Fine art photographer, Carmen Hunter continues to work on her long-term documentary project. She is compiling photographs of her extended family living in the Chinle, Arizona area. The best of these photographs become part of her fine art portrait line that she offers for sale privately and at a variety of Indian Art Shows and Markets around the country. Her goal is to publish a thematic book of these images to help preserve both the pictorial and oral traditions of her family. She is also working on a children's book.
Carmen helps the rest of her family by creating a variety of jewelry items including the family trademark silver bracelets. She also works part time as a certified Tseyi Guide at Canyon de Chelly Monument. Her knowledge of the best locations for photography finds her in great demand among the well-known photographers and photographic tours in the region including the folks at Arizona Highways.
Carmen's knowledge of the Navajo language allows her to serve as a professional court interpreter, general translator, and language teacher. Early in 2004, Carmen translated and narrated the voice tracks for Facerock Productions' "Native Faces - Desert Light" multimedia show.
In the early 1980's, Carmen attended Phoenix College and trained at Southwest Academy in Phoenix to be a Certified Medical Assistant. Her family obligations brought her back to Chinle where she worked several jobs including substitute teaching the Chinle Unified School District. Her passion for photography kept drawing her back to this art form to which she now dedicates most of her time.
Carmen's time as a guide in the canyons and areas around Chinle, Arizona has brought her into contact with a multitude of photographers. Some notable photographers she has assisted are landscape masters David Muench and LeRoy DeJolie. Professor Timothy Meyer from Brooks Institute has served as a mentor for her large format photography, Master Photographer Craftsman Roger Daines, Professional Photographer Dan Grothe and James Swanson. She has also formed a long-term learning relationship with master photographer, David Davis of Grand Junction. Carmen and her father are featured in Windstone: Natural Arches, Bridges, and Other Openings by David Muench and Ruth Rudner, pages 59-60.
This experience has given Carmen a learning experience in the relationship of light to the photography of people to fine-tune her skills for success at juried shows and markets over the past five years. These include the Southwest Association for Indian Arts, the Navajo Nation Fair, and the Heard Museum Guild's annual show. She has numerous awards including several "Best of Show" and "First Place" at the Navajo Nation and Heard Museum exhibitions.
Carmen has exhibited her work at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona November 6, 2005 - February 2006. She is part of the Navajo Nation's "Through the Lens: Photography by Dine" exhibit that is made up entirely of work created by Navajo photographers. Carmen also exhibited also at the 13 PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY in Grand Junction, Colorado September 1 - October 21, 2006.
She exhibited at The Camera Obscura Gallery, in Denver Colorado April 27 - June 10, 2007 and is represented by Hal Gould at this same gallery. Her photographs are featured in Turtle Island's 2008 and 2009 "Indian Country" Calendars.
In early December of 2008 Carmen was in Washington D.C. to share her images at The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 her photography has been awarded several degrees of recognition by the jury at the Santa Fe Indian Market and we look for great things from her in 2010.
Roger B. Daines has been a commercial, industrial and aerial photographer for the past twenty plus years, based in San Diego County, California.
Roger's personal photographic passion is landscape photography and for the past 10 years he has worked with David Davis and Carmen Hunter organizing workshops in the Southwest to help other photographers "see the light," and capture images in locations not available to the general public. All three have worked very closely with the Navajo Nation and a number of years ago David and Roger, along with guest instructor Tim Meyer, were honored by being inducted into the Navajo Bear Clan.
The "four corners" area of the Southwest is one of the most amazing areas for landscape photography, and over the years Roger, David and Carmen have gained the trust of the Navajo Nation by working closely with them and making many friends. Because of this close symbiotic relationship we are able to enter areas not accessible to regular workshops, and see the real Navajo Nation.
Roger is a past president of the Professional Photographers of California and the Professional Photographers of San Diego County and is currently the Executive Administrator for the Professional Photographers of California. He also serves on the Professional Photographers of America Certification commission. He is a PPA Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) and Approved Photographic Instructor (API). Roger is a Fellow of PPC (F-PPC) and has the PPC Service Medal. He has taught at a number of photographic schools throughout America and has given seminars at numerous conventions and in other countries.
