Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Kayenta, AZ
April 2008

Alexandrea was the first person I met in Kayenta. I saw her blonde hair shining in the bright morning sunlight and pulled the jeep into the parking lot where she was walking with a friend.

I always feel clumsy about these encounters and what to say to someone whose picture I want to take. How would I feel if someone jumped out of a car and stopped me on the street and wanted to take my picture?

If it were someone like Alexandrea, I might be flattered and intrigued, and do my best to share my soul with her for a moment in time, though usually, I am like a deer in the headlights when someone tries to photograph me.

On a Navajo reservation, my awkwardness about taking pictures of people was stronger and more complicated. I felt almost sheepish as a photographer from a middle-class Midwestern family living in New York and wandering this new terrain checking out teenagers. In the end, I didn't make many photos of people in Kayenta, and mostly watched from a distance and wondered how to make these kind of connections. But Alexandrea was open, and I loved her face.


Timothy said...

I like!

Audrey said...

i'm from kayenta, arizona and your picture of Alex is my older sister. i'm very suprised i found her picture in goodgle images. i like the description of k-town, i know things are weird taking pictures of random people and trying to figure out stories for everyone but in the end, its an awesome experience.

tema said...

Hi Audrey,

I was so surprised and excited to read your message this morning. It's amazing how the internet connects people in the most uncanny ways.

Please tell your sister hello from me, and either of you can reach me at my blog or my email address (tema@temastauffer.com).

Thank you for writing and sending good thoughts.

All the best,


Stephanie said...

I am Alex's little sister too! Audrey is my twin. After two years of this being published, I run into this picture while googling! I too am shocked to see a picture of my older sister on the internet! its a small world!