Moore Consulting Santa Fe and New Mexico

Revision of International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe site

We’re happy to announce the successful completion of a cosmetic redesign of the site for the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe, in preparation for this year’s 10th Anniversary Market in July.

Last year, we moved the site from an older content management system to WordPress, knowing that a rebranding was going to take place this year. As we mentioned at the time, we built the site with this in mind, and so the design work we’ve just completed was not a huge undertaking.

Based on the new identity and branding created by design firm VWK, we’ve updated the site’s color palette, logos and typography to match the guidelines, working with VWK to make sure the site is consistent with the rest of the Market’s output.

For 2013, there’s also a new electronic press kit — a separately-designed subsite just for the media. Again, we worked with VWK on this — they designed the new look, and we implemented it.

The work was completed with limited disruption to the site, and we’ve also added this year’s new artists to the Profiles section.

See you at the Market!

Blog Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

Dogs in the office — living history dogs (lots of them)

“When I die, I want to come back as a dog and get to stay here,” Leroy from El Rancho de Las Golondrinas is clear that the dogs in this ‘office’ have a great life.

And so they should, with tons of room to run around in at the living history museum just south of Santa Fe, and a dog-friendly working environment that sees up to nine employees’ dogs on the property some days.

And what a range of dogs they are. There’s Sarge, the sweet lolloping doberman that sometimes gets out and is found heading down the road outside.

And Jax, who was in costume the day I visited because it was Halloween.

They share the main office building with The Mayor (who’s also known as Big Dog, Big Red or just Sir). He was found on the property one day, adopted by one of the employees, and years later, he’s still in charge. He follows school parties around, just to make sure it’s all going well, and while he’s slowed down a bit now, he’s clearly the boss of the place.

Patch is Leroy’s dog, and since Leroy looks after the water resources on the 200-acre site, Patch spends most of the day on Leroy’s four-wheeler, coming into the office for breaks and meetings.

In the historic Pino House next door, Henry and Hannah hang out with their owner, although Hannah can be a little shy, and preferred to keep an eye on me from the security of her person’s desk.

Another couple of four-legged staff weren’t around during my visit, but I met enough happy dogs and their happy owners to confirm Leroy’s assessment — Las Golondrinas is a perfect spot to bring your dog to work.

Thanks to John Berkenfield, Madeline Mrozek and everyone at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas for letting me come and chase after their dogs.

Jax isn’t sure about this one.

Patch rides the four wheeler.

Patch waits for Leroy.

Henry relaxes in the corner

Hannah’s not sure about the photographer

The Mayor installed outside

Blog Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

Audio Slideshow: Curbside Cuisine from Le Pod

Audio Slideshow: Curbside Cuisine from Le Pod

Audio Slideshow: Curbside Cuisine from Le Pod

You might recall the photo project I did earlier in the year about Jean-Luc Salles, the French chef who runs Le Pod — a restored 1960s Airstream trailer that serves French street food to go.

I interviewed him recently, and put together this audio slideshow about him and his work.

I think it communicates the unique appeal of Le Pod well (and it makes me hungry). I’d love to talk to you if you think a similar approach would work well for your organization.

Bon Appetit!

By David Moore on November 13, 2012.

Canonical link

Exported from Medium on October 17, 2020.

Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico Travel USA

North to Chama and Beyond

Just before school started this week, we headed up to Chama in northern New Mexico, to ride the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which winds its way through some amazing scenery on its way to Antonito, Colorado.

It was a family trip, but I brought the camera and got some images that communicate something of the day.

Moore Consulting Santa Fe and New Mexico

Redesigned site for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

I’ve been working with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market for five years now — designing, building and maintaining their website, writing blog posts and photographing artists and their great work.

Their site for the last three markets had worked well, but it was built on an older content management system and needed some freshening of the design and more functionality before this year’s Market in mid-July.

Stronger images, easier to update

I worked with the Market on a new design, aiming for a cleaner look and a wider main column for displaying larger photographs. The Market has a deep library of excellent images that show the real people around the world that are helped by the Market (I’ve taken some of these images — that’s one of mine used on the bottom-left of the homepage — but there’s a talented pool of other photographers who also contribute images). Being able to display photographs in a wide main column gives them more impact, and also gives more flexibility in wrapping text around images, especially for blog posts.

Another aim was that the site be easier to update. While I’ve written nearly all the blog posts in some years, this time round most were written by Clare Hertel Communications — the PR firm that’s also worked with the Market for many years. Making the blog section of the site full-featured but also easy to use was very important.

Going custom

Once the new design was approved, I planned the move to WordPress from the older CMS — a job that was more involved than for a more straightforward site.

The Market sites includes a blog, a news section and a section containing hundreds of artists’ profiles categorized by the countries they’re from, and the years they’ve attended the Market. WordPress by default only supports two types of content — regular site pages and blog posts, so I devised an architecture based around using custom post types and custom taxonomies to cater for all the different types of content and classifications required.

