For me, photography is a means to an end – a deeper understanding of myself and the world.

~ Don J. Usner

Don J. Usner was born in Embudo, New Mexico, and grew up in Los Alamos and Chimayó. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a master’s degree in geography at the University of New Mexico. He has authored and provided the photographs for several books, and has photographed the land and the people of New Mexico for many years...

Don Usner Photography

The Chimayó native brings a local’s keen eye and intimate understanding of the region to his photography, which has been widely published in books and magazines.

~ The Santa Fe New Mexican

While Don is well known for his documentation of New Mexico places and people, he has also traveled widely to make photographs of diverse locales in the Americas and Europe.

This is a book only an artist born in the heart of a culture could have written and photographed. It is a cultural treasure, a gift to the world coming from a refined heart and mind serving forth stories about politics, agriculture, religion, festivals, ghosts, witchcraft, and family.

~ The Literary Gardner

Don J. Usner/Ventana de Luz Writing & Photography

222 East Marcy Street, Suite 7

Santa Fe, NM 87501


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Don J. Usner's  work has been featured in numerous books—many of which he wrote— as well as publications and exhibitions. A native to New Mexico, Don has also taught students at the college and high school level and has contributed to community groups and activities for more than 30 years. He also works as a photographer for Searchlight New Mexico, a non-partisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative and public service journalism in the interest of the people of New Mexico.

© 2019 Don J. Usner Photography. All rights reserved.