I’ve been told over the years that blogs are the rage – a great way to connect to your community, build community and hear directly from those you most relate to. I always thought, “Not for me, I’m a people person and I want to relate directly”, thinking that I had enough time and energy to always be everywhere. Well, I’m hardly one to admit it, but I was wrong. I think I may grow to love blogs. I may not be the best writer or have the most creative insights for you but I’ll care about what I put here and I’ll even try to offer tips on photography in Peru; workshops in general; photography as an experiential component of your trip. My workshops and tours are just that – not a technical overview of dSLR, 4×5 field cameras or random technologies. No way.
Today I met with the Peruvian Honorary Consul here in Seattle – Miguel Angel Velasquez. He wanted to purchase a bulk quantity of my new book, Vista Andina. I brought them to him and signed them for his holiday gifts. He started discussing the foreigner’s perception of Peruvians and how that relates to his business as emissary for his country. It was fascinating to understand why my book – in all its honesty – offered him the chance to show off his home country rather than other photographic books he’s seen of Peru. He said that while my images didn’t necessarily promote Peru as the postcard books of Machu Picchu or the wildlife images from the Amazon do, that my book resonated and reflected the real Cusco in a proud and humble manner.
I guess as a starting point for my first thoughts, I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. In creating this series of workshops, and in the 5 years experience I have bringing curious participants to unique places that capture the essence and ephemera of a foreign place, it is my honor to be the bridge that brings us all a bit closer. The photographer who grasps a vision and a knowledge of place; and the locals who feel the presence of a soul and not just the glare of a flash or the front of a lens.