My dad gave me my first camera at six and I've been making pictures ever since. I've never considered photography a job; it's my life's work and passion, and it's an incredible journey.
I worked my way through college shooting weddings and after graduation took a job as a backcountry ranger for Mt. Rainier National Park, documenting changes in the natural environment. I've always appreciated our magnificent landscape, and getting paid to photograph it? What more can I say? Perhaps being a descendent of the Wicomico Tribe I learned to respect our earth and its life early on. Then in the late seventies, I had the privilege of assisting Ansel Adams for three years. That's where I learned the power of the photograph. A few years later I enrolled in Art Center, Pasadena to nudge my photography career towards the advertising industry. Soon after I open a studio in Seattle and for the next twenty-five years photographed food and products for publication. My studio was one of the first to embrace digital photography. I had the unique opportunity to beta test Apple's laptop computers and photography software.
A week after 9/11 happened I flew to New York to see several art directors. I called to cancel but they said to come anyway, which I did. Being there shook my world like nothing else, and when I returned to Seattle I had to make sense of it. For me, that meant giving back the only way I knew how, through photography. In May of 2002 I closed my Seattle studio and moved to Santa Fe, NM. The following year I visited the Four Corners coal-burning power plants and learned about their health affects on the local people and our earth. In 2005 I founded Naamehnay Project-Question of Power, a Federal 501c3 non-profit. For the last eight years we've documented and provided visual voices for individuals, families and communities affected by coal. It's the hardest work I've ever done but also the most rewarding.
In 2011 I rode my Harley the length of Route 66 - Illinois to California - to raise awareness for the Question of Power work. I am a passionate rider. Riding for me is more than a pastime. The motorcycle opens up a whole new world. One that too many people never see. The goal of what I do and this web site is to share that world with you.
be strong, be safe, Carlan
Carlan is represented globally by Redux Pixtures, NY. His photographs are in private collections nationally as well as Australia, China, France and Spain. They've been published in numerous magazines and periodicals, including Harley-Davidson (HOG), New Mexico Magazine and Associated Press. Naamehnay project work was nominated for the National Geographic All Roads Projects. It's been featured on Living On Earth, and at numerous colleges, museums, and community exhibits.
As a life-long educator, Carlan believes in sharing knowledge and inspiration with students. He's taught photography in community colleges and private institutions for over thirty-five years. He currently conducts private clinics, tours, and workshops. He has taught workshops for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, National Geographic Expeditions, Pacific Northwest Art School, Maine Media Workshops and Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts.