Friday, July 18, 2014
Sara Campbell paused to touch up her mascara in the reflection of the chrome that glistened on the Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Peering through the lens of his camera, Scott Jacobs knew he had found his shot.
The moment, captured by photograph then transferred by Jacobs to an acrylic on Belgium linen canvas painting, is now an official Harley Davidson image. Campbell’s likeness, titled “The Finishing Touch” is printed on Harley shirts and memorabilia shipped across the world.
“Scott’s artistic eye is amazing,” Campbell said. “It’s so crazy to me that something as simple as riding motorcycles all day with friends and family can result in something worldwide.”
Campbell is a 25-year-old, blonde-haired, green-eyed Mount Pleasant resident who’s been featured locally in the Charleston City Paper, Skirt! magazine and Oblique Magazine. Jacobs became Harley’s first officially licensed artist in 1993 and has worked with the industry leader on hundreds of projects ever since.
The two met at the Rapid City Harley dealership booth at last year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. They set up a shoot the following day, not sure what exactly would come of the photos. Working to find the perfect shot while fighting the rain, the two shuffled through a range of poses while Jacobs took more than 200 photos.
“She’s a total natural,” he said. “I told her to think about what she’d be doing in the moment, like it’s actually happening and her boyfriend is standing there waiting on her. She understood and did a phenomenal job.”
Jacobs posted the image to his gallery’s Facebook page as a contest for fans to come up with a name and says the response was overwhelming. He included it in his newsletter and says the reaction in the comments and posts was the biggest of the year.
“It had a really good feel. The reaction was incredible,” Jacobs said. “The bike is in it with a pretty girl. And people love her purple boots. We’ve had more comments on the boots than anything.”
Harley Davidson selected “The Finishing Touch” from more than 100 images as one of eight to be printed on its shirts this year. The image has since been licensed around the world and could be featured on anything from puzzles to beach towels.
“We were hopeful they’d use it but had no guarantee,” Campbell said. “It was so exciting when Scott called me and told me they picked it. It’s really crazy knowing it’ll be printed worldwide. I don’t even think it’s hit me yet.”
Modeling has long been one of Campbell’s true loves. She lights up in front of the camera and hopes to one day turn her passion into a career.
“So far, I’m just having fun with it,” Campbell said. “I hope more opportunities come up in the future, but I’m really grateful for the experience so far.”
Besides modeling, Campbell says her love for bikes and the motorcylcle community made the opportunity with Harley a dream come true. A long day on a challenging shoot was, to her, just an unforgettable experience riding Harleys through the South Dakota scenery. For her, it’s the bikes, the people and the lifestyle that’s most enjoyable.
“I grew up on motorcycles and was in a sidecar before I was even old enough to hold on,” she said. “Bikers just enjoy their lives and most of all a good time. Loud, fast and fun is very appealing.”