Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Transformation...Year of 2008...

I sat down and tried to write an entry for the end of this year, and I can’t seem to get it out how I want it. In the end, there are just a couple of things that I want to say:

I am deeply grateful for the way that my life has gone. There are many times when I feel like a chess piece in a grander scheme that I can’t even see. It’s a strange and amazing feeling, and I am really grateful to family, friends, business associates, teachers, and ultimately, to my Father in Heaven. The things that have happened in the last few years are nothing short of amazing to me. Most especially, the way that photography came back into my life and became more a part of it has been equally amazing. My opportunities to travel, do business, and take photographs, are the fulfillment of old dreams that I have had for many years.

One highlight of the year for me, and one of the most enjoyable moments of all, was my trip to Athens, Georgia. While I was there, I attended the NCAA gymnastics championships, which were held at the University of Georgia. For three days, I had a blast. From watching the events, to wandering the campus in the rain, to visiting old cemeteries and sitting in small restaurants, the whole thing was really enjoyable. I posted very few pictures from those events, and so I have posted a couple photos of Stegman Coliseum with this entry.

Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful year, that was so full of surprises and opportunities. Here’s to 2009, and here’s to the hope that we will be able to take every moment to live, love, share, teach, and learn. I wish my readers the best of luck, and I thank you for stopping by my blog on occasion.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The ring bearer at the most recent wedding. Cute little guy. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Austin & Zavenda...

Saturday, I shot my sixth and final wedding for this year.

It had it’s interesting moments. Like when I was there setting up equipment and they decided to change the theme song right in the middle of the rehearsal walk through.

It's hard to believe that I have shot that many weddings this year. In some ways, I love shooting weddings, and in other ways, I don't like it at all. It will be interesting to see where I go in the future...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Light on the Horizon....

Last night, I went out to get something to eat and I was stopped at the drive up window by a man that asked for money to get something to eat. As I talked with him, I asked if he was out of work. He replied that he was. I asked what he had been doing and he replied that he had been in construction.

I live in Salt Lake, and if you go downtown then you are bound to run into someone asking for money. But this was different for some reason. This guy seemed pretty normal. Perhaps a bit rough, but pretty normal. And we could talk about what "normal" is, but I think that you understand me.

As I drove away, I sort of shuddered inside. I have no real idea how the recent economic meltdown has really affected people, but I imagine that it has been bad, and that it might get worse.

I recall being in Mexico on the edge of the ocean, and being asked by little kids if I would buy some little trinket. They were dirty, unkempt, and looked as though they were in real need.

I recall standing in Turkey, among the ruins of a city, and I observed the Turkish women selling whatever wares they could to the tourists, while at the same time a very young boy asked me to buy some sticks of a fragrant smelling plant. I recall as we drove through the cities, and looked at people living on top of people in less-than-perfect living quarters, and the guide told us that in some places the people had their animals living with them.

I recall walking up the steps of an old church in Rome, and off to one side, was a lady that had her face veiled, and she bent over in a prayer position. Next to her sat a small jar for coins.

And then I recall standing in a round building at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. A native man asked me three times if I would buy a dream catcher that his wife had made, so that he could get some diapers for his baby.

Some of these people were selling, and some of the were begging, but they all were in less then perfect conditions. And yes, it makes me shudder. I have tried to study, to learn, to work hard, and to make myself better, and I pray to God that at some point, it doesn't all fail me. I hope that I am never reduced to the point of standing on a street corner and asking for food to stay alive, 'cause if I ever get there, then it means that something went horribly wrong, and I suspect that life might not be worth living any more. Not for me.

But I chose this picture for one reason, everything in the picture is varying shades of dark, except for one area, the horizon right over the mountain. There is a spot there that is probably pure white. So although there are tough times, and there are tragedies, there always remains the hope for a brighter future. Opportunities of some sort will always exist. Especially if we have prepared ourselves. I believe this, and it is what I want to manifest in my life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Meet Anya...

...and some of her brothers and sisters. My niece's dog had puppies in September and I went and took these about a month ago. I was going to post some of them and I just never got around to it. This little dog had a magic about her. She really stood out from the pack, so to speak. I dare say that if I can capture the spirit of a person, I can do it with a dog also.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Into the night...

This was taken a couple of miles south of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. I have been studying the Wounded Knee Massacre for a couple of years now. I took this picture, stopped by Wounded Knee and then drove the rest of the night to get where I was going. That's why the strange title.

In the show Thunderheart, a young FBI agent gets assigned to investigate a murder on the Native American reservation. Although he is half Sioux himself, it is a fact that he is not proud of and does not readily acknowledge. Once on the reservation though, strange things start to happen and his roots start to haunt him. He starts seeing things, and having dreams. At one point he has a vision where he is running with the "Old Ones" at Wounded Knee. He begins to sense that there is something more powerful at work, and that he has something important to accomplish.

By the end of the story, he ends up awakening to the fact that his blood is something that he cannot escape from, and he ends up reaching for, and then embracing his vision. He is offered money and power, but he turns away from them and decides to embrace honor, honesty, and follow his vision. He looses his job as an FBI agent, but he leaves the reservation a much different person. He no longer suffers from the same insecurities. He no longer clings to the material things that he once did. He leaves with the feeling about him that he knows what he is, who he is, and that he is not afraid of it any longer.

I suppose that in telling this story, I am emphasizing the need and the power of personal vision. I will even go so far as to say that it is the only thing that can create lasting, positive change.