Rebecca Wilks

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

Thursday, April 14, 2022



Moon set, Watson Lake, Prescott AZ

As my friend Paul Gill says, it never gets old.


There are lots of reasons that photography is my passion.  I’ve talked a bit about this in other posts; photography is a meditation, a creative outlet, a chance to spend as much time as possible outdoors, a way to support my favorite nonprofits,


Another is the desire to share my vision with others. Conservation is certainly one of my goals, and I believe that the more folks can see the beauty of the natural world, the more they will value it. Social media and my website have been a huge boon, but there’s nothing like the impact and reach of publications people can hold in their hands.


Fisherman at dawn, Lake Atitlan Guatemala

This is my first published image, from 2010, which appeared in Budget Travel Magazine.


Hand Planes photographed for Popular Woodworking Magazine

Since then, I’ve had the honor of work published in several magazines as well as some unexpected places like Popular Woodworking and American Surveyor Magazines (collaborations with my husband Marco), Vermont Magazine, and a cover of the Wilderness Medical Society Journal. Now that my husband is an avid fly fisherman, I’m working on capturing images for that magazine niche, too. I’m not too much into competitions anymore, but some of those have led to appearances (and sometimes nice prizes) in federal lands publications and those of my favorite Grand Canyon Raft outfitter, Arizona Raft Adventures. 


My main client now is Arizona Highways Magazine, a first-rate 97-year-old publication of, surprisingly, the Arizona Department of Transportation. I can honestly say that I love working with them.


Fishing in Mogollon Rim Country AZ

How does it work?  I get this question a lot.  First, I needed to get the attention of Jeff Kida, the photo editor.  I’m not quite sure how that happened, except that we had some friends in common, I started sending some of my work to him, and I nagged.  The first step was to be added to the Stock Call List, so I would get emails asking for images of some specific place or thing, or in the case of the annual calendar call, we’re invited to send our best Arizona work which he’d not yet seen.  Sometimes Jeff will give me an assignment to shoot something specific.  I laugh a little when I remember being asked to shoot a desert location in July for the magazine, but I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity. I know, too, that he keeps work on file; I’m sometimes surprised to have a request to use an image which is more than five years old.


Speaking of surprises, I remember a conversation with Pete Ensenberger (the previous photo editor) when I asked for advice about getting published.  There was– lots of it, but I particularly remember him saying that I should only submit things that I would be proud to see in print, because I’m sure to be surprised sometimes at what he chooses. That’s certainly proven to be true.


Dead Horse Ranch State Park AZ

One surprising benefit of the stock call system is that it creates a project for me that can reach beyond creating new work for the magazine.  This winter there was a stock call for the piece in the May issue about Arizona State Parks.  I submitted previous work, but also made several trips to Alamo Lake (including a morning paddle at sub-freezing temperatures) and Dead Horse Ranch.  I’m not sure I would have done all of that otherwise, and I’m glad for the bump to my motivation and focus.


Alamo Lake State Park AZ

One of the Alamo images was selected, as were some from my neighborhood state trail, the Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial State Park.


I agree with Paul; it never gets old.