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