People I Met Along The Way

Shelby Mississippi 2007 - Mr. James Jenkins sits on the doorstep of Big-C's restaurant. It was closed because Big-C was serving time in prison for selling drugs in addition to hamburgers. Shelby is a disappearing Mississippi Delta town with a population, 95% Negro, now less than 2,000.

When I returned months later with a print for Mr. Jenkins, I found the health department had condemned the restaurant and had it leveled in anticipation of Big-C's impeding prison release. And, Mr. Jenkins had passed out in the middle of Highway 61 and been run over by a semi-truck.

Or perhaps aspire to be a PJ....
A phrase we still use in my circles.
Some of the young people we (my photo group) interact with from local univ and college are smart, passionate and dedicated young artists. They constantly surprise me....quite a few know HCB images as well as I do. Some aspire to be a "next gen" Eugene Smith (and know who he is). Others are more Avedon oriented...or maybe a bit Sally Mann later years. Heck, some of those kids pull off a much nicer cyanotype or PtPd print than I do. And yes, plenty of them are into short video and social media and all those newfangled things 😬. "F8 and be there" might not fade away.
I don’t remember how I met this gentleman but he’s a self ordained preacher by the name of Bishop Drennan. Bishop setup a shelter in an old mortiary and took in poor families trying to help them back on their feet. Unfortunately a fire destroyed his building and he was never able to rebuild.

The photos are of a tent revival one hot summer night that he was conducting.


  • B6D1DF65-B23F-4F21-97A6-8ED9B6797855.jpeg
    70.9 KB · Views: 12
  • BA4ADBFC-FB25-4924-BD0C-847C187F18D6.jpeg
    57.9 KB · Views: 12
  • 7EE3FA72-911E-414B-9D0B-89FA3C406B13.jpeg
    56.3 KB · Views: 12
  • 9BDE83A5-1DCD-4ED5-B31D-379ACF98C653.jpeg
    78.5 KB · Views: 12
Linn and I regularly walk around downtown Winston Salem to photograph. One day within a minute of getting out of the car we met the following people and got acquainted with all.

The young photographer goes by GeminiVisual on Instagram—I follow him, he follows me. He has a lot to learn about development, but he is wide-ranging, indefatigable, and sees the world through his Canon kit.


A moment later I saw a mother and newborn across the street with a friend loading catering into a car, and asked if I could snap them.

Then we met Dumy and her children outside the hair salon where her daughter works. They immigrated from Senegal. Their joy and merriment with each other is a visible blessing.


Then, from indoors, one of the salon clients joined us in part to see what all the merriment was about. I seem to recall her name is Doris, but I didn’t make notes. She and I talked about weight loss, exercise, nutrition, age. She was also carrying an info poster for Village of Sisterhood which, among other things, offers gifts of food and (near Valentines or Easter) candy/chocolate to folks living hard on the street. So I made an image of the three women with her poster.


Linn and Dumy talked a bit longer, so I snapped them too.


Linn has her own images of these encounters, often including me (she says she is working on a collection she’ll title “Shooting Robert”). Every so often I encourage her to join RFF to post images in the gallery, since RFF is woman-poor, but she has heard enough stories about RFF gearheads and narcissists that I don’t think it will happen.

She’s a good photographer, though—my only student, ha ha, but more importantly my primary source of love and happiness on earth.

Here she is a few years back when we lived in Humboldt County, California.


And here’s a recent shot of hers of me as we were were photographing ginkgos at fall peak yellow. In truth, we are each other’s most common street shooting subject and story-sharer, so this inclusion of us seems at least marginally legit for the thread.

You have the gift of connecting with your subject. I can tell you’re sincerely interested in each person you engage with and that’s so important in making great images. You photograph more than just a face, you photograph the personality.

Very well done.

You also have a very lovely lady! I always love seeing photos of happy couples. There just aren’t enough.

Since you posted such nice images of the two of you I just have to post one of my wife and myself at the Grand Canyon in November. We’re coming up on 29 great years of marriage. 29 fantastic years.


  • 1A37B03F-4AA6-4496-8884-B93D42CA5C85.jpeg
    336 KB · Views: 24
Last edited:
I'm hitting the road this morning for another visit our West. Not sure when I'll be back, but here are a few people I've met along the way:

My artist friend Shelly, who lives just outside Madrid, NM and runs a retreat on her high-desert property. I met her in a gallery in Madrid some years back -- at that time I was carrying around a small Canon printer, which enabled me to make prints for people on the spot. Funny how some little thing like that enabled me to not only photograph people I don't know, but make some good long-lasting friendships too.

