For the last few years I’ve made a point to attend one photography workshop a year, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my business. There’s always more to learn, a new perspective to walk away with, friends to be made, and a million chances to get inspired! This year I attended a Cinematic Portraiture workshop with the legendary Kurt Iswarienko at the Santa Fe Photography Workshops, and, to be blunt, it was f*king awesome. I will definitely be returning to the Santa Fe Workshops in the future.
More on that another time. For now, I wanted to share some images I took in the days leading up to the workshop. Once I knew I was going out west, I HAD to take advantage of the chance to spend a few extra days doing some exploring. I think the Southwestern area of the USA is food for the soul - the landscapes are so diverse and beautiful, I’m basically in complete awe the whole time I’m there.
I was introduced to the concept of “Thin Places” through someone quoting this article from the New York Times recently, and I’m kind of obsessed. Thin places are “places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again.” These are the places where “the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent” or whatever it may be for you!
I’ve been lucky enough to stumble upon many such places in my lifetime so far, and a lot of them have been in the Southwest! White Sands National Monument was absolutely this for me - I was basically in tears taking in the beauty as I drove in; miles and miles of dunes, sand so white it looked like snow glistening under a breathtaking sunset! I watched it in a state of complete happiness, toes in the sand and camera in hand.
BUT - I’m skipping ahead! First I flew into Tucson and spent a few days there, and LOVED IT. Such a fun city to explore. Traveling alone is always a little weird - I honestly love it in some ways, not so much in others. It was great to be able to wake up early every morning and drive somewhere to watch the sunrise over the desert, explore and photograph wherever I wanted during the day, eat as many tacos as possible and not worry if someone else wasn’t in the mood for tacos (what the hell??), and finish each day watching the sunset before passing out in my hotel room right afterward. I was definitely a little starved for conversation by the time I left though haha, thankfully the workshop was next!
So, my takeaway - if you haven’t been, Tucson is worth a visit! Spend lots of time in Saguaro National Park and definitely dedicate a few hours to the Arizona-Sonara Desert Museum. Wander through the botanical gardens, have lots of tacos, walk around the 4th Avenue District and pop into the Food Conspiracy Co-op. And if you get the opportunity - make the drive out to White Sands. It is absolutely in the middle of nowhere but it is worth every second spent driving (and driving along the scenic routes in that part of the country is half the fun)!
Anyway, THIS BLOG POST GOT VERY LONG. Sorry for rambling. Here is a glimpse into my long weekend in Tucson + White Sands!