“Like one punch in the face after another,” says an LA Times writer of Shawn Nee’s work. Most people I know have had a similar introduction to “the discarted collection” — trolling through Flickr, when suddenly… wait. Wow. Is that Superman and Hulk smoking up in a parked car? Is this mangled-bearded man real? From opposing protestors caught facing off in the Hollywood streets to portraits in the tent cities of the homeless, photographer and photography rights activist Shawn Nee captures defining moments and defining characters, shooting strictly in film with a Canon EOS 3. There is absolutely nothing exploitative about his work.
“For me, taking pictures is not about chasing that one great image,” he says. “I’m more interested in the actual experience of spending time with someone I have never met before, seeing how they live their life.” It’s evident in the photos. It’s evident in his stories. He knows the LA River squatters and the ventriloquist buskers by name. They know him. Now you do, too. Check out a slide show of some his work in our gallery.
Photo credit: Shawn Nee