Creative: Field Guide Nuevo Mexico.(Hint: it’s part of the United States.)

This project began when I was still firmly in the film world.

I know, I’ve written this post before. But damned if don’t think this is important and I know the bulk of you slackers haven’t taken advantage. I’m going to check the Blurb numbers and if I don’t see a massive uptick in magazine sales I’m going to be pissed. Consider yourself warned.

Blurb Premium Magazine, 8.5xll,

You know I love New Mexico. YEARS ago, when we first landed in The Land of Enchantment, I began a long-term project titled “Una Pura Verdad.”(A Simple Truth) This story had no particular beginning, no particular end and frankly it didn’t really have a theme other than “NEW MEXICO.” It was damn difficult explaining what I was doing to the random Border Patrol agent or deep rooted local. “You’re doing what?” “For who?” “Ahhhhh, get out of here.”

But, like any delusional hack, I kept with it. The work began to build but I knew I had nothing, nada, zilch. I had photographs mind you, but I didn’t have anything remotely like what I envisioned I would if I kept working for another ten years. I had art world friends who said “Hey, you should show that work,” or “Hey, you really have something there,” but I knew I didn’t.

Yes, that’s me. Mid-1970’s, Tie Siding, Wyoming

I made an edit. I made another edit. I tossed them out. I made another edit. I asked myself why I was doing this. I found deep reasons going back to my childhood, my father and my exposure to The West when I was in third grade. Then I made another edit. I printed a field guide to carry with me. Evidence. Proof of life. Proof of commitment. This is me. I’m not joking. I’m not going anywhere.

Mom and dad, Arizona early 1960’s.

The pull of international travel began to fade. The pull of New Mexico began to build. Stay longer. Return more often. Forget about traveling elsewhere I told myself. Just embed in the life and locations around you.

Were it not for the fact I LOVE my job, and get to experience places and people and books from all over the world I have a feeling I would have lost myself in New Mexico. And hear me people, I will eventually.

My dream? To disappear. Tune in, turn on and drop out. Sure, I’ll still rear my head when I have something to say but otherwise I will be gone. Lost in work that nobody will see or hear until the grand opus is ready for the unveiling, if ever. I have a very specific goal. The details I have yet to work out, but for those of you already living in New Mexico, I’m coming. Sooner rather than later. There will be blood(photographs.) I’ve already been there part-time for twelve years so this is no big surprise or anything shocking.

Horse shelter outside Santa Fe.

For those of you who have never had a field guide of your own I can’t tell you how wonderful and strategic this tool really is. People respond. Undeniably. They will recognize, understand and appreciate. Not always but mostly. Many of us got into photography with the goal of being a magazine photographer. Well, that goal is no longer that shiny ,based on the realities of the editorial world, but the possibility of magazine is still here only better because now we can make our own and show the work the way it was originally intended to be seen.

Una Pura Verdad from Flemming Bo Jensen on Vimeo.

19 Comments on “Creative: Field Guide Nuevo Mexico.(Hint: it’s part of the United States.)”

  1. I remember New Mexico. Think I even made a movie there at one point. Were you in it? I mostly remember the lotaburgers!

    Carrying a small portfolio is invaluable. Anything to hand out in print for people to look at is about a million times better than anything on a phone or tablet.

    1. FBJ,
      I’m eating Lotaburgers now. Every hour on the hour. I have three NM field guides actually. At least one stays in my truck at all times.

  2. How the heck did I miss that film 6 years ago? Not sure but awesome to see you are still at it, which isn’t a surprise to me at all. Would love to see a sequel (support to Flemming’s request) and how you have gotten on in the ensuing years!

    1. Larry,
      You were asleep. Flemming and I are working on a sequel idea now…it will win Oscar and Nobel Prize.

    1. AM,
      Field Guide. One, you are carrying it with you in the field. The guide part comes in when you hand it to someone and it guides them into who you are and what your project is actually about. I have two 6×9’s and one Premium Magazine and that is just from this project. I keep the 6×9 in my bag at all times and the magazine stays in my car as backup. Like Zito on Miami Vice.

  3. I remember seeing this the first time around and I would love to see an update. A great film and insight into how you work. Fingers crossed yourself and Flemming can get together and make it happen in the future

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