My photographic method doesn’t change much, regardless of where I am. I try to approach every environment with curiosity, and my perspective has slowly evolved over the years, solidified. When I’m not photographing people, I’m always on the hunt for interesting textures and colors.
Traveling through Chihuahua, all of the old decaying adobe buildings and faded election campaign signs – painted on the sides of businesses and along walls – capture my attention. Everything here seems to be recycled, so it isn’t unusual to see 1980’s model cars and trucks, shops with a wide variety of VHS cassettes, and mountains of recycled clothing. Everything seems to carry some kind of story – some kind of history.
Nothing is polished and pristine and brand new. And I really like that.
The San Rafael Valley is a well-kept secret in the borderlands of Cochise County, Arizona. Micro-climates make this a surprisingly fertile territory for wine grapes, and several wineries are dotted throughout the area, surrounded by BLM territory and a collection of independently operated ranches. There are the odd ‘desert rats’ that live on these lands, too – individuals who prefer to live a more solitary life, away from the noise and bustle of the city.
This largely unmanicured region can seem threatening. The rules of the west are fully on display. If you trespass on the wrong property, you will most-assuredly come face-to-face with an angry rancher and a shotgun. Landowners are wary of outsiders; many are hardened against trespassers as a result of drug-muling and human trafficking. But for the casual traveler, if you play by the rules, the only sign of human life you will ever encounter are Border Patrol trucks and the occasional unmanned drone flying overhead.
I feel at home out here, looking down the deep valley, where the wind gliding through the dry grass is the dominant sound. Where the sky opens up and reminds one how small they really are.