Prime Portrait

Photograph Michael Kircher 2012.

Simple, straightforward portrait by my friend Mike Kircher on a recent outing to the Colorado mining town of Silverton. Peppered with bars and cafes we found respite in a small brewery called the Avalanche cafe.

Mike and I set to discussing portraiture, and successful photo techniques. Which led to this intimate image, made much more so by the tight crop that I have employed often in my own work. This proximity brings the viewer in close, and having good rapport with your subject is evident in this type of approach.

Prime lenses help as they are small, compact and above all honest!

Thanks for the great pic Mike!

Cheers, Jeremy

Advertisements

My Friend Mike Kircher.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2012.

Uploading images, mentally preparing for the new week, resting. This is what I busy myself with after a wonderful, marathon weekend with close friend, and photographer Michael Kircher.

Mike lives on the East coast, Maryland, just a stones throw from our Nation’s capitol state.

We share ideas, photography, and encouragement…communicating through cyberspace, phone calls, and even Instagram!

Not this weekend, Mike made the trip out West to see a bit of cowboy culture and Rocky Mountain scenery, a chance to visit with Rachel and I at our home on the lake…

Today he travels East. We will both certainly be editing images for some time…sharing them as we can. Pushing the creative boundaries, a friendship built on our shared ambitions, a curiosity for life and a unwavering passion for the photographic image!

Safe travels Mike! Cheers, Jeremy

Setting the Stage.

The only thing I love better than great light is a dynamic backdrop…such as this unexpected cement relic standing stream side in the forest near where Rachel grew up, now artfully reclaimed by the local youth.

After making a few nice portraits of Rachel and her niece, I handed the camera off and stepped into the scene.
Nice light, nice moment. Perfect setting. Happy holidays!

Mentorship, Authorship, and the Words of David Alan Harvey.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2011.

I first saw the work of David Alan Harvey at an impressionable time in my life. I was in my early twenties, working and studying in Latin America. The books and literature I consumed revolved around Spanish culture at large. I clearly remember sitting in my small, barren apartment overlooking the colonial architecture of Cuenca sprawling out below me, a quart of mildly warm Pilsner at my side and a National Geographic magazine opened to an article on Cuba. The work was David’s of course. I said to myself, this guy knows how to have a good time…. And he shoots for the Geographic.

I was inspired.

The intimate, colorful images stuck with me as I traversed the full length of Central America and Mexico, camera in hand, arriving some months later in a poorly lit bus depot outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I had completed my journey. I immediately sought out a lab to develop the film canisters I had been packing around, in a ragged ziplock bag. So began my passion for imagery.

In the following year I would return to Colorado and finish my degree in architecture. I wasted no time in unpacking an old Pentax K1000, given to me by my mother upon graduating high school, and made friends with the Universities’ visual resource department. Hours washed away in the darkroom.

My love of photography, combined with a lifetime of travel, set in motion a career which I had not yet fully conceptualized.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

In the years following my degree I found myself wandering the red earthen trails of Ha Mohatlane, generally just keeping myself busy, shooting as much film as I could afford to develop on the stipend of a Peace Corps volunteer working in Africa. This was not a large sum of money. Passion led to direction. I needed fuel. My time in Lesotho neared it’s end, I had crossed every district in the Mountain Kingdom, photographed most of it, and desperately wanted to understand photojournalism to a fuller extent. I knew then that I wanted to make a difference through photography.

The words and images of David Alan Harvey came to me in a small field guide published by the National Geographic, where a dozen or so iconic Geographic photographers really speak from the heart about image making and the role of photography in telling a story. I soaked this one up- a couple of times. I related especially to David’s intimate and honest approach. More about the moment-less about the equipment.

Two years later I was introducing myself to David Harvey and Jodi Cobb in a room full of photographers.

Back on American soil, my drive was fueled by the immediate desire to make a career for myself, the opportunities presented by a fist full of credit cards, and an open road. With that said, I packed my aging pickup, a nineteen and seventy-seven Chevrolet with the basics, a couple of film cameras and headed to Wyoming for a weeklong workshop led by some of the most respected and iconic photographers and editors of our time. I can’t quite say “the rest is history” because that was only the beginning!

I took this portrait of David the other day at a cafe, not the exact photo I had intended to take just moments before, while sipping on my coffee. David, relaxed, pensive, his hands gesturing as his thoughts formulated. I missed that one. This will have to work.

David’s advice…Sail your own Boat!

A short video segment produced by David’s son, Bryan Harvey …enjoy the film.

Bryan Harvey Films

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

Making Friends.


Travel photography is about relationships. Much of photography is. This of course is my opinon-others will certainly differ. The cliche travel photograph seems to be fraught with motion blur, as figures weave in and out of picturesque landscapes and popular restaurants. While the timeless images of our century are intimate portraits of people, their culture. The landscape is merely an environment, and the emotion of your subject will go well beyond the exotic nature of place.


I only say this in an effort to open conversation. Conversation perhaps being the most important tool you can equip yourself with as you travel foreign lands, and distant places with camera in hand. If you are open to the people and accepting of the culture, all doors will open eventually. This sort of intimacy is what separates the true traveller, and the most experienced photojournalist from the rest of the camera wilding tourist who most likely pack the very same guidebooks as you. Take your time, open yourself up, and explore. Making friends is the key to great travel images, and certainly the thing that will bring you back to same community for years to come.

Enjoy your travels-both near and abroad! Cheers, Jeremy

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

Life’s Greatest Journey.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

It was almost a year ago, last spring, that I asked Rachel to spend her life with me. The water at our toes, wind in our face, it was spring at last. We stood there on the edge of Lake Vallecito, free from the world, hearts and minds open to the future. It was a wonderful feeling that existed that day, it filled my mind, running through my soul- then and there I seemed to understand beauty and purpose in the same breath. It was contentment.

It was then that I asked Rachel to marry me, against the brisk breeze of early spring, to share in my adventures and I in hers…to not only see the world together, but to breathe in life and all that it is.

Eddy understood the moment, four legs and a pure soul, he stood below us and let the wind take his ears back. I too let the wind take me.

Let us celebrate in the very thing that binds us, and that is friendship, understanding, and above all- Respect!

In less than two weeks, we toast to our union amongst friends and family here in the valleys of Colorado, and from there travel south to Guatemala. Only then, beneath the shadow of volcanos and time itself that we will consummate our union.

We will speak our vows and set forth into our new lives with but a few witnesses and each other to remember the details. Remembering the moment will not outweigh our hopes for the future, and it is ahead that we will take our first steps together!

Peace be with you. Jeremy

"With Our Yesterday, We Dream of Our Tomorrow"

Photograph Jeremy Wade Shockley/SU DRUM

The theme was set for this year’s Tribal Fair & Powwow poster, the challenge was to find an image to express these words visually.

I chose the image of a young Northern Traditional Dancer to convey the idea that the future lies in our youth, while the yesterday is carried on through traditions.

In this case I sought out an image from our archive that had been previously published in the Southern Ute Drum Newspaper. This portrait had strong visual qualities while still addressing the guiding motto and theme of the Tribal Fair & Powwow.

“With Our Yesterday, We Dream of Our Tomorrow”

Do you find that ideas and concepts guide your photography, or is the story or theme a product of strong imagery created previously or even simultaneously?