Part 9 of 50: More of the Photographers of ZoeFest

This is part nine in a series of blogs on my recent artistic adventures in Mexico.

As I mentioned in the last entry, ZoeFest X 2011 was loaded with talented photographers. Lots of different styles and ways of working. And although we did bump into each other from time to time at the various locations we had been scouting during our trip there, there’s sort of an unspoken rule among photographers that it’s bad form to lurk about at someone else’s shoot, unless you’re invited to.

I would catch a quick glimpse of a lighting setup or perhaps what camera they were using, but then it was a case of a self-imposed, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.”

Sara Liz at Todos Santos Inn

It’s not to say that we wouldn’t all find ourselves hanging out together in one of the common areas at the various lovely boutique hotels during post-shoot afterglow, talking shop and reviewing a few images here and there. But during the actual photography, everyone needs a bit of distraction free space to create.

Because of that, I, like you, kind readers, have to view their work online and I have provided many links below for us to do so.

First, a couple more exceptional Canadian photographers to get us started today.

Robert Farnham is from Kitchener in Ontario, Canada, a bit south and west from the Toronto area. Robert and I had many discussions about our respective work and the styles of the other photographers at ZoeFest. Robert likes to work in the details. Much tighter framing than subjects in vast landscapes. Another photographer who shot film, his style is more like my roots in Figure Photography. And I was glad he reminded me of that. Beautiful work.

Ron Chez is great fun to be around. From Sechelt in British Columbia, Canada, near Vancouver. I really need to visit that area some time. I hear it’s really lovely there. Ron seems to be wherever fun is. And there was a lot of fun at ZoeFest this year. Ron was one of the film guys on our Mexican adventure (still jealous), and is incredibly creative with his work. His Series portfolio is especially clever and makes me smile. I look forward to seeing more of his creations once he has time to process everything!

Ron was also one of those many behind the scenes heroes. He managed to be a bit of a Land Traffic Controller by making sure everyone who rented a car for the drive from Cabo San Lucas Airport to Todos Santos had people in it and everyone who didn’t rent a car had a seat in someone’s car who did. Again. Hero.

Now, a few more of the Yanks to round things out. For my country mates who may not be aware, yes, we in the U.S. are sometimes referred to as Yanks out there in the wide world. Short for Yankees. It’s not about the baseball team and it’s not derogatory. To the rest of the world, it’s not about our Civil War unpleasantness either. Nothing to do with the North or the South. It’s a general term of endearment, which for us these days, is not only sometimes rare, it’s quite welcome.

Mitch Rice, from Santa Rosa, California near San Francisco, is a genuinely nice guy. I only had a few brief conversations with Mitch during ZoeFest, but you know how you can just tell someone is decent even though you just met them? Mitch is that guy. And he makes beautiful inspiring photographs too. I look forward to seeing more from our trip.

David! David is my city mate from Chicago, Illinois. I mentioned that we happened to be on the same flight from Chicago to Cabo, sitting right next to each other yet, but we didn’t realize we were going to the same place until we were half way there. Very funny.

Sara Liz at Todos Santos Inn

First, a bit about my home town. When I used to travel abroad in the early 1990s and I mentioned I was from Chicago, the usual response was something like, “Ah, yes, Chicago! Al Capone, Bang! Bang!”

Later it was, “Ah, yes, Chicago! Michael Jordan!” Better. Slightly less sinister.

These days it’s, “Ah, yes, Chicago! Barack Obama!” Better still. So much better to travel abroad these days and not have to pretend I’m Canadian. Thank you Canada for being a reasonable place to pretend to be from when it was less than pleasant to travel as an American not so long ago.

But I digress. Back to David. He’s a former Ad Guy, and as I also work in the same industry, I can relate to his path. Sometimes it’s nice to create something that won’t end up in a focus group.

Gerry Oar‘s home base is in Olympia, Washington. I spent a lot of time with Gerry near the Todos Santos Inn veranda. Gerry is another great human. Always willing to answer a question. He’s also an amazing photographic craftsman. I could learn a few things from this Gerry guy.

And he made some lovely photos of Todos Santos Inn, which was home for many of us for an all too brief time.

Steven Billups is from Lewes, Delaware. Just between you and me, you should immediately move your mouse back to his name and click. Steven is great with composition. There is an amazing flow about how the components in his images go together. And I love his work with water as well. And yes, a film guy. More jealous.

Joel Belmont has the good fortune of living in Aspen, Colorado. Lovely place, that Aspen, Colorado. And Joel shoots with view cameras. I have mad respect for that. Nothing like a giant negative to soak up every little light particle. Joel has some images up from our Todos Santos get together, but I suspect those are just digital polaroids and the real large format work won’t be up for a while. Something to look forward to though!

And Joel is a conscientious humanitarian as well. His projects usually involve helping to right a devastating wrong out there in the world. He really is a good egg.

And there we have it. The Photographers of ZoeFest X 2011. An amazing group of talented, passionate image makers. I’m going to write more about what I learned about my own work being a part of this inspiring group a bit later.

For now, the images you see here are more from my shoot with the stunning Sara Liz at Todos Santos Inn.

Coming up, it’s back to stories of lovely, intelligent and creative models on day 3 (can you believe we’re only on day 3?), and shoots with Claudine, St. Merrique and Rebecca!

Much more to come!

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