december 18, 2016

posted in: photography | 2

“Don’t let the silly little dramas of each day get you down. You are here to do great things.” ~ Unknown

 

trumpets

 

One of my Christmas traditions has become attending Nine Lessons and Carols. Tonight, for the third year in a row, I attended the service at Good Shepherd Episcopal. I was running a little behind, but I got there just before the start. There was one seat in the back pew beneath the trumpets of the pipe organ. I was lucky to have it because it was standing room only after that. The service started with the sweetest little girl singing acappella. Her tiny, high voice was like a little angel. From there the program proceeded in its usual way. I think it was the seventh carol, Gabriel’s Message, when the organist hit those trumpets and I thought I was going to come out of my skin. The lady next to me flinched, too. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re not. It was the abruptness that sent shock waves through the back pews. Lovely pipe organ filling the gorgeous sanctuary when suddenly – HONK – a trumpet from on high. Effect achieved – I got the message! Still, it was a lovely service that I wouldn’t miss. It helps me usher in a week of good tidings and joy…and food. Lots of food. I’m blessed to be able to enjoy it all, and a good laugh never hurt a thing.

december 6, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

IMG_9192_day336_1_15_sm
chiaroscuro

 

For years I’ve been captivated by the cross at First Presbyterian Church. It stirs something in me. Its shadow against the ornate pipes of the organ is intriguing. The cross is especially noticeable at night when the lights are low and moody. Tonight I had the privilege of shooting the Bach Choir Christmas program, and it gave me the chance – thanks to Crystal Heis loaning me her long lens – to shoot the cross in the right conditions.

 

chiaroscuro
tight quarters

 

By the time we were ready for the group portrait, the altar steps were a mass of mic stands and enormous flower arrangements. The choir were willing to change locations, but I’m hoping we can manage another shoot without the accoutrements of performance for a better, more colorful grouping. They’re all such beautiful people that I want to see them in their glory. Plus, the church is just beautiful this time of year.

 

in full
in full

 

The choir was, of course, stellar. The music inspired. There were few empty seats, and I could hear people whispering words of praise for a job well done. I truly enjoyed the performance, and I was especially honored to snap a few shots through the night. I feel so fortunate to know these talented, beautiful people.

september 20, 2015

posted in: photography | 1

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
~ M. Scott Peck

 

from the unseen
from the unseen

 

I went to First Presbyterian Church in downtown Lexington this morning. After everyone had gone I popped off a few shots. I remember so well the first time I stepped foot into this church. It was probably ten years ago, give or take a year. I had never been in a Presbyterian church before, and I sure didn’t know what to expect from the sermon. It would prove a pivotal moment.

 

from outside
from outside

 

Then, as now, I thought it was the most inspiring church I’d ever stepped into, and that was before the renovation as you see here. It isn’t the most opulent, the most architecturally stunning, nor the most humble of churches I’ve ever attended. But there was something about the glow that I found attractive. There’s no other word for it: in my eyes it glowed, and that was before the sermon delivered by then pastor Rev. Lee Bowman. It was spell-binding, and it kept me coming back, changing the course of my spiritual journey along the way. Lee left and Rev. Mark Davis stepped in. I was slow to warm to his off-the-cuffness, but here lately his messages have hit their mark, giving me words I need to hear right when I need to hear them. I have grown to appreciate Rev. Davis a great deal, and it feels good to go back into this sanctuary, welcomed and at home.

 

from the balcony
from the balcony

 

Downstairs at First Church they have a lovely gallery space which is part of Lexington’s Gallery Hop event. There, I’ll be hanging twenty pieces from my Sacred Spaces series in two weeks. If they hadn’t offered the opportunity of an exhibit I may have never started the series to tell you the truth. I’d been mulling it over in my head for a decade without a single click.  Perhaps I should include one of these photos in the exhibit. It’s not too late.

 

up close
up close

june 18, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

“Accept who you are; and revel in it.” ~ Mitch Albom

Gaumer/Cardenas
Gaumer/Cardenas

A few weeks ago the planets aligned to bring photographers Sallie Powell and Crystal Heis to my office. From that conversation I was inspired to track down some old film I had never processed because I don’t have space for a darkroom in my house. I sent it to a great lab in LA called Richard Photo Lab. I thought I knew what all of the film was. Today, I scanned it. Turns out that I did not know what all the film was. For example, I had completely forgotten about this roll from 2009 of the Gaumer/Cardenas family taken the same weekend their daughter Lilia took her first steps!

 

Christmas in June
Christmas in June

 

Or this roll from Christmas 2008 when my beloved Sadie dog was still with me, mom and aunt Janet were less grey, and Mamaw was still laughing without help from oxygen and had the Christmas bow stuck to her head (a normal thing for her). Certainly not my best work – hideous, unbounced flash – but the subjects are as dear as any could be. Their presence supersedes aesthetic any day.

 

Tina in the pipes
Tina in the pipes

 

What I expected were shots from First Presbyterian Church in Lexington. Lee Bowman was still pastor, and because the pipes were still a solid color, this must have been very early 2006 just before the church’s renovation. Most of the film was exactly that, First Presbyterian. Yet, somehow I’d forgotten organist Tina Wagner climbing atop the pipes: a favorite! In any case, these treasures, each and every one, are so welcomed. There’s something to be said for hoarding film for years. It really makes for Christmas in June, and what a delightful blessing that is.