Rite of Passage.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009.

This is Ben. Ben has just obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on Journalism. This was no easy road, and one which has taken him from New Mexico to Baghdad and back.

Two moments in Ben’s life are captured here on film; the night he hung and opened his BFA show amongst family and friends and the quite hours proceeding a well earned commencement ceremony for the NMSU graduating class of 2009.

Ben’s time in Las Cruces, New Mexico has come to a close, and he will head north to shop his portfolio in the Front Range of Colorado and begin the next chapter in life. A great personality, staunch work ethic and a diverse and ever evolving portfolio will be the key to his continued success!

….. and so we each set out on our own road!

Ben Shockley’s BFA Exhibition, titled Fallibility, opened at the Milagro Coffee House on Friday, December 11.

Ben recently launched his own website: BenJShockley.com

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009.

Celebration of the Season.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009.

Happy Holidays from the Fedora Photo Team, yours truly, and a Merry Christmas. I chose to post a shot that was taken in July-some years ago-when a snow storm swept over our camp while backpacking in the highlands of Lesotho . I love the visual contradiction of the traditional African thatched hut blanketed by fresh snowfall!

Enjoy the season and the very best for the year 2010-fast approaching!

Cheers, Jeremy

The Photographic Community.

Location has played it’s own role in the momentum and success of many young photographers in the last century. Paris was for many years, home to a community of artists, writers and photographers to the point of cliche. The same sorts of communities still exist here in the United States, and perhaps most significantly in the cities where publishing makes it’s home, New York and DC attracting the die hard journalist.

As we roll over into the year 2010, any one in the publishing biz can assure you that the Internet has become the driving force of media and subsequently opened the community of publishers, writers and photographers to connect on a global scale. To put it more directly, one can conduct business, publish work and communicate from home or cafe across the most distant regions of the world around the clock.

So the question I would like put forth is this, does the photographic community still exist? What examples can you give? Can communities of photographers, and the like minded, still full fill the same purpose if taken to cyberspace?

Your comments, your thoughts…..

David Alan Harvey’s online journal for emerging photographers, launched last year, has become much, much more than just a magazine, but rather a community of artistic intellect spanning the globe, and if you pay a visit you will find that Burn never sleeps!

I welcome and encourage your input on the subject! Jeremy

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

The Polar Express.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

What a better way to enjoy the spirit of the season than by boarding Durango’s historic railroad on a wintry trip themed after the iconic children’s story, The Polar Express. I was invited by good friends to share in this event – giving me the opportunity to try and create an image of youthful wonder with a heavy stamp of nostalgia.

I have ridden the train as a photographer enough in the last couple of years to where most of these images were already planned out in my mind as I boarded the Polar Express. I can be almost certain that Rachel and I were the minority, as the small train cars began to fill up with eager children clad in full pajamas, bearing story books and hot chocolate with them.

While children are basically predictable, their immediate actions are spontaneous and subject to immediate change, therefor a seemingly simple photograph became a product of trial and error. I had a feeling the night would be cold enough to fog the windows and I wanted that portrait of wonderment for what might be on the other side of the glass- the one I already had envisioned in my head. Lining up the elements of light, angle and emotion became the focus of my train ride into the winter wonderland north of Durango.

As a photojournalist, trying to tell the story with pictures, I find myself creating a mental outline of images that will tie the essay together, and often times to very specific levels. Do you find yourself often approaching a subject, assignment with the preconceived notion of what you would like to come out with, hoping for the best and expecting the worst -or do you simply dive in and photograph as the situation unfolds?

Hope you enjoy the ones that made the final cut….. and Here’s to the Season!

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Burn Anniversary!

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009.

Burnians celebrate the one year anniversary of Burn, David Alan Harvey’s online magazine for emerging photographers and its successes. Burnians.com is a site that celebrates the creative collective that is David’s extended family- enjoy the energy!!


Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

By Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum

Earlier this month, the 11th annual Gathering of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas took place in the Native American wing of the Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center in Fort Collins. On Dec. 3, indigenous delegates from across North, Central and South America came together to discuss issues of sovereignty.

