Scot Sothern

  • Trials and Tribulations of a Portrait Photographer

    In 1978 I was working at a portrait studio in a mall in Orange County and living with my soon-to-be ex-wife. She had given me the green light to sleep around, but I was still miserable.

  • Chiggers and Salvation Somewhere in Alabama

    My body was infested with chiggers and I had just pissed myself when I decided to get baptized.

  • The Sexy Witch and the Typical Male Asshole

    After photographing a bunch of religious cultists in the Angeles Mountains in 1987 I made friends with one of the witches, who claimed to have known me in a previous life.

  • A Couple from Venice Beach

    It's 1967 and a chick I met a couple of days ago is letting me crash on the floor in the garage apartment she shares with her boyfriend in Venice Beach. The boyfriend tells me we are close to a Black Panther chapter and a few nights ago a couple of...

  • On Having Nothing Better to Do

    When you're young, bored, and have easy access to Seconal, bad things tend to happen.

  • How to Stage a Felony

    In 1979 a guy I knew at a photo agency in LA told me he could market phony crime photos to true-crime magazines, so I invited some of the neighborhood guys over and told them to bring a date and a weapon.

  • Three Nights at the Wrestling Matches

    Missouri, 1959. I’m ten, impressionable and neurotic, angry at being born and lacking the perspective to know how lucky I am. I’ve got a couple of Viceroy cigarettes I lifted at home, and I go up to the top stadium seats, where I can smoke and cuss and...

  • Young Love on Skates

    It's 1965 and I'm killing time on a two-lane blacktop in a yellow 1968 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and I've got ten empty frames on a roll of Kodachrome. A blue neon skate, bright in the night sky, directs me into a roller rink.

  • An American Werewolf in Cairo

    It's 1983, and we fly into Cairo around 11 in the morning and take a cab to a hotel in a funky section close to a hub of activity. We go to the pyramids, and I know they're the oldest man-made things I've ever seen, but I just don't give a shit.

  • How to Disappear in America

    It's 1977, and I’m crossing America—Florida to California, Interstate 10, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana… endless miles across South Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. I’ve got two cats and my first wife in the car, a battered 1964 Plymouth Valiant. We’re...

  • Remnants of War and Peace in People's Park

    It's 1986 and I'm in People’s Park, Berkeley, California. I’m photographing the remnants of the late 1960s, a time when tripping hippies and protesting students made national news. Drugs are still here but no longer synonymous with enlightenment. There...

  • Boners and Vampires in the San Gabriel Mountains

    It's 1985, and I’m on a mountain in the Angeles National Forest, and someone has opened the gates to the loony bin. A three-day shindig for alternate religions: witches, warlocks, Satanists, doomsday Christians, Unarians from outer space, ghosts and...