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In August our routine was to get up around 5am and to be in place with the cowboys at first light. We basically tried to shoot and illustrate various things the cowboys were doing. Working with the horse, herding the cows, etc. We would shoot until about 10am as it gets very hot in the middle of the day. The cowboys don’t do much outdoor work during the heat of the day. During lunch we would download cards or review images. At 3pm we were back out with the cowboys for that late afternoon sun.
It was a breath of fresh air to get out and make this kind of storytelling imagery again. It reminded me of the things I loved about journalism and why I stayed in journalism for so long. I felt like I had found my roots again and re-awakened a deep passion inside me. I loved every minute of it.
The trip has reinforced in my mind how important personal project are to photographers and other creative people. There has to be a certain amount of work to pay the bills, but you have to find some time to keep the creative fire burning inside. I always knew it was important to do personal projects, I just never found the time to fit them in. I had sort of reached that point in my life where I worked to live, not live to work. I had stopped looking for projects like this. I’m so glad that Duda connected me with Izan and we have been able to spend this time working on this project. More »
I was connected with Izan Petterle through Duda Escobar, the show manager for PhotoImage Brazil and the reason I’d come to Brazil in the first place. She invited me down to give the keynote address on wedding photography.
During the planning she asked if I would be interested in teaching a post-convention workshop with Izan in a Brazilian wilderness area called The Pantanal. I didn’t know anything about Izan and was a little nervous about jumping into something unfamiliar in such a remote area. I was also concerned about leaving my business for almost three weeks in August. Initially I declined.
After thinking about it a bit, I decided it was a great opportunity to get out and see a very remote part of a beautiful country. And after speaking to Izan I was completely at ease. Izan has been doing PhotoExpeditions for years and he is a wonderful, kind person. We decided to proceed with a PhotoExpedition after the PhotoImage Brazil conference.
Because I was so late agreeing to do the expedition, there was precious little time to promote the workshop. The day I left for Brazil, no one had signed up yet. Izan and I almost canceled the trip, but he kept assuring me that Brazilians are spur-of-the-moment people. He felt certain we would get some students.
In the end we decided to do the trip with or without students; it was a great chance for both of us to stretch our creative legs a bit. Since leaving journalism in 2000 I have mostly photographed women in white dresses each Saturday, and it was time to do something new. Sure enough we ended up with three students, all of whom signed up just a day or two before the start of the expedition! More »