may 25, 2018

posted in: photography | 1

“We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart.” ~ Jack Kornfield

 

the latest couple

 

While the newlyweds were off being photographed by the professionals, a much shorter and younger couple was being photographed by everyone else. Remember I said Lucy loved everyone? She may have loved her cousin Jackson Bick a little more than the others during the wedding reception, Gigi notwithstanding. It was the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. She wrapped her little arms around him and they seemed to dance a slow waltz without music. “The look on his face is like he’s not sure if this is okay,” giggled Jackson’s proud dad, Brett. 

 

come with me

 

Everywhere Lucy went, she had hold of Jackson’s hand and took him along. Not too reluctantly, he followed. And when she stopped to get Gigi for a walk (last night’s opening photo), Jackson grabbed his Gigi, Pam, too. The four of them walking down the hallway was just about as beautiful a thing as I’d ever seen (photo below). Pictures couldn’t do it justice, mine certainly don’t. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful thing to see adults and children engaged in soul-level bonding, and it should not be overlooked that most of my favorite men also have/had important grandmothers in their lives. It’s not a girl thing. It’s a grandma thing. 

 

cute overload

 

I gotta say that photographing tiny people is hard when you’re not a tiny person yourself. They’re really tiny and I’m really not. But, boy, what fun!

 

let’s get our Gigis

may 24, 2018

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“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.” ~ Joyce Meyer

 

audience with the Princess

 

Lucy Barnes-Gilbert loves her grandmother Kelly “Gigi” something fierce. She loves everyone else, too, but she really, really loves Kelly and hardly leaves her side when they’re together. I think this bodes well for Lucy as an adult. Virtually every woman I know had a strong grandmother in her life. Someone who could dispense nothing but love with all the sugar and spice and everything nice a little girl can handle. Someone she loved like Lucy loves Kelly. It’s adorable. There will be more on Lucy in the coming days, but for now, just let the light of this little girl brighten your day and remind us all to not sit on the cactus.

 

madonna and child

 

little person

january 14, 2017

posted in: photography | 1

“Courage doesn’t mean you’re unafraid, it means you rise above your fear.” ~ Unknown

 

family

 

It’s time to get out your scorecards again. You’ve met Martha Conley through the Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation theory, except it’s way less than six degrees in her case. You first met her stuffed groundhog on the porch rail of the family home destroyed by the tornado in March 2012. Two of Martha’s three children, Betina and Charlie Jr. aka Little Charlie, along with their spouses Andrew and Kayla, helped me save Aunt Janet’s furniture when she also lost her house to the tornado. If it hadn’t been for them we would have lost nearly everything because I couldn’t move the furniture by myself. Their moral support was even more crucial than their labor to be sure.  You met Martha’s sister Sharon Coffee Tharp in July of 2012 at Charlie and Kayla’s wedding. She had been my babysitter, and you might recall it had been 45 years since we’d been photographed together. You met Martha’s husband Charlie Sr. at Thanksgiving 2012. Charlie and mom grew up next door to one another and remained lifelong friends. You attended Charlie’s funeral the following year In December 2013 where you met Kadance, one of Martha’s five grandchildren. You met Martha’s Brother and sister-in-law Darrell and Barbara Conley in November 2015 at my Sacred Spaces exhibit opening, and you might remember that Darrell, also lifelong friends with mom, was baptized with she and Janet just last year. So, you see, you’ve met Martha Conley, but now you actually get to see the woman, the myth, the legend. She had a knee replacement earlier in the week. I dropped by today for a visit, homemade sweet bread and butter in hand. Her daughter Betina, son-in-law Andrew, and their children Lily and Finley, named after his great grandfather whom I remember fondly, were there, too. We had a fabulous visit. We marveled at how small our world is as we discovered friends we have in common outside of Morgan County. Martha’s a tough ‘ol bird, a shero, like her good friend Shirley Terry. I’m certain the two friends will be back in church sitting side by side before you know it. There’s not a better person on this planet than Martha Coffee Conley. She and Charlie raised three of the finest people I’ve ever known. They all married well, and now they’re raising brilliant, funny children. Perfect example: Fin and Andrew want a pig named Chris P. Bacon. Hilarious! We might not be related by blood, but these are my people and I love them with all my heart.

