Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A man dressed as the Tin Man walks Hollywood Boulevard.


Anti-war protesters gather in Hollywood, CA to rally against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Twin shows a tattoo honoring his dead son.


Pride vs. Prejudice.


Linda by the Carl's Jr. in East Hollywood.




Anti-illegal immigration advocates demonstrate near Leimert Park in Los Angeles, Calif.


A member of the Church of God passes out literature on the corner of Highland Blvd.


Jon waits to cross at the corner of Hollywood and Highland.


Oree and Betty perform outside an abandoned theater in Hollywood.


On June 19th, Gabriel Banos Arcos, 17, was shot and killed near the intersection of Vine Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif.


Bryan looks up to the sky for UFOs.


More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | August 27, 2015

Thursday's Pictures in the News begins in the Big Apple, where a sign painter outlines the pope's nose on the side of a New York City office building. Pope Francis will visits...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | April 16, 2015

In Thursday's Pictures in the News, strong winds were enough to part a beard, -- in this case, B. Singh's as he makes his way up Winnetka Ave. in Winnetka on Wednesday. Strong...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

The Week in Pictures | July 14-20, 2014

Each week we bring you the very best in visual journalism. International news took the headlines this week as thousands of Israeli troops, backed by tanks, warplanes and...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Disneyland's 1955 opening

On Sunday, July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened with an invitation-only "International Press Preview" and live ABC television broadcast. In addition to the invited guests, thousands...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | March 28, 2014

Friday's Pictures in the News begins in the Coachella Valley, where two youths stand underneath a 26-foot tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in Palm Springs. The sculpture by...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | Feb. 28, 2014

In Friday's Pictures in the News, the second of two storms arrives in Southern California, raising fears of mudslides in areas scarred by wildfire. Northumberland, England:...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | January 26, 2012

Thursday's Pictures in the News begins in Romania, where blizzard conditions paralyzed traffic. To the north in the Czech Republic, a musher competes in the Sedivackuv Long sled...   View Post»


Key members of the Vagos motorcycle gang suspected of drug trafficking and acts of violence are arrested throughout Southern California.

Raids target leaders of motorcycle gang

Key members of the Vagos motorcycle gang suspected of drug trafficking and violence are arrested throughout Southern California on Thursday. Authorities arrested 10 members of...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | July 15, 2011

Friday's Pictures in the News begin with five-time British Open champion Tom Watson showing he still has the magic after his hole in one at the sixth hole during the second...   View Post»


Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Pictures in the News | April 12, 2011

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War when the rebels fired on Ft. Sumter. Reenacters were on hand to mark the occasion in Charleston, S.C. A world...   View Post»

Southern California Moments Profiles: Shawn Nee

Intense. “Like one punch in the face after another,” in the words of one colleague. That’s what one thinks when they look at many of Shawn Nee’s images. His photographs of Hollywood show an aspect of the city that most tourists, and most Angelenos, would prefer to overlook.

Unlike many street photographers who want to remain unnoticed and make candid images, the subjects in Nee’s photographs, which are taken up close and with a wide-angle lens, are very aware of his presence. Often, they are looking right at the camera and, through that, the viewer.

The result is a series of photographs that stay with you long after you’re done looking.

1) How and why did you get into photography?

There isn’t a specific reason why I started taking pictures, and it’s not something I knew I would be doing with most of my time until I was almost 30.

During my late teens/early 20s, my aunt gave me her old Canon AT-1, and I would take pictures of various things and objects around my backyard and neighborhood. I was horrible though, so I would stop and wouldn’t take a picture for years. But for some reason, I never got rid of the camera, and I always kept it packed away wherever I lived.

Then, after moving to Hollywood and being here for a few years, a very personal and serendipitous chain of events brought me back to photography, and I started photographing people. I was maybe 28 then, and that’s when it seemed like I was capable of taking pictures that other people wanted to look at. It was a good feeling, and the experience gave me the confidence to stop putting my camera away. During that time, I also realized that the people I was photographing (who are my close friends now) were affecting me in such a positive way.

2) Where and what do you like to photograph?

I have a camera with me wherever I go, so I’ll photograph anything that’s interesting, but I primarily photograph people now. I focus all of my energy on Hollywood and the people within this area because that’s my neighborhood. I’ve lived here for 10 years, and it’s important that someone document a portion of the people (I tend to focus on the marginalized) that live in this area.

3) Who or what are your inspirations?

This is difficult to explain, and I haven’t always felt this way, but in the last year or so, I’ve been motivated by regret. It’s a topic that’s too personal to discuss.

4) What do you photograph with?

I don’t own a digital camera, so all of my work is film-based. I shoot with a Canon EOS 3, using wide-angle lenses, and I’ll use whatever black-and-white film that is available. I do prefer Fuji Neopan or Tri-X over anything else though.

I do my own black-and-white processing, and I use an Espon 700 to scan my negatives. By doing everything myself, I am able to keep my expenses much lower compared to someone who is paying a lab to process all of their film. In my case, it’s tens of thousands of dollars over the past three to four years — something close to the value of a new Prius.

5) What’s one of your favorite images and why?

That’s a difficult question that I can’t answer. And for me, taking pictures is not about chasing that one great image. I’m more interested in the actual experience of spending time with someone I have never met before, seeing how they live their life.

For instance, I’m really fond of my time spent with Bill Bowersock, who was forced to leave his home after his partner of 32 years, Harvey Frand, died because the federal government does not view their relationship as being valid. Which means Bill was disqualified from receiving Harvey’s Social Security survivor’s benefits — something that he would’ve received if he were the surviving partner of a heterosexual couple. It’s infuriating to know that our federal government is still discriminating against certain groups of people. So I’m grateful that Bill allowed me to spend time with him and gave me the chance to help tell his story in the short documentary “Thank You for Your Call.”

See more of Shawn’s work at his blog, and at his website, The Discarted Collection.

Read related article »

1 Comment

  1. June 21, 2011, 5:29 am

    […] can read the interview here, but unfortunately some of the photos that were included in the profile were not shown.  So I […]

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published