DENT the Future: An Insider’s Experiences at the Dent Conference

As DENT’s Official Photographer since 2014, I’ve had the unique opportunity to experience the conference from behind the lens. In this post, I’ll share some personal reflections, stories, and insights from my journey with DENT and the peeps that bring it to life.

Introduction: Discovering DENT

DENT the Future, organized by Jason Preston and Steve Broback, is an ‘ideas and inspiration festival’ that has become a strong community of creative professionals. From Sante Fe to Maui, Teluride, and Napa, Dent offers talks, workshops, and good times, all reflected back to the world through my camera.

Sante Fe: A Cultural Experience

My trips to Sante Fe for DENT have captivated my imagination. Meeting Native Americans from Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo & Navajo nations, and experiencing the rich art and culture has been a highlight.

Connections and Community: More Than a Conference

DENT has grown into a support network of friends and collaborators. Seeing familiar faces like my buddy Matt McKenna, and exploring art sensations like Meow Wolf‘s Temple of Eternal Return Exhibition, has turned DENT into a family reunion of sorts.

Jason and Steve: The Heart of Dent

Jason and Steve’s kickoff to DENT 2019 at La Fonda on the Plaza set the tone for an event filled with creativity and connection. Their leadership and vision have shaped DENT into what it is today.

Beyond Photography

Beyond my role as Official Photographer, I’ve engaged in various activities at DENT, including karate sparring with Steve Broback and Zoe Bell, Dungeons & Dragons, art & museum tours, and a poker tournament. These fun activities have added depth to my DENT experience.

Exploring Art and Culture

A visit to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the chance to see Desiree Kane’s photography as part of the Standing Rock exhibit allowed me to connect with the local culture. Also, meeting Iva Honyestewa, a Hopi/Navajo basketmaker, and exploring her unique basketry technique was a fascinating experience.

Inspirational Voices: Personal Encounters

From underwater cave explorer Jill Heinerth talking about fear to Tay & Val’s extraordinary life journey, I’ve been inspired by many speakers at DENT. Barbara Rae-Venter’s work on high-profile cold cases and her dedication to helping adoptees find their birth parents left a lasting impression.

The Art of Santa Fe: A Visual Feast

The art in Santa Fe, especially the Native American Glass Chandelier at La Fonda Hotel and the beautiful Native American style art throughout the town, has been a visual feast. I’ve even brought home blankets, pottery, and turquoise jewelry for my friends and family.

DENT Photography & Photo Galleries

The Photowalk Tradition: Connecting Artists and Creatives

Every year at DENT, I’ve had the pleasure of leading a photowalk for artists and creatives. It’s an opportunity that goes beyond the professional realm and invites photo enthusiasts to get together, hang out, and learn their gear in a collaborative environment.

Breaking the Ice: Portraits and Connections

Many attendees are interested in making portraits but may feel intimidated to ask their subjects for permission. These photowalks serve as a great chance to break the ice, get to know other attendees, and venture out into the community where the conference is held. It’s a special part of DENT that fosters connection, creativity, and collaboration.

Conclusion: A Personal Invitation

Thanks for joining me on this personal reflection of DENT. From photowalks to inspirational talks, DENT is more than a conference; it’s a part of my life. The friendships, connections, and memories I’ve made have shaped me both professionally and personally. Come to DENT next time around, and let’s hang!


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