Hide by Jason Vaughn in Wisconsin, USA

Hide is a project that began as a commentary on Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, using deer stands as a metaphor for the changing values of the sport. When my sudden cancer diagnosis interrupted the project, Hide took on a much deeper, more personal meaning.

I was inspired on my drives through Wisconsin by deer stands, and began having conversations with hunters about the tradition of hunting in their families. Some people described building the stands as something permanent that could be passed to the next generation, especially sons who would inherit the land. I was anticipating the birth of my own son and thinking about my legacy to him, so this idea resonated strongly with me. I also heard hunters emphasize that their pastime is not about violence, but more about oneness with nature and time spent with their children in the stands. I wanted these photographs to capture the serenity of that sentiment, and to suggest the dignity that was associated with hunting when it was seen as a means of feeding large families. Finally, I wanted to look at the issue from a historical standpoint, and the impermanent nature of some of the stands illustrates the fading hunting tradition in Wisconsin, which has declined in recent years.

When I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, my work on Hide was put on hold. I was 32 years old and had a 3-month-old baby at home. Having to face mortality so unexpectedly made me come back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence. Ultimately, Hide became my reflection on legacies and family, my homage to the state that has become my home, and a narrative about accepting change.

Name:Jason Vaughn

Photographer, stay at home father


Japan, Russia, Ghana, Montreal, China, Spain, New York, etc, etc, etc

Tell us about the place you live:

I’ve traveled a lot with the US and a little outside of the country and Madison, Wisconsin is the first place I’ve ever wanted to settled down in. It’s safe and fun at the same time, which is actually extremely hard to find. It has the small town Wisconsin vibe, but with the college and capitol being here, it keeps the town very lively with restaurants, live events and art.

A perfect day?

By far going to the beach with my wife and son.

What is the best thing about your spot?

We live in the “affordable” housing behind the university. Normally that means the crappy apartments no one wants to live in, right? Well our affordable apartment complex is right next to the beautiful lake with numerous trails and right next to the neighborhood where all the wealthy doctors live. Only in Wisconsin, I guess.

What is the worst?

Long winters

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider?

That they could ever consider Wisconsin as a place to live.

If your city was a person or character who would it be?

Joaquin Phoenix character in the movie Her

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Joel Sternfeld, The Rambler, Barry McGee



Name:Jason Vaughn


Favorite place to eat:

Eno Vino

Favorite place to drink:


Favorite shop:

St. Vincent De Paul Dig and Save

Local Tip:

Dig and Save half off on Wednesdays

Must Do:

Go to the trails that run near Picnic Point