South American representatives from Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina spoke in their individual dialects of Spanish, some donning the traditional attire common to the Andean highlands: serapes of Alpaca wool and brightly colored fedoras adorned with peacock feathers. Mayan women came north to represent the struggles in Guatemala and the ongoing issues concerning indigenous rights.

Juana Menchu, niece of 1992 Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, came to the summit to share women’s achievement stories. Representatives from Puerto Rico and Panama each came forward to voice concerns and represent their indigenous peoples.

Representatives from South Dakota, Alaska and Southern Ute tribal member Frost voiced the North American indigenous rights struggle. Each shared their own experiences with the laws and policies that govern native peoples and lands within the borders of the United States.

An energetic cultural presentation took place during the lunch session. The Lory Student Center was filled with drumming and cultural dance by the Grupo Tlaloc Danza Azteca, a group of Aztec Mexica dancers dedicated to keeping their cultural dances alive and strengthening the role of tradition within their community. Carlos Castaneda, on behalf of the Danza Azteca, invited the dignitaries of the indigenous summit to join them in one last dance.

The discussions at CSU were intended to set the groundwork for a larger cultural experience, one that would take the participating dignitaries on a tour of sites relevant to Native American culture and spirituality across the state of Colorado. The networking possibilities of the conference and the power of a unified voice among indigenous nations will hopefully set a precedent for the political times.

The importance of our sovereign nations and native peoples has never been more relevant than in these political, economical and environmentally sensitive times. These issues span the Americas and can perhaps set a precedent for global community as our world powers continue to look for answers that will ensure peace, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability.

A full page of color photographs accompanies this article in the most recent edition of the Southern Ute Drum which can seen right HERE on page 12 of the online newspaper.

Cheers, Jeremy


Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

I have officially reached the one year mark as lead photographer, reporter and photo editor for the Southern Ute Drum Newspaper. One year since I was hired on by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to cover events spanning from Ute Culture to the political workings of a Sovereign Nation. One year marks 24 issues of the Drum in print, and 56,640 images in the archive!

Things are just getting started.

For those unable to peruse the Drum firsthand alongside your morning coffee, please take a minute to check out the Drum online and keep checkin’ in as we roll out our first issues for 2010! Visit the Southern Ute Drum online RIGHT HERE.

Cheers, Jeremy

The Forth Season: Old Ways.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

This is my grandfather, James W. Shockley. He is a hard old man, a worker, and a real bad ass-the sort of guy that would make John Wayne seem soft, lazy in comparison. Born in a small town on the panhandle of Texas he was witness to the end of the Great Depression and is no stranger to hardship, or the old ways.

He brakes the standard rule, for he is a jack of all trades and has managed to master a few. Perhaps his only real enjoyment out side of family and hard work would be his one week of elk hunting each year, which he never misses. Dub, as he is called by his friends, still manages to hunt the high ridges and deep, rugged forest at the age of eighty, shoots straighter then most, and processes his own meat. Enter the old ways, very few have the know how or take the massive effort required to clean, butcher, and process big game for themselves.

Set in the dusty barn of my youth is a large meat block, and under that table is an old portable heater that buzzes when turned on, emitting a strong burned smell from its many years of service. My grandfather boils water to clean the surface of the large wooden table and sharpens various knives on the heavy whit stones which lay off to the side. The largest pieces of the animal are butchered first, leaving the finer cuts of meat till the end, each one carefully wrapped in clean white butcher paper and labeled by hand.

A large steel Hobart grinder turns all the small cuts and second choice meat into sausage. Dogs gather from near and far to bicker and fight over the scraps turned out for them, the larger dogs carry away the bones and ribs as if victorious in their own hunt. The warm water and what little heat is radiated from the space heater make winter conditions in the barn bearable as the hours of labor drag on till the last package of meat is neatly stacked in the icebox.

Knives, rifles, clothing and boots are all cleaned and stored until the following year when the weather turns cold once again and the Fourth Season opens for young men and old hunters.