Good light goes a long way…

Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum
This coming Saturday I will be traveling down to New Mexico to photograph heritage dancers, which brought me back to this image made a few years ago.

I can still remember this day clearly, stormy weather on the horizon, sun setting to the west, and plenty of time to work with my subjects before the performance was fully underway…for a few brief moments I was the only camera around. Resulting in a few of my favorite images, a couple of which have stood the test of time quite well. 

 I have no idea how the conditions will play out this weekend, but I am prepared for some bright, full on midday sunshine…of the New Mexico variety. Scorching hot.

Years ago, when I made photos for myself, it was the best light that I always sought out. This ideal circumstance is not a reality in the world of editorial photography, as most know.

Events are scheduled, deadlines have to be met, and above all time is usually always tight–either yours or your subjects. Luck and foresight are always at play…revisiting subjects (if possible) will always up the odds.

Making the best possible images regardless of light is the norm…and once in a while the warm light of late day, or early morning rays bath your subjects in a wonderful hue…stormy skies are a plus in my book.

Nice even light, dramatic backdrop.

Stay tuned…


Spring Celebration – 48th Annual Hozhoni Days Powwow returns to Durango, Colorado.

Photographs Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum

I shot my first powwow at Fort Lewis College over five years ago, immediately gaining an invitation to make pictures later that year in the picturesque Red Rocks Park during the Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial. My goal was to document cultures in the region where I grew up having returned to the area as a working professional, seeking out long term projects, assignments.

It was the portfolio from that summer that opened the door to my current position as staff photographer for the Southern Ute Drum newspaper.

We just published a double powwow section last week that included recent images from Hozhoni Days, as I have been back to cover this small, social powwow every year since that first. Striving each time to come away with something that will set my work apart from previous years…

Enjoy the Images! Best, Jeremy

Photographs Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum

Celebrating Traditional Dance & Three Years with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe!

Jeremy Wade Shockley/The Southern Ute Drum

The latest edition of The Southern Ute Drum hit stands today, with coverage of almost a half dozen cultural performances in celebration of Native American Heritage Month as recognized in the State of Colorado.

This image of a young dancer named Greg was immediately one of my favorites, but I ultimately chose another equally striking image that conveyed the sense of place and action more effectively. See the front page lead into our photo spread.

Still, I keep coming back to this image for it’s composition, and the angle of the feathered bustle, as the dancer turns, catching a nice profile. This is conversely a fairly tight shot, which works to eliminate distraction from the background in this school auditorium. I used a few post production tools in Lightroom3 to make the dancer pop.

In short I think this is a rather quite image, that still captures the motion and vibrancy of the Fancy Feather Dancer in his regalia.

To view the DRUM online click HERE.

December 2nd marks three years for me as staff photographer for the Southern Ute Drum, with a new website in the making, record sizes in the bi-weekly print edition and a great lineup of stories and project ideas…2012 promises to be one of our most exciting years!

Cheers, Jeremy

Shooting on the Sidelines.

Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

Many of my favorite photographs are often shot on the fringe of an event, often showing the reader the story in a different light. Rodeos, Powwows, political rallies, and sporting events. These are events that are often covered from the standpoint of what they are, taken and interpreted very literally.

Events almost always have a second life right on the fringe, and that is where I often find the most interesting photographs and subjects to really tell the story through images as it has perhaps not so often been told. This image of a small dog guarding a van outside the Powwow arena is the perfect example of another way to photograph an annual Powwow celebration.

The full photo essay and annual Southern Ute Bear Dance events are posted online in this weeks Southern Ute Drum Newspaper.

Enjoy the images….Jeremy

The Powwow Trail…

Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

Denver March Powwow followed by the 45th Annual Hozhoni Days Powwow in Durango and off to Gathering of Nations next week in New Mexico! Indeed powwow season is underway! Scroll over and click on the highlighted text above to see each of the photo essays published in the Southern Ute Drum!

Cheers, Jeremy