This means that adding an artist lets you specify a country and years attended when you’re adding the content, and then displays the content in the right place on the site. I also implemented WordPress’ ‘featured image’ functionality to automatically generate thumbnails and associate them with blog posts, news releases and artists. So adding a new blog post for example, automatically places its title and thumbnail on the site’s homepage without any direct editing of the homepage.

Then we moved all the existing content to the new site, and then tested the new version prior to launch.

The WordPress framework for the site now makes it easier for the Market to updated the content themselves, and also allows us to use some of the wide range of plug-ins available to add extra functionality. This is seen in the front page slider which displays revolving selection of banners. It’s also search-engine friendly and easy to add updates and patches as the WordPress core is constantly updated.

The blog area now supports captions for images, embedding maps into posts, and auto-generated slideshows.

Good-looking and built to last

The result is a site that has a contemporary look, a solid custom-designed infrastructure and a framework that supports the range of content uses the Market needs.

The work was completed in time for the busy build-up to the Market, and the site made it much easier than in previous years to add this year’s new artists, blog posts, news releases and other content. It also held up well to the large amount of traffic it receives around the Market weekend — peaking this year at over 4000 visits and 15,000 page views a day.

As the Folk Art Market moves into its tenth year in 2013, their site is a key asset in good shape, and it’s ready to support new endeavours and requirements in the future. I’m proud to have been involved with such a great Santa Fe non-profit organization for the last few years, and look forward to continuing my work with them.

Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

In the MIX — photographing a great evening event

The nice people at MIX Santa Fe — the networking and micro-finance group I like to think of as the hip offshoot of the local Chamber of Commerce — asked me to shoot their most recent event, and I was very happy to help out.

It was a party and awards presentation held at the Santa Fe Art Institute, in one the lovely courtyards of Riccardo Legoretta’s landmark building. Often evening events are held in dark hotel meeting rooms where you’re fighting with low light and loud carpets, but this was a joy.

With a bar staffed by the Cowgirl, serving drinks featuring Santa Fe Spirits’ fine local liquors, the party brought out an eclectic creative crowd. Santa Fe seems small, and you’re often running into the same people again and again, but this group refreshingly seemed to transcend a lot of the normal cliques.

Music was from DJ ‘jaro, and eats from La Cocina Doña Clara. Folks were friendly and the space gave me some chances to get some shots you wouldn’t normally associate with event shooting.

Thanks to MIX for the opportunity, and if you’ve got an event you need professional coverage of, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

Dogs in the Office — design dogs

My dogs in the office personal project has started nicely. I’ve done three shoots now (more photos to follow), and it’s great to have some reason to shoot for myself that’s not just walking around seeing what I get. I’m a documentary photographer, so it’s the stories and moments that I respond to best, and with the dogs in the office, there are plenty of those.

Here are images from the session I shot with Radius Books and Trey Jordan Architecture. They share a lovely space in the same building as my office, and I’ve known Trey and David Chickey from Radius for a long while (full disclosure: I built Trey’s website).

Trey and David bring Jasper and Lola, while Jenni brings Terry, and Thomas brings Eames (what else would an architect name their dog). There’s art on the walls, lots of great space and a very hip kitchen stocked with dog treats (and some nice things for the humans, too).

For the gearheads among you, these were all shot with the Fuji X-Pro1, using 18mm f/2, and 35mm f/1.4 lenses.

Eames being shy.

Taking part in an impromptu meeting

Jasper appreciates the art.

Terry helps out

Time for a bit of affection

Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

It’s Time to Get Real — Notes from a Documentary Photography Workshop

Jean-Luc looks out at life from his Airstream kitchen

I’m not much of a manifesto guy, but the last week has made me want to jump up on the barricades and take a stand for a particular type of photography.

I’ve just finished the Documentary Storytelling workshop with Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice at the Santa Fe Photography workshops. Over four days (that included class time), I shot and edited a story about French chef Jean-Luc Salles, who’s given up running high-end restaurants to cook excellent food from scratch that he serves out of a 1960s Airstream trailer called Le Pod that sits in a parking lot here in Santa Fe. (I’ll write a post about him and show more of the photos later).

I learned a great deal, met lots of good people, and the experience enhanced my love of documentary photography as the most powerful and compelling type of shooting (not to mention the hardest to do well).

Making it hard for yourself

When you’re shooting a portrait, your first instinct is to clean up the background, get in tight to the subject and show only their face (or perhaps show a full-length portrait against a neutral non-distracting background).

A portrait photographer might well control also the light, give instructions on how the subject should pose, and take their time to get the shot they’re looking for. There’s nothing wrong with this, and the results can be great, but it’s largely about the photographer exercising control of the situation — the classic example of this being the white seamless: shoot someone who’s following for your instructions against a giant roll of white paper and your job of lighting and composition just got a lot easier.

But how much information does that really tell you about the person you’re photographing? It speaks to your craft, and shows us what the subject looks like, but often it doesn’t do much more than that.

In contrast, the documentary shooter will put someone in their real context by deliberately including the subject’s surroundings and using the light that’s available (which is part of the story).

