Native American Cowboys, Photograph by Shannon Stevens, Honorable Mention in the People category. 

We are pleased to present the winners of the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest in the People category. The winning images reflect the wonder and beauty in the land, people, and experiences all around us.

Franki Maestas Chavez, Ohkay Owingeh, Photograph by Ron Cooper, New Mexico Magazine

1st Place:

Franki Maestas Chavez, Ohkay Owingeh, Ron Cooper 

Photographer Ron Cooper's winning photograph is a portrait of Franki "Yellowflower" Maestas-Chavez, a member of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and freshman at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. "The red hand painted on Franki's face symbolizes the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's initiative (MMIW)," says Cooper, "a movement that works to raise awareness of the fact that Native American women in the U.S. are more than twice as likely to be victims of violence than any other demographic. One in three Native women is sexually assaulted during her life and two-thirds of those assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives. Franki is involved with the MMIW organization and advocates on their behalf."   

A portrait of Ava, Photograph by Charles Slocomb, New Mexico Magazine

2nd Place:

Ava, Charles Slocomb 

A good portrait can sometimes be about the right timing. Santa Fe photographer Charles Slocomb's granddaughter Ava sat still just long enough to capture this beautiful photograph. "Ava is a native New Mexican and is my granddaughter," says Slocomb. "As is typical with young girls, she is wiggly and giggly and it is a rare instance when she settles down enough to get an un-blurred photo. Fortunately, when I was taking pictures of the family in Santa Fe that day, she paused for just a moment so I could get this iconic picture."  

Pasión del Gaucho, Photograph by Brian VanDenzen, New Mexico Magazine

3rd Place:

Pasión del Gaucho, Brian VanDenzen

Santa Fe photographer Brian VanDenzen visited the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe where he captured artist Jose Garcia Antonio of Mexico sculpting an artwork. "The International Folk Art Market is one of the highlights of Santa Fe’s cultural summer," says Van Denzen. "The market provides a great opportunity to interact with artists who come to Santa Fe from all over the world. On this particular morning, I walked from booth-to-booth, enjoying the art, interacting with the artists, and making photographs. I stopped when I saw market artist Jose Garcia Antonio, of Mexico, intensely using his hands to sculpt his figurine. The artist sat on the edge of a shade tent while the bright sun lit up the background plaza on Museum Hill. I immediately envisioned the scene in black and white, where the bright, sunny background would turn pure white as I exposed for the artist, enhancing the focused passion of his sculpting." 

Native American Cowboys, Photograph by Shannon Stevens, New Mexico Magazine

Honorable Mention:

Native American Cowboys, Shannon Stevens

In Laguna photographer Shannon Stevens's winning image, Native American Cowboys, a cowboy poses joyfully.⁠ "This photo was taken in Laguna Pueblo," says Stevens. "The cowboy is Mark Stevens who belongs to the Dough Mountain Livestock Association here in Laguna Pueblo. Dough Mountain had a round-up/branding in July of this year. This calf was too small to brand so Mark picked up the calf so they could medicine it. The calf fought pretty vigorously, but luckily, paused for this photo!"


  • 1st place: Online workshop with Santa Fe Workshops 
  • 2nd place: $75 gift certificate to the Hatch Chile Store 

  • 3rd place: One-year subscription to New Mexico Magazine and our 2021 Enchanting New Mexico Calendar 

  • Honorable Mention: New Mexico Magazine’s 2021 Enchanting New Mexico Calendar

Read More: Winners fo the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year

Read More: Winners to the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year | Experiences

Read More: Winners to the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year | Animals