The floor plan needed to be open enough to fit mobile studio equipment. Many
commercial jobs for Johnson and Perks are done on location. The PhotoMobile
has two large side and rear doors. It makes loading oversize cases easier than
the SUV. There is also more room for tall equipment.
Satellite dish up in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
in the Marin Headlands near San Francisco, California. (Pictured
photographer: Roger L. Johnson, owner of the PhotoMobile.)
Additional features include a Global Positioning System (GPS). Enter in your
destination and it will calculate the best route for you. A map of your location
is digitally displayed on the dash. A sweet computer voice notifies you of upcoming
turns on your route. It comes in handy when taking pictures in the wilderness
or unfamiliar cities. A fuel carrier was installed in the rear; 20 additional
gallons of fuel can be carried into remote areas where gas stations are few
and far between. Spotlights and a winch are attached to the front bumper. The
winch has a 100-foot cable strong enough to pull you or another rig out of trouble.
Creature comforts are welcome after an extended day taking pictures in the wild.
Sportsmobile has a sink with running water, countertop, microwave oven, refrigerator
with freezer, and a generous food locker. Johnson added surround sound and built
a complete entertainment system. Digital music via SIRIUS Satellite Radio was
installed. You have reception even when you are away from civilization. The
DVD player has four separate flat-panel displays. You can see a screen from
almost everywhere. A 17" fold-down screen is located behind the driver
seat for viewing from the sofa bed. A 13" display is in the rear for the
kids to play computer games. A display pops out of the dash for people in the
front seats. A forth screen was just installed for the upper sleeping quarters.
Fold-down 17" digital display on ceiling and pop-out GPS
display on dash.
High-speed Internet access is accomplished via a satellite dish on the PhotoMobile.
Johnson and Perks cover events for the press. The 100th anniversary Harley ride
back to Milwaukee was sweet. Story and pictures were delivered to the papers
while it was still news. They also sell their stock photos on PC Image Network.
They can now deliver digital picture files from remote locations. The PhotoMobile
is the best mobile office ever. The satellite is a great solution for the back
roads. The satellite also provides TV reception. You won't miss any of
your favorite shows while in the wilderness.
Johnson and Perks have been taking pictures together for years. It was always
about getting the pictures and finding new places to discover. They have been
to some desolate areas and exposed to the elements. Making great pictures makes
it all fun. They started out camping, went to a bus, and now they travel in
comfort with the PhotoMobile. This is going, and being able to stop, in picture-perfect
Specially designed camera compartment in the rear that can be
What about the cost? The rig came in at around $100,000 with all the electronics,
with the shell being about $40,000. The two photographers have done about 70,000
"photo miles" in the past three years. Did they think it was worth
the investment? In fact, a new one is being built as we go to press.
Authors Brad Perks and Roger L. Johnson both have new books on the way. Perks
with "Portrait of San Francisco" and Johnson with "Portrait
of Seattle" by Twin Lights Publishing. Johnson spent six weeks living
in the PhotoMobile for this assignment. They will continue to deliver pictures
at the speed of light via satellite. Look for the PhotoMobile at an event near
For additional information, be sure to visit the following websites: http://sportsmobile.com