Thursday, November 19, 2009


Some people have known since they came out of their mother's womb that they would grow up to become photographers. For me, as much as I have always been fascinated by the art, I had never truly considered it until I made a trip out to Arizona for a mini family reunion almost seven years ago. For years, I had told my aunt that when my youngest cousin, Chelsea, who is half Navajo, was to have her kinaaldá ceremony, I wanted to be there for it. Unfortunately, the stars did not align themselves for me at that time therefore, I was not able to make it. So it was on this trip, several months later, that I made a point that I was going to make a series of photos of Chels as if she had been pulled out of a different era. These are a few of the shots taken that day.


It was probably one of the most memorable experiences in my life. The family all packed into several large pickup trucks, 4 wheeling it deep into the gorgeous Monument Valley. It is such a beautiful and sacred place. Then to have Chels transform in front of me and go from being this spunky teenager into this beautiful, young Navajo woman really took my breath away. We'd jump out of the truck and walk up and down sand dunes, take some shots with the amazing rock formations in the background, and jump right back into the truck to the next spot. It was as if we had this whole place to ourselves. It was so amazing. And fun!

When I got back to Nashville, I got the film developed and was so proud of what I had captured that day. Moreso, I was glad to hear how excited Chels was when she saw the pictures. It was in those moments out there, with the wind in my hair and sand in my shoes, that I realized photography was truly my passion. These photos are reminders to me to continue to pursue that passion. And to give my cousin a call. ;o)

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful Kat, I've had the chance to watch this ceremony once. I've lived in the Navajo reservation for one year. These are wonderful images!


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