Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Open Arms Home for Children

Please check out my guest post on the "My Itchy Travel Feet" blog about Open Arms Home for Children.  The text has been rather heavily edited, but you'll get the idea.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


For those who don't live in Arizona, I should explain a bit.  We love our sunshine, but we also know that rain & snow are a gift.  We don't get much of it.

Last weekend, after a few weeks of unseasonably warm weather, we heard about a big storm coming in. My husband was tied up, but the dog and I were uncommitted, so we hit the road, circling up through Prescott, photographing Watson Lake and running joyously thought the snow barking.

We were headed for Yarnell, and I judged that the gentler route through Skull Valley and Peeples Valley might be a bit easier driving and more photogenic.  The moving storm gave me an outstanding brooding sky over snow-covered ranches.

There was more inspiration the next morning as the sky cleared; one last chance at the ephemeral March snow.

Check out the Winter Gallery on the Website if you are so inclined.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


A reasonable person might ask, when so many of us have cameras (if only in our phones), what's the point of bothering to really study photography? 

You're just pushing a button, right?  Well, that's the subject of another post. 

There's the 'follow your passion' argument.  Trite sayings like this generally contain some truth.  We  may well get us some hints about our purpose based on the feeling, or knowing perhaps, that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.  Not to mention that life is much better when we're having fun.

Its also tremendously rewarding to create a work of beauty.  Photographs are frozen moments.  They can also be moments of ugliness to be sure, but a beautiful image is hard to beat.  I imagine that quanta of splendor make the world incrementally better.

The real point for me, though, is to create emotion.  That thought crystallized for me on the last day of RYLA, a leadership camp for teens.  I'm the event photographer.  One of our traditions is to have a multimedia presentation on that final day, and this year I paid more attention to the student's reactions than to the images themselves.  They are not so much responding to the technical expertise (not that the images weren't terrific, of course) but rather to the way they made them feel.  There were cheers, applause, and the occasional 'awww.' they turned to each other and connected.

A good image conveys emotion.

Another example; the month of March in the desert is flamboyant.  Breathtaking.  Ephemeral, and therefore poetic and metaphoric.  If I look at a field of poppies, or closely at a single flower and gasp with joy, I hope you will, too.

If my image makes you feel something or captures your attention in a double-take, then I've accomplished something worthwhile.  We've connected.  And I'm grateful for that.

More Spring Images are on