ASU Graduation

I got to shoot ASU graduation by tagging along with ASU marketing photographer Andy Delisle so I could shoot for fun. It was overwhelming with so many people, so much movement but fun to just wander and shoot for myself which I enjoyed. Oh and they release balloons, something about hundreds of giant balloons (as big as a small child) which is just so fun . . .

I love mortar boards, personal expression that now inhibits students from throwing them up in the air (my thoughts at least). Though most were personal messages or thank you’s to family members the student below had a political message, the first I’ve ever seen at least.

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Glamour Academia de Moda Fashion Show in Tempe

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Flamour Academia de Moda held a fashion show of their students’ work at Tempe Center for the Arts. This was my first and only fashion show and on a visual level it was so intriguing. Between the girls, their colorful dresses and the crazy poor light. Many of the girls had been there for hours preparing for the show with their family and friends. It was just a great event that I was invited to the evening before by one of the model’s mothers and it was really the highlight of my week.

La Virgen de Guadalupe Celebrations

I photographed three different celebrations for the Virgen of Guadalupe, but unfortunately one was on a camera card I formatted . . . really unfortunate as the photos were not stunning, but still showed the devotion in a procession up in Queen Creek. Below are images from dancers at PromiseAZ, a local group that helps community members reach their full potential. I showed up and Petra, the group’s main organizer invited me in. I loved photographing the dance, which I need more explanation for but it was wonderful to photograph.


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The group below belongs to a really impressive dancer I’ve met, Joey Cazarez, and they were dancing for the Virgin of Guadalupe to any household that welcomed them. I’ve added most of the photographs so they can see how they turned out.

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Cafe Cultura at the Santa Rita Center

So a few months back I met an amazing organizer, Jose Cortez, and he invited me to the Santa Rita center’s first Cafe Cultura. He organized artsits, from 2-D to 3-D to spoken word. I wanted to share some of the images with them here and say how thankful I am to see artists in Phoenix getting together and sharing their creativity. I’m even more thankful for people like Jose who have a vision that goes far enough to realize the importance of sharing art in a way to teach youth about their heritage. I also had a chance to swing by a protest at the Mexican Consulate on Human Rights Day where protests were held for the return of the missing 43 ayotzinapa students.
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Rumain Brisbon Protest

I recently covered the protest in Phoenix against the death of Rumain Brisbon, a Phoenix resident who was shot by a Phoenix police officer. The officer believed Brisbon was reaching for a gun and fired several shots at close range, upon later inspection they found a bottle of pills but no weapon. This case has garnered a fair amount of attention and organizing by community members who believe there is a different standard according to the race of the suspect. It was interesting to cover shooting photographs and video. Brisbon’s young daughter pictured below, led the protest to the Phoenix police department.

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Las Adelitas Arizona 4th Annual Posada

I had the privilege of shooting the Las Adelitas 4th Annual Posada where they named Raquel Teran of Mi Familia Vota the first “Adelita del año.”
The group raises money each year and award scholarships, in 2014 to both young ladies below, and this year they honored Teran for her work civically engaging her community. This years winners are pictured below. The event was held at Petroglyphs Gallery in the Lost Barrio area in Tucson, Ariz.



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Fight for $15 Protest

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Walmart Black Friday Protest in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Photographed a protest on Black Friday against Walmart by striking employees and different valley groups. Here are a few of the photographs of different protestors that demonstrated outside the Walmart on Thomas and 32nd Street in Phoenix, Arizona.

Protests against the failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Protesters gathered outside the Sandra Day Oconnor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix to voice their opposition to the grand jury’s decision to ‘not indict’ in Ferguson Monday evening. Protestors spoke about their experiences with racial profiling by police, their hopes for change in the future and the need to create dialogue about the realities of race.

Chris Rainier lectures at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

We had the privilege of having National Geographic Chris Rainier speak at the Cronkite School. He spoke about the democratization of story telling, of which he is an active teacher and participant. Rainier travels to far parts of the world and to remote cultures teaching them how to document their own stories, language and songs.

I think he spoke about very real trends in journalism. As different parts of the world become more connected they also begin to control the stories and narratives about their own cultures. In my two year Peace Corps service from 2011-2013 I saw my village go from zero connectivity to smart phones. I saw people in my village start to photograph and document videos of daily life and share them online. It was wonderful to see what they felt deserved documentation versus what I felt deserved documentation. I cannot wait to see Mwinilunga, one of the most remote and underfunded (by the government) districts develop their own narratives online and begin to share experiences through their own eyes.