Periodically, I will share with you stories and images from various photography assignments I have done.
On 09/27/2020, I photographed the 41st annual Mt. Graham State Hill Climb, a brutal 20 mile cycling race up the mountain that reaches an elevation of 9018′. While normally a mass start of over 100 participants, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the race was set up like a time trial where each racer left the starting block individually, in order to keep everyone safe and socially-distanced. I followed the racers up to the top, stopping to photograph them and the scenery along the way.
As in previous years of documenting this event, at top of the mountain finish line, I waited for each person to complete their race. As I photographed one man crossing the finish line, my eyes followed him in the direction he was going to. I saw a pregnant woman simultaneously walking towards him. She was adorable, dressed in a sunhat, blue jean shirt, and a striped summer dress which revealed her beautiful baby bump. On instinct, as is much of my photography, I was compelled to go to them and take their portrait. As soon as the man dismounted his bike, he got down on one knee, and he reached into the back pocket of his jersey pulling out a small square box. Oh my gosh, I realized, I’m witnessing a wedding proposal. I had the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time, documenting the whole joyful sequence. Here are some of the images of their engagement. Congratulations to Mead and Jason!
My appearance takes after my dad, but my culture and upbringing are definitely that of my mom. This has always caused an internal struggle, or identity crisis. I have always been too white for Mexicans and too Mexican for white people.