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My American West by Jeremy Wade Shockley

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.

View the full essay on Burn Magazine

To see more of Jeremy’s work from the American West visit his website www.jeremywadeshockley.com