Shelly by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

This is Mark, and I saw him pushing his loaded-up bicycle just outside Grants, NM. We spoke on the side of the road for almost an hour, just about life, where he was from (out East as I recall), where he was headed (nowhere in particular), and how he was living as a nomad. In a way I was jealous of his lifestyle -- free from the burdens and obligations of life, he seemed very free in a number of ways.

Mark by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

Curtis Green, from Chama, NM. I was driving down from Pagosa Springs, CO and passed through Chama. At an intersection off the side of the road I saw two trailers set up, with a bunch of metal sculptures and ironwork displayed in front of them. There was this big banner hanging above one of the trailers which said "Made in Chama not in China!". I just had to stop. Turned out that one of his trailers was his forge and the other was his gallery with items for sale. I spent about two hours with Curtis, taking pictures of him, making prints for him with that little Canon printer, and he told me about his life, asked my advice about a woman he met online (it sounded a bit fishy to me!), and I ended up buying a beautiful knife from him. Super nice guy, hope to see him again someday.

Curtis by Vince Lupo, on Flickr
Last edited:
Probably one of the best people I've met out West -- Jim Hill of Hill Farms just outside Mesilla. I met Jim in the parking lot of a motel I usually stay at whenever I'm in Santa Fe (generally I try to avoid SF whenever I'm in New Mexico, but this particular year I found myself there for some reason or other). A few days prior to that I was driving through Hatch. On that day the wind was blowing like 60mph and my old Dodge Ram pickup was being rocked from side-to-side as I struggled to travel down the road in a straight line. I looked off into one of the farm fields and saw these farm workers crouched down, their faces covered with kerchiefs and toiling away in the dusty wind. I felt sorry for them having to work on this day in these conditions, but I also wished that I could be out there with them taking pictures. I knew I couldn't do that at the time, as I didn't want to get into trouble for basically trespassing, so I thought I'd reach out to some of my NM friends to see if they knew any farmers down in Hatch. No such luck, ah well. Fast-forward to the Saturday morning in that motel parking lot and here I am brushing snow off my truck, and Jim is also in the parking lot brushing snow off his truck. We get to talking about the weather and he notices my Maryland license plates and asks what I'm doing out there. I tell him about my Mapping the West project etc etc, and then I ask him where he's from. Las Cruces. I tell him that I had been in Hatch just a few days prior and then told him about the workers in the field etc, and that I wished I knew someone who owned a farm down there. "Well I own a farm down there. You can come anytime you want, I have a place you can stay too." That was four years ago, and they are truly my second family. Their son has 20,000 acres in Texas and has an extensive farming operation. Only thing about farming is that much of it is now mechanized, so there isn't a whole lot of people working out in the fields (at least their operation is like this). Things that did require 'hand work', like lettuce, they've moved away from. Still, I have managed to get some photos of people in the field.

Jim and Harvest by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

Jim's son Jay in Dell City, TX.

Into the Storm by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

Philippe, who manages their vineyards in Dell City.

Philippe34 by Vince Lupo, on Flickr
Last edited:
This is Gray Gallacher, who owns Gallacher Ranch just outside Carrizozo. I met Gray last year when I spent a month in New Mexico in an Aritist in Residence program. I was looking for a rancher to photograph and a friend of one of the people who runs the AIR connected me to Gray. Well I thought I was going to be doing nothing but taking pictures when I met him, but he actually put me to work and I only ended up photographing about 30% of the time. The rest of the time I was helping to sort cows, drive a feed truck across bumpy roads of the vast ranch, and otherwise put in a hard-day's work. Actually I ended up doing two days of work, and I'm planning on doing it again on this latest trip. I am a glutton for punishment!

by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

The View from the Feed Truck
by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

by Vince Lupo, on Flickr
Workers in Jim's fields - was probably my last opportunity to photograph this on their farm.

The Lettuce Thinners by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

Raimundo by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

Carson, who was one of Jim's employees on the farm. He did a bit of everything, including helping to brand and castrate cattle.

Carson3 by Vince Lupo, on Flickr

I'll leave it at that for now -- sorry for all the separate posts and ramblings!
Beautiful work, Vince. I envy you but also feel thankful I'm not one of those ranch hands or field hands. I'm too old and lazy for that stuff.
Glad to be of service in this regard, since your work has meant a good deal to me in my years at RFF—as has the work of Vince, and of Don.