It's the journey and the destination.
Photographer Chris Dickinson was on an Arizona road trip with fellow photographer friends when he captured the Hopi Daughter image that graces the July cover of C&I and which is now available as an oversize print through August 27, the proceeds of which benefit the Hopi Education Endowment Fund.
All profits from the purchase of the print, as well as donations in any amount, help the Hopi Education Endowment Fund raise funds for college scholarships and “grow and protect financial resources to provide every Hopi the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams to assure the future of our sinom (people).”
Here’s the story behind the powerful photograph: “My dear friend, Canon Legend Bruce Dorn, and I were on a trip together in Monument Valley and planned to meet up with our mutual good friend Gil Honanie in Moenkopi, down on the Hopi Reservation,” Dickinson says. “Gil has some family in rodeo, and we had planned to photograph Native American rodeo athletes. The timing didn’t work out, though. But we were still going to Moenkopi, and Gil had the idea of photographing his daughters and their friends in their ceremonial dress.”
That little change of plans turned into a moment that would become momentous—and an unplanned photo that would become the cover of this issue.
“It was profound for me how that shot came about,” Dickinson says. “We were at Gil’s house and the girls were getting ready. He was explaining the meaning of the specific things on the ceremonial Hopi Zuni Butterfly dress—from the colors to the geometry, everything has beautiful meaning. He explained that Kristy’s dress was the Hopi variation of the Zuni Butterfly Dancer and that Hopi social dances were to celebrate the upcoming harvest season and also to continue bringing moisture to the villages, along with prayers of peace and harmony.”
Once everything was loaded up, they headed out for the spot where they planned to photograph the girls and got set up. “We were having fun,” Dickinson says, “but somewhere along the way during the shoot, I got in my own head so bad that I felt like I couldn’t see the images I wanted to make.”
It was an example, he says, of hitting a creative block but letting go of expectations enough that you can push your way through. He gave himself permission to go off plan, take a breath, retreat, and regroup.
“I climbed back up the hill and just started observing everything that was going on. I saw Kirsty hanging out on other side of the hill. I saw the sun coming down, and then I saw this ledge. That’s when it hit me: I could put Kristy right there as the sun was dropping and just light her up. Right before I made the decision to go down and get Kristy and move her to the ledge, I took a quick reference shot on my cell phone. Then I ran for it. I went down the slope and off to the ledge. I took the shot and went and got her dad. I told him, ‘You’ve got to see this.’ He grabbed his camera and started shooting, too.”
They waited for the sun to go down, made some silhouettes, then went back to the hotel. “When I processed the images, I was so enamored of them. Gil liked the shot so much he asked if he could get a print, and that image now hangs as a 20 x 30 print in my home as well.”
As the cover of the magazine, and as an oversize print hanging in a home, gallery, or museum, it’s a stunning moment in time when everything aligned.
Dickinson sums things up with his trademarked phrase: “It’s not just a snapshot, it’s a story.”
Hopi Daughter Print Details
Format: 20” x 30” canvas (Please note that the print does not come framed.)
Shipping: On checkout, you will have several options for shipping via FedEx.
Purchase: The Hopi Daughter print is available for purchase here.
The Hopi Daughter print will only be available for a limited time through August 27, 2023.
Donate directly: Find out how the tribal nonprofit The Hopi Education Endowment Fund uses funds.
About The Hopi Education Endowment Fund
“The Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) is established as a Section 7871 tribal nonprofit of the Internal Revenue Code. This allows tribal governmental entities or programs to receive tax deductible donations and grants that count as qualifying distributions for foundations. For more than 22 years, the HEEF has been building a fund that ensures opportunities for education will always be available for Hopi students.” Find out more.