This Friends of Dawn is a bonus because we are sharing with you not one, but two of the coolest cats we know. Meet Carly Foulkes and Shawn Hanna. Partners in creativity and love, these two are naturals at adventure and experts in imagination. Both Carly and Shawn are talented in many artistic fields, but the one that they’ve both been concentrating on the most these days is photography - which is perfect because between the two of them there is always a camera and a model (they are both equally talented and good looking) on hand for any spontaneous moments of creativity. Carly and Shawn communicate a certain aesthetic and perspective that is at once goofy and introspective. Its hard to imagine those two qualities working well together, but much like the unlikely animal mash-up that is Carly’s dream pet, its awesome. And because these two are so full of fun and their collaboration is so genius,we thought we’d have them interview each other! So without further ado Carly and Shawn...
SH :: To begin at the the beginning...Where are you from? and how did you end up here?
CF :: I am from an exotic land, far far away. We call her Toronto, Canada. My mum is from England as well as my fathers parents. I consider myself British-Canadian. I have all the quirks of a Britt without the charming accent. To answer your second question, I ended up in NYC 9 years ago. Left Toronto after high school. It was always calling my name. By the way, you never told me this interview was going to be held pant-less.
SH :: Some of the fo(u)lk(e)s out there may not know that you've transitioned to photography from a career in modeling and acting. What inspired the change?
CF :: Photography was always a love of mine. My parents bought me my first camera at age 12. I think it was a Nikon? some DSLR. I loved it. Modeling was never a passion, more of a job. The best part was the travel. Oh the travel, one of my favorite things to do. I lived in Singapore, Australia, Germany, Paris. It was marvelous. A few years into my modeling career I started to pursue acting (another passion of mine) I ended up booking a T-mobile commercial that turned into a spokesperson gig and did that for three years. When the contract ended I decided it was time to leave the front of the camera and step behind it. I’ve never been happier.
SH :: what are the pros and cons of working with your partner? (.. don't fuck this one up…)
CF :: Pros
SH :: What if I told you that I had the contacts to get ANY three people on this planet (living or dead) into the studio...whose portraits would you want to take?
CF :: UUUGGHHHH I wish this was real. Okay..
Okay I’ll stop…..
SH :: The public may also be naive to the fact that you're a sucker for cute little creatures. Would you mind telling us about your pets - both current and future? (...your future pets, in this case, can totally be fictitious fantasy mash-ups if you feel so inclined.)
CF :: It’s true. I love the animals. Sometimes more than the humans. I have three pets. Two cats ( twos a party, three you’re a cat lady) Hobbes and Tucker. They are bros and are pretty awesome. I have a mutt of a dog called Chewbacca Barley Sheath The Third (He goes by Chewy). He’s a handsome boy with a 90’s attitude. My future pets will consist of a dolphin/elephant hybrid, a spider monkey that speaks spanish fluently, as well as Raja from Aladdin.
CF :: Okay, let’s do this. Are you ready? I’m going to hit you with the hard questions...Here is comes..What is your favorite color?
SH :: I haven’t had a favorite color since I went color blind in a freak accident involving two pints of moon shine, one giant pickle, four pounds of homeless people hair, a snorkle, and the entire cast of Wet Hot American Summer.... but if I had to choose one it would be the color February. (all lies...but still, I don’t have a favorite. They’re all so delicious.)
CF :: I guess I should ask you a serious question. When did you first start taking photos?
SH :: In the 80’s my father’s eyes were bigger than his ability to handle real photography equipment...He bought a beautiful Ricoh SLR with all the lens and filters and extras. He even had a monogramed leather bag made to show it all off. I’ve never seen a single photo he may or may not have taken with it...but I did find the bag full of dusty gear when I was a mere boy-child (mid nineties?). Without hesitation I took it for a spin - ruining a few rolls of film before learning how to properly load the thing. Eventually I shot something coherent, and then learned to navigate a dark room, and then never quite stopped. I still have the Ricoh today. And it still fires away.
CF :: what are the pros and cons of working with your partner?.. no pressure.
SH :: Pros
We can geek out any time we see fit. We also get to stare at people in public and discuss among ourselves what we would do with them if they were every coerced into the studio. There is the added benefits of shared gear, shared travels, shared experiences, and making out.
No matter how tarted-up I get, you’re far more interesting to look at and therefore get way more freebies.
CF :: We’ve recently been splitting our time between NYC and LA, which city floats your boat?
SH :: NY and LA are both fascinating. NYC is alive and vibrant with a few brain cells to spare, AND is perfectly situated for exploring the North East. While LA is just so fantastically easy to leave - surrounded by some of the most magical topography. Both have their own merits when it comes to art and music and the like... I really believe it just depends on timing. I’ve spent several more years in LA, so NY is feeling delightfully fresh these days.
CF :: two part question. question one, If you could mush two animals together, which two would they be? Second, do you hide all of your secrets in your hair? (you have a lot of hair)
SH :: I would cross a monkey with another monkey - so as to make a double monkey.
hiding secrets in my hair? ...that is actually physically impossible. If I HAD secrets I would hide them in your dog Chewbacca. Luckily I’m an open book with nayer a secret to make a peep. (All lies...I am made of secrets. Even my secrets have secrets. my gnome is a sequence of secrets. So really they ARE all in my hair. huh.)