The American West is who I am. It was my childhood, and it is my way now. The ideals of the West have shaped my personality, my values, and my decisions.
I see a culture of bravery, resilience. I understand the ebb and flow, the double edged sword of progress, the battle of conservation verses degradation.
I often visit family land in the New Mexico high desert. Paying witness to a way of life that came before me. Old wood cracks and fills with sand. Metal rusts and is buried with time. A way of life disappearing. New economies emerge and a new West is being born.
The need for expansive spaces is no less desirable.
The ethnic multitude who has laid claim to the West is stalwart, drawing strength from both culture and landscape.
Preservation of open spaces and this way of life is vital.
I choose to photograph that which helps me to understand, and explain to others the West as I still hold it in my earliest memories. A historically harsh landscape, beautiful to a fault. I am drawn to these vast horizons.
iPhone photography is a way for me to ‘see’ again, beautifully blurring the line between assignments and the moments in between. The life I live. Documenting my immediate surroundings comes naturally to me. This direct, simple, and honest approach is reminiscent of my first frames as a photographer.
Jeremy Wade Shockley (b. 1977) is an award winning photojournalist and self-taught photographer who has been exploring foreign lands and cultures from an early age. He first picked up a camera while serving an architectural internship in the Colonial city of Cuenca, Ecuador. This immediately developed into a passion for documenting the world around him.
Jeremy returned to the United States in order to finish a degree in architecture at the University of Colorado. Shortly thereafter, he embarked on a two year Peace Corps assignment in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
In addition to continuing his work in Latin America and Africa, Jeremy has been documenting the American West for more than a decade. Today he is working as a photojournalist for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
Jeremy has garnered numerous awards from The Society of Professional Journalists and The Native American Journalism Association for his photography and reporting. In addition to his work for The Southern Ute Drum newspaper, his photography has been included in museums throughout Colorado. His images appear in publications including WorldView Magazine, Headwaters Magazine, and High Country News. His work has been recognized in numerous juried photography exhibitions, and is regularly featured at the Open Shutter Gallery, Durango, Colorado.