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We’re in pow wow season here in North America and with it comes a wonderful opportunity to create beautiful images while documenting a culture you may not be familiar with.
A pow wow is a gathering of native peoples which usually takes place in the summer months and as a photographer, offers an incredible opportunity to capture images that most of your friends don’t have and likely never will.
Many take place on reservations of course, but it’s not unheard of to find a pow wow being put on at a college campus or an appropriate location in a sizable city.
At my last newspaper, our coverage area, in part, covered the southern portions of Navajo and Apache Counties in eastern Arizona. Most everyone has heard of the Navajo and Apache tribes. As part of our coverage area, we covered the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) and every June that included their annual “Pow Wow in the Pines”. This great event brought thousands of people from all over the state of Arizona and other states with participants coming from tribes throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
While a great opportunity for photography, there are some things to take into consideration before tackling your first pow wow. Some are technical, but some are cultural as well.
It cannot be overstated just how brave firefighters are. Their job is to run toward the flames when, as humans, our natural reaction is to run the opposite direction. In fact, on June 28, 2013, 19 firefighters with the Prescott Fire Department’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, perished during the Yarnell Hill Fire. It was the greatest loss of firefighters in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
When I made the image above, we in the press corps were still thirty minutes from being taken to document the largest wildfire in Arizona history. [Read more…]