Shayla Blatchford


Born 1985, Compton, California

Documentary and commercial photographer, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Growing up in Long Beach, California, I had little exposure to my Native heritage; this sparked a curiosity within me that continues to propel my work today. My mother’s genealogical investigation was a launching pad that began my journey to establish a connection with my ancestors and their ways of living. Often we don't know how to share our stories. It can be difficult to take a vision from paper to finished project. Photography is about capturing moments. It is about seeing the smallness in the bigness of the world. I want to subtly craft these moments into art while allowing the images to speak with their voice and not my own. I have the ability to help people tell their stories, cultural or commercial, and providing that service is a way to share instances of beauty with the world.

This photo was created in 2012 to share Christopher Chavez's concerns regarding water rights and the significance water holds in his culture and village of Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo) but also to engage others in thinking about the precious resource of water and how it affects all of us in New Mexico.