Known for breathtaking images of Arizona’s vibrant landscape and Navajo people, Navajo Fine Arts Photographer LeRoy DeJolie grew up on the Navajo Reservation where all of his inspiration came to mind.
His early days of herding cattle on the family ranch allowed him to experience the endless dance of light and shadow upon the sheer canyon walls, secluded water holes, and rippling oceans of sand. These early influences are evident in the emotional images he captures of the landscape of the Navajo.
DeJolie is a long time contributor to Arizona Highways Magazine, which published his book “Navajoland: A Native Son Shares His Legacy” containing his own narrative together with dozens of his outstanding scenic photographs. LeRoy’s photographs have appeared in N.Y. Times, Readers Digest, Native People and Time Life Products.
His second passion is an educational one, passing along oral histories to the Reservation children, stories of the many tribal mythologies, appreciation of the wonders of their magic surroundings and their traditional colorful attire as he retells traditional Navajo stories which have brought peace and harmony to their people through the years. LeRoy observes, “The Navajo heritage is vanishing from the lives and memories of many of our people today.”
DeJolie’s “My World” project is his most rewarding endeavor. He collects discarded cameras, from donors all over the country and repairs them to give to disadvantaged and deserving kids, encouraging them to share the knowledge and the beauty of their homeland. He encourages them to look at their own Navajo surroundings in a different way, eliciting a new pride in the beauty of their homeland, stimulating them to create their own portfolios of scenic photographs.
DeJolie’s main mission in life is not only to bring magnificent images to the world, but to encourage children of the Reservation to take pride in their cultural history, and to help spread messages of peace, good will, pride, hope and a positive mental attitude throughout their sacred “Navajoland.” DeJolie currently resides near Page, Arizona in the small community of LeChee, where he is able to live close to the people and land that he loves.