This doesn’t mean that clutter is somehow approved of, however. Your job is still to compose elegantly, draw the eye in to the right place, and minimize irrelevant distractions, but it’s just got a lot harder, because now you’re looking at not just one plane of content but several, and all need to be appropriate and artfully arranged. And since you’re shooting someone moving in a real place rather than someone standing still in a studio, you’ve got to be quick about your decision-making too. Oh, and you’re likely not directing the subject either.

A successful image made under these circumstances (as well as being something of a miracle) gives the eye more to move around in, and expands our sense of the subject.


So the role of the documentary photographer is to observe and create images, not to direct or intervene.

For press photographers, these rules are sacrosanct and breaking them can be a firing offence. No moving stuff out of the way to create a cleaner shot, or posing subjects or getting them to hold still (unless it’s clearly an environment portrait — where the expectation of the viewer of the image is that the subject is aware of the photographer and following instructions).

The same goes for processing — you can crop, burn, dodge and turn to black and white, but you can’t clone things out, paste things in, or in any other way manipulate the image to create a scene that wasn’t actually there.

Making Art out of Real Life

This is why I love the documentary approach — because you’re trying to capture and explain real life in an attractive way that is still true.

You’re not staging a shot, controlling all the lighting and the posing — you’re showing it as it really was but still making art out of it rather than just snapshots.

To me, it’s partly the challenge that is so appealing, but it’s mainly that I find the end result much more rewarding — shooting models in front of a perfect light set-up doesn’t communicate very much that’s real to me. I find the whole thing artificial, however beautiful.

Being Human

As if the technical challenge wasn’t hard enough, the documentary photographer has to decide what’s important and what images are worth making — and this requires an emotional involvement on their part.

To tell a good story, you have to understand the subject and empathize with them to a degree. If you don’t grasp what’s important to them, and what they feel strongly about, then you won’t be focussing on the right things.

While an important part of a studio photograph involves making the subject feel comfortable, this is so much more the case in documentary photography, when you’re likely entering people’s homes or places of work for a much longer time. For the workshop, I followed my subject Jean-Luc around for days, ending up at his home on a Friday night. This is weird behavior, but if you can’t put people at their ease in the midst of this, then you’ll never get anything good.

For a press photographer, you need good people skills even to get the access you want. Often people in the news for whatever reasons have people around them whose job is to protect them from photographers, or the subjects themselves just don’t want the invasion of privacy that comes with coverage. But Deanne made the point that if you’re honest about what you’re trying to do, and why, and you’re respectful about it, you can turn that ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.

Why it matters

Telling people’s stories in a visual medium such as photography can highlight things that are often ignored, shine a light on people’s struggles or triumphs and connect people in a remarkable way.

These needn’t be very important tales that win people Pulitzers, it could just be a family hanging out at home, or a skilled and passionate chef making great food in an Airstream trailer in a Santa Fe parking lot, but it’s still stuff that shows humanity in all its fantastic richness.

It might sound trite or overblown, but other folks can do the posed studio portraits, I’m going all in on the documentary side of things.

Families probably don’t need another staged portrait against a dodgy background, but a thoughtful series of photographs that shows the small joys of their daily life is a valuable thing.

And as organizations switch their marketing from cheesy slogans and big-budget spends to connecting with people more authentically, they need work that shows how they really do things.

It’s time to get real, and documentary photography does that like nothing else.

(This blog post is cross-posted from my other website, Clearing the Vision, which focuses on my documentary-style family and children work, and posts of interest in keen photographers. But I thought it deserved a spot here too, as it addresses my approach to photography and multimedia production for organizations)

Moore Consulting Santa Fe and New Mexico

Cattle Drive article for New Mexico Magazine wins award

An article I wrote last year for New Mexico Magazine has just been awarded an Award of Merit for Travel Feature from the IRMA (International Regional Magazine Association).

The magazine asked me to go on a cattle drive at the Burnt Well Ranch near Roswell, NM. I hadn’t ridden a horse in 20 years, and had no idea about being a cowboy — which was why they sent me, I think.

There’s an excerpt from the piece here, and here are some of the photographs I took (in an amateur capacity on this occasion) while on the drive.

Moore Consulting Photography Santa Fe and New Mexico

Lensic Performing Arts Center use my images

Who says Flickr doesn’t generate business? The Lensic Performing Arts Center here in Santa Fe got in touch recently to see if they could use a couple of my images to promote their Nuestra Música show this Friday.

Apparently there just aren’t that many good photos of legendary New Mexico musician Antonia Apodaca kicking around and they found mine on Flickr. One lesson from this is to make sure your images are tagged usefully, as you never know who’s looking.

Another lesson is that you should always carry your camera with you — I got the shots at a lunchtime concert on the Santa Fe Plaza while I was having a picnic with my wife and daughter. I took them with my (since retired) Rebel XT, and my (long-since sold) cheapo EF 28–105mm USM lens.

Here’s the postcard, but it was also on the print ad, and it’s on the front of the program, too. Looks like a good show.