I was contacted by New Mexico Magazine a while back to photograph artists and trading companies in Gallup, NM for their November 2011 issue. It was my first contact with the publication, and after wanting to shoot for them for a long time I was elated! One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was also writing a part of the article. The process of stoking the slumbering writer in me was two things: agonizing and exhilarating. I struggled to put the story together, and worried that I was going to make it hard for the publication to ever hire me again. But I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed getting back to something I had once devoted so much time to. I may not become a regular paid writer anytime soon, but it was really interesting to be photographing things I knew I would later be writing about, and at times this influenced my frame dramatically. For those that are interested, you can find a copy of New Mexico magazine right now all over the state.
The assignment stood out for many reasons: the photogenic town itself, the pleasant surprise with which I came away from Gallup, reawakening as a writer, the company of the people that I came to photograph and ended up spending time with. I enjoyed the quiet, but at times spectacular, drive from Albuquerque — perhaps most of all, though, I am thrilled to be working with the folks at New Mexico Magazine, who show a clear commitment to delivering a quality of editorial content and coverage that our state deserves yet sorely lacks (at least in my opinion). I'm ready for the next assignment!
The photos below include the famous El Rancho Hotel's outside and lobby, the Touchin family in front of their Church Rock home, well regarded work by potter Gerald Pinto, the amazing rug room of Tanner's Indian Arts, bracelets on display at Silver Dust Trading Company, Jimmy Paywa and his famous Zuni bread, Virginia Yazzie-Ballinger modeling one of her world-renowned velveteen dresses (and later at the sewing machine), a vendor at Earl's restaurant, and an example of Bisbee turquoise, which I'm told is the most expensive in the world at over $1,000/carat.