by Blake Herzog
Because this issue features the winners of Prescott LIVING’s Annual Photography Contest, it’s also a good time to highlight the couple whose images grace most of our covers: Tracy and Jeremiah Scheffer of Blushing Cactus Photography.
Their images also anchor many of our features, and they shoot the portraits for the Women in Business and Men of Vision annual sections.
Both are devoted to being photographers for the Greater Prescott community, though their clients occasionally draw them elsewhere. They celebrate and support life in and around Everybody’s Hometown through documenting events from intimate weddings to the World’s Oldest Rodeo®.
“I think we’ve been really fortunate to make some really good connections here in our community, and I think that goes back to why we both moved up here, albeit for different reasons, but it has been a healing community for both of us,” Jeremiah says. “It just kind of gave both of us a new purpose, and the people up here have been really genuine and accepting. And it’s been a good springboard for our business.”
Tracy was the first to arrive in 2015, a hospital compliance specialist with a photography hobby who’d just escaped an abusive relationship in Tennessee. She remembers, “I went down to the square and I was sitting on the courthouse steps. I had my camera and all of a sudden, a huge domestic violence rally started taking place right in front of my eyes.
“I was surrounded by signs of hope and I was overcome by the support of complete strangers. This is Prescott. People genuinely caring about each other, and I knew in that moment that I was at the right place for healing and that I had to use my survival story as one of encouragement for anyone else experiencing domestic violence,” she says.
She launched Blushing Cactus Photography the following year, leaving her hospital desk job in 2017 after a rare virus triggered a heart failure she continues to overcome today.
Just months later she was shooting a band playing at a bar owned by a friend of Jeremiah’s. The part-time photog from Phoenix also loved capturing musicians, and a conversation about their shared craft started a friendship that soon evolved into romance.
They became collaborators, and in 2019 Jeremiah relocated to Prescott. After tragedies befell three of his closest friends, he says, “Visiting Prescott and finding new places to explore in the mountains, meeting new people and my now wife, it has been a place of change for me — in focus and in hope.”
From the start, Tracy has dedicated Blushing Cactus to serving the Prescott-area community, and the Scheffers have woven themselves into its fabric by working with groups and firms like Prescott Frontier Days®, Yavapai College, NAZ Wranglers arena football team, the holiday Courthouse lighting and other events sponsored by Prescott Downtown Partnership, Dancing With the Stars for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona, Make-A-Wish, the Pure Imagination and Big Sting festivals and more.
They’re particularly passionate about making an impact through their nonprofit work, Tracy says.
“You have to have compelling images to raise awareness for your cause, so when people go to the website, it’s not about stock images, it’s about real images.”
Jeremiah says both are more engaged in their community here than in their prior homes: “Between the friends we have made and their associations and the overall sense that everyone wants to give back in some sort of a way, Prescott is a much more community-minded city, and it has spoken to our core value to give back and be more involved in bettering our community.”
We have been selected by the City of Prescott to be the “Official Christmas City Photographers”, capturing the events and spirit of the Holidays here in Prescott.