We’re back from our weekend jaunt to the old haunts of AZ. We had a very good reason:  my cousin (2nd) Lindie was married to Dave and I documented the wedding.  So it was my first wedding of the year and extra special because it was family.I know alot of photographers cringe at the thought of doing a family wedding, but I actually love doing them.  What better access?  You know everyone, they know you and there’s none of those types of walls to overcome. Plus, as Nicki would attest, I would be shooting *anyway* even if I wasn’t the commissioned photographer–if only for the family archives.When each of my three sisters got married, while I was in my early years of journalism, the last thing I wanted to do was document the weddings as typical wedding photographers do.  I would, though, document their weddings as I might if I were documenting a journalism story–that is, just letting the photos reveal themselves. And that is what I do when I shoot weddings today.  The tools have changed slightly, but my approach is still basically the same.   Kate handled the drive to Phoenix surprisingly well.  She had a bit of a meltdown just outside of Riverside, but then settled in nicely.  We stopped for lunch in lovely Blythe and it gave me a bit of a break, and Kate as well.  After lunch, we pressed on, and she proceeded to fall asleep, awaking just as we entered the far western reaches of Phoenix.  And the west side of Phoenix has grown considerably since the last time I drove to town.  In the past, the town pretty much stopped at around 99th Avenue, it seemed.  Now, it reaches past Gila Bend and parts of it are developed around Tonopah, which seemed like such an outpost when I lived there in the 90s.The southern reaches of the city has changed as well.  The new San Tan Freeway is open and it was the first time I drove on it while heading to our friends Cori and Frank’s home in Gilbert.  The new freeway was full of box stores and car dealerships next to it, as well as even more subdivisions of homes.  What is going on on the west side, and now on the far south side, reminds me of what happened to the east valley in the late 80s and early 90s as homes were built around the freeways recently completed.  Phoenix has grown from the number 9 or 10 sized city in the country when I first moved there in 1990 to it’s current position as number six (but will probably pass Philadelphia, at number five, soon) but in some ways it still feels like the world’s largest subdivision.  A very large one.More photos from the weekend to come. Getting ready for the Workshop which starts next Monday!!  Should be an amazing four days with some great students. 

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