On the Way: A Photo Series by Samuel Hicks

    Mustang – El Mirage Lake, California. There was a race weekend on and a storm came in and whipped up the dust. I shot this through the car window I was travelling in. It gave the photo a lovely green tint. 

 Mustang – El Mirage Lake, California. There was a race weekend on and a storm came in and whipped up the dust. I shot this through the car window I was travelling in. It gave the photo a lovely green tint. 

Shot with the London based photographer's Mamiya RZ with Kodak’s 160VC film using a 65mm lense, On the Way is a photo series that uniquely captures the glow and character of the people and places visited on 3 separate trips to the West/South West of the United States...

The first was over 12 days, starting in Houston, and moving through San Antonio, El Paso, Las Cruces, Socorro, Albuquerque, Pampa, Amarillo, Wichita, Dallas, Galveston.

Next was a photo shoot for Land Rover where Hicks traveled to Marfa Texas, absorbing the works of local artists and moving to Big Bend where he sampled the “mind blowing landscape.”

On his third trip, him and a crew drove from LA to Reno then back to LA, stopping at El Mirage, Bakersfield, Fresno, Bishop, and Bridge Port, for 8 days. “A highlight of the trip was getting stuck on El Mirage with a storm coming in. We had to use the sat nav to navigate a way out of there as you couldn’t see more than 15 yards — wind had blown the dust up from the lake bed and made it impossible to see,” Hicks tells new libray.  

Dune Boy - White Sands, Nevada. I met him and his family on one of the dunes. There were 13 of them in a massive van - grandparents, mum, dad, eight kids and a family friend. They were having a great time running up and down the dunes.

“In my late teens my girlfriend suggested I should read Henry Millers The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy. I read all three over the summer, I loved how he seemed so be so free. Living his life so he would have something to write about. The books are a semi-autobiographical account of Miller, documenting how he became a writer and met his wife. The stories of road tripping around the States gave me a burning ambition to get away. Leaving the town you were born in and going away for the summer was pretty much everyone’s dream - I remember from that time of my life."

Bikers - Venice Beach, California. Met these guys as they were riding along by the beach. 

"That led me onto the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac having been inspired by Miller. I remember around the same time I went to an exhibition at the Tate in London and saw work by Robert Frank. His book The Americans – one of the greatest road trip photographic essays has an introduction by Jack Kerouac. That for me really linked the two arts together. I was also really into The Factory and had read about Steven Shore -- how, after he spent a long time documenting the Factory; artists like Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Nico and of course Warhol, he made the legendary book – Uncommon Places. That book was the slingshot I needed to get over to the States and have a drive around and see for myself what was out there.”

Hut - White Sands, Nevada. A toilet shack in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

  Tree. This was shot early one morning in Wichita Falls, Texas

Tree. This was shot early one morning in Wichita Falls, Texas

Hayley - Pampa, Texas. I met Hayley earlier in the morning and spent the day with her as she showed me around Pampa. Her mum was a prison officer on the local chain gang.

Buick – Reno, Nevada. This was a perfect find. Me and a friend from school had been driving around Reno since dawn trying to find a cool shot. We came across this motel with the Buick parked out front. I love the how all the colours match up. 

Motel Girl – Thunderbird Motel, Austin, Texas. I was on an assignment for Land Rover, on a road trip with one of their cars. I got up early as had jet lag, went for a walk and took this photo.

Car Dallas – Came across this car parked on a lot in Downtown Dallas. The lot is probably built on now.

"When I was taking this photo a guy came up to me and asked if I was a terrorist. I said no and we both laughed."

Motel 6 - Sun Valley, California. This motel is now used in movies. Some of Drive was filmed there. 

Kool Breeze Motel - Dallas, Texas. This was a great find. I’d been up early hunting for photos and stumbled upon the motel. It was a hot morning, didn’t have change for a Dr Pepper.

Street Boys - Near Galveston, Texas. We were driving to Galveston and I really wanted to swim in the Gulf of Mexico. I saw the houses and thought there might be a photo in the making, when I stumbled upon these guys playing football.

Thanks to Samuel for sharing his photography and his words.  All the images are available as prints. They are editioned and certified and he ships worldwide. Contact through samuelhicks.com

Like travel and great photography? Check out Parker Hilton's trip to Tennesse and Georgia, complete with tiny homes, hand gliding and one gorgeous, traveling van.

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Samuel Hicks

Samuel Hicks


Samuel Hicks is a photographer whose clients include Toyota, Land Rover, British Airways, Amazon and more. Based in London, his work has been  featured in Creative Review’s annual photography showcases and has been displayed in exhibitions as well as solo shows.