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The Gearzette


- August 04, 2023

Harrison Schoen is a full-time photographer, adventurer, and Porsche-dweller. His passion for photography and adventure is matched only by his unwavering lust for life. He believes in dedicating time to those who hold significant meaning in his life. We caught up with the Navy Veteran to explore life through his lens and hear some captivating stories from the back of his lifted V8 Porsche Cayenne.​

© Harrison Schoen

Your Instagram bio says that you are a 'full-time Porsche dweller.' How accurate is that?​

Oh, 100%. I've been living in my Porsche full-time for over two years now. It has all the necessities, including my bed behind the passenger seat.​

© Harrison Schoen

You have more than one Cayenne; tell us more. ​

I'm up to four now. Unfortunately, I wrecked the second one and had to purchase a fourth one for parts to fix the second one. I'm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I have a storage unit and keep my other Cayennes.​

Have you always been into overlanding?​

No, I wasn't into off-road vehicles before this. I was pulled in that direction once I moved to Utah because there are so many things that you need a high clearance 4x4 for. Then I decided I liked European vehicles, and the Cayennes are a great package at a fairly reasonable price.​

© Harrison Schoen

Tell us a bit about your current vehicle.​

My first one took about two years to upgrade and kit out, and over that time, I figured out what I should and shouldn't do. Then I used all that knowledge to build this one immediately. I bought this car in August and put it all together in December. All the suspension components have been redone. It has an 8-inch travel coil front and rear. Up front, I have polyurethane bushings and upgraded upper control arms.​

Did you do most of the work yourself?​

Much of it, yeah. Honestly, though, I don't enjoy working on vehicles. I work on cars out of necessity because I need more money to pay others to do everything. And it would be costly to break down in the middle of nowhere and need help fixing the problem.​

© Harrison Schoen

What Front Runner gear have you rigged it with?​

Most of it is in my storage unit as I'm busy wrapping the vehicle satin black. But usually, on top, I have a Front Runner Roof Rack, which is excellent for carrying my necessary gear; remember, I live in my Porsche. What I always have with me is my Dometic CFX 35 fridge, which sits behind the driver's seat right behind me. One of my favorite products is Dometic's HYD WF Hydration Water Faucet. I'm thrilled with that piece of gear.​

© Harrison Schoen

Over the past year or so, you've taken on some pretty technical trails. Have you had some strange looks at the Porsche?​

Oh, absolutely. I often get that 'it's a luxury car, it should be on the road' kind of look. Recently, I took on the most challenging trail I've ever done, the Moab Trifecta. This is a popular combination of three rugged trails: the Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, and Poison Spider trails, which took about ten hours to complete. Thankfully we only had to drive down certain obstacles, as going up them would’ve been impossible. ​

© Harrison Schoen

You've camped in some truly remarkable locations over the years. Could you share a couple of your favorites with us?​

Definitely! It's all about the views for me. One of my absolute favorites is the Moonscape Overlook in Hanksville, Utah. It's a remote spot, off the beaten tourist path, and as the name suggests, it offers a surreal lunar landscape with expansive views. Another favorite of mine is located right off Highway 101, near Pismo Beach. It's an excellent spot. And then there are a couple of secret locations up in Oregon that hold a special place in my heart.​

© Harrison Schoen

You mention your love for capturing views. Would you say that's the photographer in you talking?​

Not necessarily. I'm drawn to remote places and breathtaking vistas that most people might not have the opportunity to see. I stumbled into photography by taking photos of my adventures and car. I never intended to become a professional photographer or make money from it. It just happened naturally, one thing leading to another. I never pursued the path of a professional photographer, and I've not followed that trajectory at all.​

Has your philosophy on photography evolved over the years?​

Absolutely. I no longer feel the same excitement to capture photos of just anything. It has to be something extraordinary, with great lighting, for me to pick up the camera. Otherwise, I've learned to live in the moment and immerse myself in the experience. So if I want to capture something, I'll quickly snap a single photo with my iPhone and then put it away, allowing me to remember the feeling associated with that moment.

© Harrison Schoen

Do you have any other travel photography tips you would like to share?​

It depends on the individual's goals. If they aim to grow on social media, they'll need extra effort to capture high-quality images. However, suppose the goal is to experience life on the road to the fullest and be present in the moment. In that case, taking just a single photo of what you're doing is necessary and then putting the camera away, allowing yourself to engage in the experience fully.​

© Harrison Schoen

Last year, you embarked on a journey to the Arctic Ocean. Do you have any big expeditions planned for the future?​

In 2024, I have a grand plan to go on a cross-continental adventure. I want to drive across South America, down to Argentina. I am looking forward to that one!