For more than 25 years, Through Each Others' Eyes (TEOE) has utilized photography to cross boundaries both locally and internationally. But for its latest event, the organization is going outside the traditional form of banquets and gallery shows.
Led by world-renowned travel photographer Kerrick James, TEOE will hold a self-driving photo workshop through a choice section of the legendary Route 66 August 27 through 29, with stops along the way in Seligman and Hackberry, and a stay in the famous Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook.
With his photos appearing in such storied publications as National Geographic, Popular Photography, and Conde Nast Traveler, James is a natural choice for the workshop. But his dozens of photo workshops, both private "photo safaris" and public ones for Friends of Arizona Highways, are what make him a perfect fit for this particular journey.
"If I could afford to go with Kerrick James everywhere, I would go with him everywhere, because he is absolutely the best person to do a trip with," says Marilyn Buehler, a longtime board member of TEOE and veteran of one of James' trips to the Verde Valley.
Buehler calls James "the adventure photographer, because he goes where nobody else goes."
For this latest trip, James and crew will delve into what makes Route 66 a globally recognized stretch of Americana. Long recognized for exposing Arizonans to the culture of its global sister cities, with this trip TEOE aims to get its members in touch with something a bit closer to home.
"It's a way to showcase one of my favorite subjects [in Route 66]... I love Americana and I love the open road, and what a way to combine both aspects of it and share with people," James says.
Featuring the longest remaining drive-able section of Route 66, Arizona provides the perfect mélange of abandoned and still-inhabited sites for photographers to capture time and time again. And according to James, there are dozens of organizations located in countries all over the world that are devoted to the Route and its history.
James says, "It's had this ongoing attraction to people around the world as this road to freedom or something."
Along with such well-known spots as Kingman and Seligman, this trip will hit lesser-known locales including Truxton, Two Guns, and Canyon Diablo, all leading up to a critique and workshop section at the historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow.
James says, "We have a room set up [at the hotel, where] we'll set up a digital projector and put people's images in PhotoShop and seriously go through them, and try and give people something to build on for future photography, or really anything to which these concepts [of composition] apply."
But while photo critiques and working alongside such a seasoned professional may sound intimidating, James is certain to express the accessible nature of the workshop.
"I'm used to working with people who are just either shooting point-and-shoots or their first D-SLR, all the way up to people who are really very advanced, and they don't need much instruction."
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"It's not limited in any way to experience or cameras... I would say to bring all of the funky lenses you've got, and there's a good chance you're going to get a chance to use them," he assures.
And as a veteran of James' trips and an English teacher by trade, Buehler echoes these sentiments thoroughly, "You don't have to be a photographer to go on that trip...Kerrick doesn't care about that. If you want to learn you want to learn...it's a very relaxing atmosphere, and he will entertain you no matter what."
Through Each Others' Eyes presents the "Roaming Arizona's Route 66" self-drive workshop August 27 through 29, beginning in Kingman, Arizona. The workshop costs $995, which includes select meals and all lodging. Tickets and more information are available on teoe.org.