July 18, 2012

Shawn Harris - Free Range

Shawn is an artist and photographer from San Francisco who stayed with me while he exhibited at MMoCA's Art Fair on the Square, the annual event that circles the Wisconsin Capital Square for two days in July.

We connected through Couchsurfing which is a website for travelers to find a free bed while on the road.   Many people find it a bit odd that I will open my place to strangers like this, but I've had some great experiences and have made some good friends along the way.

Shawn is one of those visitors where we connected right away and had plenty to discuss being fellow photographers and all, plus he lives in one of my favorite cities in the country.  After the Art Fair on the Square was finished, Shawn and I took a drive out in the country to do some collaboration together.  Shawn was just starting to experiment making self-portraits with rubber masks.  On our drive back to Madison, I noticed the sky was getting that magic post sunset cobalt blue with some linger clouds from an afternoon shower.   I suggested we pull over to do some quick portraits of him.   I quickly put on speedlight and fired some test shots before the light disappeared completely.   Shawn threw on the rooster mask and struck a pose in the middle of the highway.   I was able to get a few shots in between dodging oncoming vehicles and the sounds of rifle shots behind the row of shrubs across the road.   Being from the Mission District in San Francisco, Shawn was getting a bit nervous at the sound of gunshots.  He's got bullet holes in the hood of his van to justify it.

At any rate we managed to pull off a cool image of an amazingly talented artist.   You can check Shawn's work on his website Shawn Ray Harris Art.

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