Carrying on the Family Tradition
We first meet Susie Yazzie back in 2010. Our dear friend Albert is her nephew so we meet her being a friend of the family. Sussie is a legend and when we first meet her, she was nearing the century mark in age, so her daughter, Effie was there to help her. Either being with Albert, having the name Moose or both left an impression so we were always warmly greeted at their Hogan. Sadly, Sussie passed away in 2013. She was such a calm, peaceful and loving spirit who I loved to talk with. She will be missed.
Effie though is carrying on her mom’s legacy in her mom’s Hogan, spinning and weaving at the loom. Effie retired as a nurse so the Navajo craft of weaving continues with both the next generation of Navajo and those who visit the Hogan. You can see a photo of Sussie in the lower right corner of the photo. This Hogan is located on the backcountry loop that you need a guide to enter and then you need the right guide to visit the Hogan. Or in our case, a family member. Albert always introduces us to a new family member each visit and we are very grateful that on our first visit to the valley, we got to know Sussie. Sharing is very much a Navajo tradition we have been blessed to be included in.
So with that tradition of sharing, I shared with Albert a photo trick or two that he then shares with some of his clients. One of those “tricks” I shared with him was in this very Hogan. This is Albert you see here standing in the shaft of light that comes down in the center of the Hogan. Wanting to work the light that comes in the door but give it a little direction, I showed Albert on our first visit how he could bounce light from this ceiling shaft using a framed piece of white cloth that was there. That’s what’s pushing the light into the back of the Hogan in the photos above. Shooting with the D4s (ISO800) / 24f1.4AFS, it’s then very simple to move about to make the shots of Effie. And Albert, I like the drama in the light on him, but it doesn’t reflect his personality at all. He always makes me laugh and takes such good care of of. He treats us like family!