Bikers, Lowriders, and Serpent Handlers: A Photographer’s ‘Roadbook’ of a Journey Through America

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Photographer Hunter Barnes is a traveler. His newest monograph Roadbook , now available from Reel Art Press, is a testament to his journey through some of the most diverse and misrepresented communities in America.

Barnes documents bikers, lowriders, prisoners, and serpent handlers — including Pastor Randy Wolford, who died in 2012 from a rattlesnake bite. These are the frequently overlooked and shunned individuals whose proud faces are their own roadmap of a journey, visible in every crease and expression. As Magnum Photos’ Michael Shulman writes in Roadbook’s afterword, “These are people that would probably not be at the same party, but Hunter has found something to share with all of them. They have all taken him in to their families and lives, for a while, and now we are privileged to see the result of that trust.”

Barnes shoots his portraits exclusively in analog, using black-and-white film, an intimate process that takes time and special attention — like his relationships with those he meets along the road.

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Low Low was shot in the desert of Chimayo, New Mexico where I was documenting lowriders.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Immortals was shot in New York at a Motorcycle club I documented.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Doris was shot in New York City when she was getting ready for a photoshoot.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

#8 was shot at California State Prison.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

A Prayer for Gods was shot in West Virginia with Randy Wolford, the pastor of a serpent handling church.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Spirit was shot at the Tamkaliks Pow Wow for the Nez Perce Tribe.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Sammy was shot at Sammyville, Oregon. Sammy was the mayor, banker, and postman. It was his place.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

CA State Game was shot at California’s Maximum Security Prison.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Jason and Tara’s Wedding was shot in Oregon at my dear friend’s wedding.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

The Jug was shot in Portland, Oregon outside of the strip club with the dancers on their break.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Reverend Taylor was shot in the Triangle in OPA Locka, Miami, Florida.”

©Hunter Barnes, ‘Roadbook,’ Published with permission from Reel Art Press

Wallowa County Family was shot in Oregon outside of their family’s home.”