Pleasure and Privilege

Author:  LeRoy DeJolie

This month marks a significant milestone in my photographic career. It was 20 years ago, this very day when I conducted my very first photographic workshop as an Instructor with the Friends of Arizona Highways Photo Workshop, (AHPW). Our objectives back then as I recall was and still remains true to this day. It was designed to take our participants to special places, off the beaten path, somewhere in Arizona and provide each and every participant with unrivaled experiences in photography. Over the years,  AHPW  immersed participating photographers, whether they be novices or professionals, to new and exciting places to experience and photograph true nature, wildlife and various cultures at its finest.

Being a second generation of photographers in my family, I have always been fascinated with the History of Photography as much as by the technical process of this new digital age. However, I am still more inclined to wander down this odd photographic journey with my large cumbersome equipment, because this is where my passion lies. I don’t expect things to change anytime soon.  After pondering long and hard, I would love to be remembered as a photographer who examined the compelling and intimate art of landscape portraiture.  Sometimes the best portraits are often as much a reflection of the maker as they are of the subject.  I love to focus on the elements that make a landscape portrait compelling, such as types of film, lenses, composition, the various types of lighting, metering and the environment.  As an instructor, I also love how I can also address strategies for working with participants and suggesting methods for making emotionally resonant photographs to keep for a lifetime.


If this simple message were to be totally comprehensive, it would take many pages and countless hours to write but no message is ever complete without first recognizing the support that I’ve had the special pleasure and privilege to know and work with over the years.  Here’s to the unsung heroes, my colleagues who assisted me sometimes under adverse conditions. I have no hesitation in conveying to you that each one of you is intimately attached to teaching and fostering the photographic growth of each of our participants, as I am. Your contribution to our programs over the years are a great part who the Friends are today.  Thank you John Frelich and Meng Tay, my Trip Leaders on our recent trip to Hunts Mesa.  You both connected immediately with our participants as well as helped each reach their full potential and expectations. My hat is off to you!

In closing, alongside each Volunteer Trip Leader are the ‘Behind the Scenes’ personnel who operate a small office, but have one of the biggest missions. To the office staff of AHPW including Executive Director –  Roberta Lites,  Logistics Manager – Holly MacNaughton and Administrative Support,  Madeana “Mindy” Towne, I truly value your contribution and the many hours you provide to ensure each participant’s exceptional experience. You are no doubt committed to serve. You make an enormous impact to this Organization and I am humbled to know I have your full support. Once again, Thanks-A-Million.

LeRoy DeJolie  –  Photographer


6 thoughts on “Pleasure and Privilege

  1. Thanks LeRoy The workshops I have taken with you have been some of the best experiences of my photographic journey. Wishing you good travels and golden light for many years. Linda Mann


  2. LeRoy, I have not had the pleasure of being with you on a workshop, but I have been involved with several other workshops with different instructors. I believe by the end of the year I will have attended a total of 10. What you say is exact truth, the trip leaders and Instructors are phenomenal. I learn a great deal with each workshop and I am amazed at the work the trip leaders pour into the workshops. I am very thankful to all of them and hope to take a trip with you in the future.


  3. Congratulations and much continued success. I learned so much during our workshop in Monument Valley. Great experience.

    Hope to get to another one soon.


  4. LeRoy, it was such a pleasure and privilege to know and work alongside you. You are one of the best photographers and a true human being. You proudly represent the Navajo people and culture. Our success on this MV and Hunt’s Mesa trip was a team effort. I am so looking forward to our next trip at Canyon de Chelly.


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