Roger has been presented with five Fuji Masterpiece Awards; a Kodak Gallery Award; two Epcot Center Awards for images displayed at Epcot Center and two People's Choice awards, for excellence in imaging and creativity. He has ten images accepted into the prestigious Professional Photographers of America Loan Collection. Roger has also been awarded "Commercial Photographer of the Year" eight times by the Professional Photographers of San Diego, (PPSDC), "Illustrative Photographer of the Year" three times, "PPSDC Photographer of the Year" and "PPSDC Master Photographer of the Year."
In 2001 he was awarded the ASP Regional Medallion Award for the highest scoring image in Western States print competition, 92 points. Roger has received numerous first, second and third places in PPA Western Regional and California State Print Competition in commercial, industrial, illustrative and electronic imaging categories.
He is a sought after instructor for commercial photography, basic photography and information on achieving success in print competitions. He is a state and local judge for professional photographic associations and camera clubs.
Growing up as a missionary kid in a third culture gives David a different perspective from most photographers. His instinctive ability to feel that instant of human connection among people or of people with their surroundings is both simple and complex. Sometimes drawn in by the visual simplicity of a situation—sometimes illustrating nature's garish colors along with its colorful people—David's style is defined more by this connection than a specific technique or photographic medium.
"Native Peoples and their Land" is a natural outcome of the paths David Davis has taken during the past 16 years. He loves to explore the outdoors and has photographed people for over 40 years so it is natural that he combines these elements into his illustrations. The viewer soon realizes that strength; beauty, dignity, and relationships are important elements in David's photographs. Capturing that inner spirit is the key—the secret—the stillness is the motion.
Davis holds a degree in Western American History and is a PPA Master Photographer and Craftsman. He is currently writing his thesis for the American Society of Photographers. He works from his Grand Junction, Colorado headquarters.
David creates all types of portraits and commercial images. Since selling his full service studio in 2007 he is concentrating on the fine art photographs.
In 1993, a clothing designer asked him to photograph a special leather wedding dress using a Native American woman for the model. this experience started his well-accepted "Native American in the Landscape" collection—a project that continues to expand into new areas and ideas. His images range from more traditional nineteenth century styles to fantasized historical illustrations and relationships among families and friends.
Unique safaris and workshops using people in unusual places have attracted a varied group of professional photographers over the years. David's sponsors, Fujifilm Professional and Pendleton Woolen Mills, allowed him to have a great variety of colors in clothing and the freedom to use the best film and camera technology available at each outing. Cover stories on Davis's photos were published in The Professional Photographer and Shutterbug magazines and have appeared in many other publications.
Facerock Productions is David's brainchild. "Native Faces—Desert Light" is its first production. It is in international distribution and is aired periodically on regional PBS affiliates in the USA. A sister company is forming as a non-profit teaching alliance and documentary film production team. Its mission is to bring aspiring native photographers together with experience professionals in a mentoring relationship to get practical knowledge of the craft. Facerock Productions will then give each participant an opportunity to try out the real world of photographic commerce. The documentary projects are meant to bridge the knowledge gap and tell stories of many interesting people from artists to medicine men—from educators to cowboys.
LeRoy DeJolie introduced David to Carmen Hunter eight years ago. He knew of Carmen's desire to improve her photography skills, and also of David's project that needed to get more people in front of his camera. This mentoring partnership continues to produce an interesting collection of images for both photographers. Their exhibit at the Navajo Nation Museum provided a unique opportunity for the public to see how each interprets similar subject matter. Their dual shows at 13 Photography and Camera Obscura Galleries continue this process.
David's exciting photographic journey continues to keep him growing and sharing. He frequently shares his intuitive ability to read natural light and its play both on the face and the background. David's adventures continue, and you now have the opportunity to be part of the public phase of several projects.
If you look carefully at the newly added options to accompany David on one of his ongoing story-telling projects, you will find an opportunity rarely available to anyone--although you may be sworn to secrecy until these images are unveiled as fine art prints!
Tim Meyer is a guest instructor and mentor. He currently heads the portrait department at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California. As one of the original Southwest Photo Safaris photographers, he joins us when he can, adding a different teaching tool when he pulls out his 8x10 view camera, composes an image, then has each attendee critique what they see on his ground glass.