The Great Spirit made a Powwow Dancer

During the 2013 Super Bowl I saw a commercial made by Ram Trucks using a speech by Paul Harvey and still images of farmers. Seeing it gave me the desire to do something similar honoring Native Americans, specifically powwow dancers. I don't dance but many of my family and relatives do. I just photograph them.

So I sent out a request via my Like page, Sings In The Timber Photography, asking if anyone had the ability to adapt Mr. Harvey's original speech to fit the life of a powwow dancer. Writer Anne Thundercloud responded, I wrote the first phrase and Ms. Thundercloud wrote the rest. I then asked my friend Joseph Grady to record the voice-over, Mr. Grady is a local Montana actor who had a role in the film Winter In The Blood. Finally, I needed music so I turned to my friend Nate Ante and his Wisconsin drum group Tha Bucks. I've known many of Tha Bucks singers for years and the are like family to me.

The hardest part of this project was selecting the photos to include, or not include. I don't photograph many powwows but when I do I put my whole heart into it. The images I used are from Crow Fair, the Kyi-Yo Powwow, the Honoring Our Youth Powwow, the Standing Arrow Powwow, Milk River Indian Days, and the Hunting Moon Powwow.

The philosophy behind my powwow photography is simple. I use a wide angle lens as much as possible, I like to keep the background a part of the composition to add a sense of place. I try to get close to my subjects and shoot low to give them a “larger than life” effect. I also like to enhance my light but using and off-camera flash.

Please visit my Facebook page “Sings In The Timber Photography” and feel free to ask me any questions regarding photography.

One Comment “The Great Spirit made a Powwow Dancer”

  • Penny Nebrich


    I would love to see this! Have you finished it yet?

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