Hardship and toil…they saw it too…

Through hardship and toil they persevered through faith in God's stewardship

Through hardship and toil they persevered through faith in God’s stewardship

This weekend my church celebrated the Holy Family.  It is my wife’s favorite mass of the year.   It is a very personal theme for us, and gives us as a role model family to look up to.

This statue sits outside our church, and on the cold rainy we saw today it reminded me of their challenging life together.

Here we have a man and woman, given the mission of raising Christ.  They are displaced from home during the pregnancy, chased into exile by a homicidal king killing every male child from Bethlehem, go into Egypt a country alien to them with nothing but their clothes and talents, and finally they lose their child in the temple together.  They fought hunger, exposure, heat and other men to survive.  Any way you chalk it up, this family faced hardship, toil and challenges matched by the most unfortunate in this world past and present.

Through all these challenges, and the madness of trying to keep their family alive, they still found time to listen for the direction God sends each of us for these adventures.  The most prolific messages came from angels, but I often wonder how many were just whispers in the wind of the desert or the guidance of old proverbs.

Our pastor today at mass reminded us, the last words we hear attributed directly to Mary are at the wedding in Cana.  There she instructs the servants to do whatever her son directs them to do.  This in a manner was the culmination of the Holy Family’s stewardship of the Son of God.  The love of Joseph and Mary ensured the people of the world have the word of God no longer confined to angels and prophets.  We actually have it now available to us in the first person.  The words of Christ in the bible direct our hearts and actions on the way to communion with the Father because of their faith.  It is the Holy Family’s eternal gift to our past, present and future.

So this year, I challenge myself and anyone else out there to 1) Read the words of Christ and 2) Meditate on those words.  Just then maybe out hearts will hear the whispers of wisdom directing you through life’s challenges in the fashion Jesus directs.

Who knows…we just may find ourselves following the footsteps of the Holy Family!


P.S.  The inspiration to write this came from the image of the stature I saw at church, and the many friends and family of mine of know of in crisis.  Please pray for them and all those you know of in need as well.

Sheep teach photojournalism!

Baby sheep move up to get there dinner on a Virgina Farm.

Baby sheep move up to get their dinner on a Virgina Farm.

Dinner time was calling these sheep, all only a few weeks old, to come with their mothers to dinner on a Virginia farm.  The sheep were pretty well mannered about everything….although some did find a way to get more than others!

After dinner my children held several of the lambs, helped get their water ready and did a few other tasks for their aunt and uncle who raise them.  When we were done, the babies were left in the heated barn to protect them from a strong cold front that hit that night.  The little lambs needed the extra protection, just because we don’t want to lose any of them!  Just minutes after we left I missed an opportunity I’d wanted to capture for years on the farm, the birth of a lamb.  The last pregnant mother gave birth to two more lambs.

I have to say that is one of the hardest sets of challenges facing photographers wanting to capture a realtime photojournalism story:  We have to be there, the conditions need to be “right” and we have to be prepared for those two conditions to collide before us.  This gets even harder if you want to make that moment art.

I think that is why, even though I love all types of photography, trying to capture the beauty of life in its own moment is my favorite type of photography bar none.  I love the challenge and the reward that comes from these adventures, and I say quite a few prayers of thanks when I see the moment captured in my frame.


Time Travel at Home

This weekend I worked overnight Saturday to Sunday, and found myself forced out of the opportunity to capture the wonderful fall light.  I grew frustrated as I traveled from site to site, or took my nap since so many lovely photos were not being turned into digits.

This evening just before dinner I grabbed the P&S when these chairs started providing a silhouette and warm colors. I thought the chairs looked like something from a nice trip I once took to a historic residence.  It made me feel like I’d gone back in time.

I shot several frames, removing distractors…and messing up Mom’s organization for the kiddo’s home school classroom.  I got a nod of approval from my wife…and I kept working.

After a little experimentation in Perfect Effects 7 I got this result.  I hope you like it. (My wife did, so the disruption to her classroom was acceptable..whew)

The moral of the story, is that a camera can serve as a time machine in the hands of a crafty practitioner.  Even if you do not have the opportunity to travel the world, like so many of the fantastic travelers I’ve read recently, you can travel world wide in your own home with a little bit of forethought.



As of today I am in business!  Everything is in with City Hall and approved.   I can now take orders and provide photography services to you!

It is an exciting day.  I have a long way to go before I can quit my day job, but now I can grow in new ways!

So if you are looking for someone with passion who wants to tell your story…I’m available and ready to serve you!