Perk, Rahab's Rope and Frames You-nique," Eric Hanson said.
"We will have a 2012 calendar going on sale this fall, and a coffee table book available for Christmas. My dream is to have several galleries throughout the U.S. to display my photography."
Ten percent of proceeds from their artwork, plus 25 cents for every card sold, is directed to The Well. The full online gallery can be viewed online.
Eric Hanson says the lives that have already been changed because of The Well, "are examples of how God can take even the most shattered spirits and restore them, from ashes to beauty."