october 21, 2016

posted in: photography | 2

“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.” ~ Desmond Tutu

 

grandma's are the best
grandma’s are the best

 

Today we bid a final farewell to Paul Yelton who died suddenly two weeks ago. We met at the Yelton family cemetery in Burlington, Kentucky to say our goodbyes. We came back to Pam and Joe Bick’s house for pizza, and that’s when the man of the hour, Grier Whitehouse, made his entrance.

 

reflection
reflection

 

Grier’s mom, Cassie, reminded me that it was almost a year ago I was shooting pictures of Paul with Grier. The light was perfect that day. Grier was only nine days old.

 

grandma calls me "little imp"
grandma calls me “little imp”

It’s amazing to see a heartbroken family suddenly find themselves laughing and playing when a baby walks into the room. Grier now, as then, provided the kind of reminder that life is cyclical, never-ending, and always worth smiling about even when you’re sad to the bone. I’m really, really grateful that I was able to document some of Paul Yelton’s life with his daughters and grandchildren. He was adored. There is so much to be thankful for even on the worst days. Let Grier Whitehouse help you remember that. He’ll be right here if ever you need him.

 

the old ladies
the old ladies

 

one set
maternal set

june 5, 2016

posted in: photography | 0

“Listen to the wind. It talks. Listen to the silence. It speaks.
Listen to your heart. It knows.” ~ Unknown

 

granny and her babies
granny and her babies

 

This afternoon Marie and Robert Dale threw a high school graduation party for their oldest grandchild, Alexis (left). This young woman has endured a lot in her young life, and yet she has graduated with a scholarship to Campbellsville University. She’ll start in the fall. She’s pictured here with Marie, her brother Isaiah, and her first cousin/sister Skyla.

 

there's one in every crowd
there’s one in every crowd

 

Isaiah smashed cake on Alexis’ face, and someone repaid the favor. The last time I saw Isaiah he was a short, chubby little guy. Now his voice has dropped, he’s grown at least six inches, and he’s on the high school wrestling team. Marie and Robert gained custody of all three kids several years ago. The five of them act as a singular family unit so that you’d never know they weren’t parent and child. And they’re happy – all of them! Becky Ryder, Crystal Heis, and I carpooled to Paris for the party. They were a joy to be with of course. Seeing Marie with her family was a joy, but most of all, I was so proud of Alexis. She’s a beautiful, kind young woman who is going to do great things. Doggone it, I love a happy ending, and today was one. I was honored to be part of it.

 

Aunties
Aunties

april 7, 2015

posted in: photography | 2

“What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change.”
~ Madeleine Albright

 

twins 1
twins 1

 

This day brought many joyous treats. The first was Marie Dale’s youngest granddaughter, Skyla, who came to work with Marie for a few hours. She is such a well behaved, thoughtful young lady. She snuck quietly into my office to surprise me, which she did, and it just tickled me. This smart third grader loves her granny like nobody’s business, following Marie like a shadow, longing to hug her at every opportunity. Skyla is generous with her affection, too, hugging each of the lunch ladies when we returned to our jobs. Sweet children like Skyla are such a ray of sunshine and hope. She made my day.

 

twins 2
twins 2

february 17, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
~ Neil Gaiman

peas in a pod
peas in a pod

Marie Dale’s youngest grand-daughter, Skyla, made a rare appearance in the office. The last time I saw Skyla she was a tiny four or five years old. Now she’s a tiny seven or eight years old. The point is, she’s tiny, but oh how she’s mighty in character. Marie’s face lights up when that little girl is around. It’s mutual, too. They put me in mind of me and Mamaw. Every great woman I know had a strong grandmother like Marie to help her grow. I predict Skyla will go on to great things.

purple girls
purple girls