Inspiration vs Copying

 I had the privilege to photograph Peyton and Weston's wedding a couple of weeks ago at Camp Tahkodah.  It was a wonderful day and the photos were so easy with such a beautiful couple.  The photo above just happened.  The ring bearer just walked up and sat on the bench as I was lining up the shot of the bride and groom and it immediately made me think of the photo below by the great photographer Elliott Erwitt.
I didn't set it up to knock off the Erwitt photo it just happened.  The best way to become a better photographer is to take lots of pictures and to look at lots of pictures. Everytime I spend time looking at photos I am charging up my creative batteries.  The better info I put into my photographic brain the better I see and the better my photos become.

Don't try to be some other photographer by copying everything they do, learn from them and be inspired  and when the moment presents itself you will recognize it and make your own image.



I have so many things to blog but they all need time to tell the stories that go with the photos and that time is not here yet.

Side note- today I enjoyed eating  lunch with Noah Darnell. He always ends his blog posts with two words and they are appropriate for this post.

Stay Tuned.


Jackson and Jenna

I walked in to the house last night and this is the scene I saw.  Jackson and Jenna sitting on the couch.  Why did I see this?  Because I was reading  The Visual Science Lab by Kirk Tuck and I read this post about resetting your vision.
I love shooting b&w and I love using one camera and one lens.  The post about resetting your vision reminded me of a David Vestal article in Photo Techniques magazine where he talked about shooting b&w jpegs with an older model d-slr and how it gave him good results and he didn't see the need to upgrade to anything else because he was happy with his b&w jpeg files.  I guess this speaks to me so strongly because it takes me back to my b&w film days and I often carried around a small Olympus Stylus Epic camera loaded with b&w film and it was my grab camera when I ran across these types of images like the one above.  I still have that camera though I seldom use it because getting film developed in Searcy Arkansas is next to impossible.  No worries I absolutely can shoot b&w jpegs like Kirk Tuck and David Vestal and be absolutely happy with my photos and that is the bottom line anyway.  I long ago came to the realization that I shoot these things on my blog for me.  If others enjoy them and I hope they do that will be icing on the cake because I shot them for my enjoyment.


God's footprint

This photo reminded me of one of my favorite verses in Psalms 77. It is historical psalm about God leading the Israelites across the Red Sea.  This photo made me wonder what it would look like if we could see God's foot prints. .....You strode right through Ocean, walked straight through roaring Ocean, but nobody saw you come or go.”
Psalm 77:16-19 MSG


Objectively imposing order.

"The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are, whether a portrait, a city street, or a bouncing ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework - that to me is the art of photography."   - Berenice  Abbott

Cobweb at softball practice

"Cartier-Bresson has said that photography seizes a 'decisive moment', that's true except that it shouldn't be taken too narrowly...does my picture of a cobweb in the rain represent a decisive moment? The exposure time was probably three or four minutes. That's a pretty long moment. I would say the decisive moment in that case was the moment in which I saw this thing and decided I wanted to photograph it." - Paul  Strand


Golden light dandelions

"For my part, I may say that before I commenced photography I did not see half the beauties in nature that I do now, and the glory and power of a precious landscape has often passed before me and left but a feeble impression on my untutored mind; but it will never be so again." - Samuel  Bourne


My Baby is 13

Where has the time gone?  I will never be able to thank God enough for sending Josie Montgomery to us 13 years ago.

Getting Tossed by Jackson

 As a photographer, there is no greater joy than photographing  my kids playing sports.  I actually have been surprised how proud I am of my kids and how they represent their school.  Having never
been a great athlete myself (I was in the band)  I wonder if my parents ever felt that pride.  The height of my athletic career happened in 4th grade when I scored 6 points in a elementary basketball game.  We lost 28-6  but I did score all of the points for my team that game.

 These pictures are important to me because it is Jackson's way of telling me he loves me.  They won the game went through the good game line and were headed out to right field to have a team meeting. I was shooting him as he passed by and he caught me and tossed me from the stadium.  I love being tossed by Jackson.  I got him back last week when the chorus sang at College Church.  I took photos from all over the auditorium and I ended up on the second row so I could get a few close ups of individual kids.  Jackson was standing in the perfect spot so I really only could see his eyes over the shoulder of the kid in front of him and I could tell he was smiling because he was in a spot I couldn't shoot him.  So, I decided to toss Jackson out of the auditorium.  I made the same hand gestures to him that he made to me only I had to be more discrete.  The best part was all of Jackson's friends seeing me toss him and he could do nothing about it.  I will always treasure these pictures of being tossed by Jackson.