Life and Land: American Cowboy Magazine.

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American Cowboy Magazine

Excited for the recent publication of my essay on New Mexico ranchers in American Cowboy, representing family traditions and the intrinsic relationship between life and land in the American West.

“We need to regard the landscape with respect,” Shockley says. “After all, it shaped the culture of the West. You can’t have one without the other. I want people to see that through my work, particularly if they’ve never been to the American West.”

Extremely grateful to my editors, Eva and Lauren, for thier enthusiasm and dedication to this feature, it was a great pleasure seeing these images come together on the pages of American Cowboy.

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American Cowboy Magazine

“In this series of photographs, Shockley trains his lens on the historic San Cristobal Ranch of Northern New Mexico, where multiple generations uphold cowboy traditions and manage the land. The inextricable relationship between life and land is a connection that inspires much of Shockley’s work.”

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American Cowboy Magazine

The essay titled Life and Land is published under the Frontiers section of the Dec/Jan 2017 issue of American Cowboy magazine.

Personal projects are often best shot close to home…

Personal project are often best shot close to home...Photo © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2013. All Rights Reserved.

This image of my Grandfather, James W. Shockley, is one of the images I hold most dear from my personal project about the American West. I made this photograph a number of years ago in my grandfather’s workshop outside of Farmington, New Mexico.

The place remains almost unchanged since my youth, and is such a central part of my early childhood memories that the visuals alone play on each of my other senses. Particularly the hot dry dust, move anything and it is there. Changed only into something sweeter following a summer rainstorm across the high desert – breath it in deep.

The idea behind this post is that we all have our projects, and our long term photography assignments, often these are the richest, and often they are self assigned. At least in the beginning.

Once the momentum takes hold, they become something more, much more at times.

I find that the projects that have succeeded for me, are the ones I don’t have to chase too far, in other words, they are accessible – on many levels. Close to home, perhaps close to the heart. Often so close we don’t see them at first.

In the words of National Geographic Photographer Sam Abell, “We all need a life project.”

Time to make a photograph!