One might find Hawthorne resident Perry Rose’s choices a bit odd, but his artistic whimsy brings thought and smiles to most faces. As the owner of Nevada Outhouse Photography, Rose has found the most profound locations to photograph these specific historic buildings, although he doesn’t necessarily limit all his prints to outhouses.
“I enjoy the name of my company as a conversation starter. People will see my logo and do a double-take, especially at photography shows,” he said.
“The topic brings a lot of stories, memories and laughable moments to the older crowd. I will photo an outhouse whether it’s still standing or broken apart in sections. I’ve found them blown over and lying on their side; I’ve seen “double-shooters” and even multiples, as they made outhouses for large families to use. I suppose it made an extra bathroom available, like we do today, except some are one long board with multiple holes. You have to wonder about the past, because one can only imagine how awkward that would be.”
For over 60 years, he has rambled through back roads, hiked miles of trails and explored paths from roughly drawn maps, all in hopes of locating a unique setting that can enhance the reality of the Old West. Once a teacher of photography, Rose shared his love of bringing props as he explores his subject.
“I like to bring items that will be subtle and fun within the photo sketch. It doesn’t have to dominate the scene to speak volumes and sometimes I have to point them out to my clients,” Rose said.
He hears from an array of followers that purchase his photo cards and frame them. Presently he is preparing for the Armed Forces Day, with a supply of cards he will be selling in packs of 13, or as matted singles. Why 13? “Who else sells a 13 pack? Why be common like everyone else? My topic is unusual and will be mixed in with local historic locations from the area, but I’ve never run by the predictable, expected way like the majority does.”
Reviewing the archives of photographs that Rose has filed away, a vast style emerges which includes the use of panoramic film to slides. There is no set favorite of color, black and white or sepia tones, as each picture has a distinctive flair of composition, lighting and topic. The understanding that he is documenting history doesn’t seem to faze Rose in the slightest.
“I enjoy taking pictures. I know where each one was taken and can usually figure out the year. For the most part, I could take you to the exact location even today.”
Rose shares with an endearing spirit when it comes to recalling the quiet places of history. His photo journalism is a love that he shares in places such as the Mineral County Museum and outside events.With a sly sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye, Rose admits to appearing eccentric, unusual and complicated in his artistic vision and yet he is methodical in the path he takes.
Rose’s engaging stories embellish the sale of his photographs, as one desires to take one home, just to remember the time spent listening to his memories. As a wise salesman and a great storyteller, he does the State of Nevada justice in preserving our areas dwindling historic spots.ty