Remembering Barbara Bush

Today was the funeral for Barbara Bush. I didn’t get to see it because I was shooting some family photos.  While I was at the office I looked back at the photos from 2002 when she came to Harding as an American Studies speaker.  2002 was the year we went fully digital with photography when I got a Nikon D1X from my friend Jennings Osborne. When I pulled up the digital files there were no reception photos, only dinner and presentation photos.  I went to the scans that Abby has done of all our color prints and there were some missing rolls in 2002. When I pulled the negative box the missing rolls were the Barbara Bush reception photos. We had given all the prints away to the people at the reception. I was happy to see in the negatives that I did have a photo of me with Mrs. Bush.  When I scanned the negative I knew why I didn’t remember the photo.  It is out of focus. One of the  secret service agents took the photo for me and the camera focused on the background instead of us. I had to shoot film of the reception because in early 2002 my local photo lab, The Color Lab, couldn’t print digital files yet.  I used The Color Lab for years and I still miss seeing Dave,Debbie, Diana and Arnold.  My memory of that night with Mrs. Bush is much like everyone else’s memories of her. She was a strong bold woman that loved her family and loved her country. 

Laura Bush was on campus Monday night to speak as an American Studies speaker and she gave a family update and mentioned that Bar was strong and still fighting.  Tuesday, flags were at half mast because Former First Lady Barbara Bush had passed away. 
I am thankful that I have gotten to meet Barbara Bush, George H. Bush, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, and a large number of other great Americans and world leaders. I never imagined being a University Photographer would take me to so many places and give me the opportunity to meet so many people. 


Laura Bush

(Photo Credit- Abby Tran)
Tonight was a great night at Harding with Former First Lady Laura Bush.
You get to meet a lot of interesting people when you are a photographer and I have now been privileged to meet both President Bush 41 and 43 as well as Former First Lady Barbara Bush.  They have all been so kind and easy to work with.  As I walked up to get my photo with her, she smiled and said "this has been painless. " Those are words I will treasure.  I remember George H. Bush telling me that everything had been smooth and telling me thanks.  My respect for this family is great and I am so thankful that I have been able to be the photographer at these events.

The photo area in Cone chapel was walled off with a 10 ft drape for privacy.  It was funny as people would enter the area they would see Mrs. Bush and then they saw me and a Secret Service Agent and they would wave at me.  I believe they were just taken back by the fact that I was wearing a tie.  The SS agent leaned over at one point and asked if I knew everyone.  I didn't know everyone but I did know a large percentage and that is a blessing.  I have a job I love and I work with and around lots of good people. 


Pink Dogwood Blooms

A picture should draw you in to admire it, not show you everything at a glance. 
After a satisfactory general effect, beauty after beauty should unfold itself, 
and they should not all shout at once ...
~ Henry Peach Robinson


Dogwood blooms in color and b&w

Just got in and got an email from the Library that Mapplethorpe flora : the complete flowers  has come in on Library Loan.  So in the spirit of that I thought I should post my own photos even if they might not be the caliber of Mapplethorpes' studio images.

The world is in color, you have to work at black and white. 


Intensely Being Myself

I spent a my class period talking to my students about how there is such a big difference in knowing how to operate a camera and having something to say with your photos.  Probably the best advice I ever read about being creative and doing your best work was that you have to be yourself as intensely as possible.

I love this photo for many reasons.  The light is really nice.  The composition is strong.  The depth of field is shallow.  The color balance is vivid and warm.  Those are all nice things but what is important is the flowers are just sitting there being themselves.  Jesus said that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed as well as the flowers of the field. God created us in his image and what a beautiful thing that is.  He gave us all gifts and he called us all to be his children.  There is great beauty in all of us if we will just be ourselves. If you know me, you know that me taking photos of flowers is me being intensely myself.

This week we had Say Thanks Day at Harding.  It is a day for us to thank the donors and everyone who help make Harding the place it is.  So as I think about this past week and my experiences, I am thankful for my father in heaven, my wife and kids, my family, my friends, the people I work with, my church, the ability to see,  my cameras and flowers.


Bradford Pear Trees

In my opinion, Bradford Pear trees have two purposes: blooming in the spring and having beautiful colors in the fall.  These trees line South Moss street in Searcy and they are beautiful right now.  I am always amazed how the bloom start out looking very dingy and gray until  fully blossomed then they are a brilliantly white for several days until the blooms give way to the green of the leaves.  The trees when covered with leaves have a pear shape.  The wood is very soft and as the trees grow they often are destroyed by strong winds.  But today I celebrate the beauty of these Bradford Pear tree blooms.

 Photo notes: Nikon D5 with Nikon 80-400mm lens.




I had a job hat took me just out of town to a horse farm to photograph some Communication disorder students who were doing hippo therapy. Those photos are work photo so I can’t show those here but I did take a few photos just for me. The best horse photographer I know is Amy Adair and these photos don’t  compare to hers but I enjoyed being around the horses.  You really should stop reading right now and go follow @adair_farms on Instagram 

When I was a kid my grandad kept a pony for me and my brothers to ride.  Her name was Polly and she was white. We would saddle her up and she would walk around the house and my grandad would sit on the back steps and drink coffee


The Cat is named Catherine

We finally decided to name our cat Catherine. We all called her Cat because she had no name so Catherine just made some sense. 

Office Meetings

The last two days my office has been closed as we have been off campus as a group talking about 
what we have done this past year and what will do in the next year. We spent a great deal of time deciding how to do the best work we have ever done. I am proud to be part of the Communications and Marketing team. I love working for Jana Rucker and with Tom Buterbaugh, Jennifer Hannigan, Hannah Owens, Candice Moore, Dillon Holsonback, Jonathan Murphy, Abby Tran , Michalie Brown, Mitchell Brooks and Kelly Brackett.

As I was leaving the meeting today, I got a text from Jackson needing me to check and see if the HU library had a copy of  The Catcher in the Rye.  I got the book and as I was walking out of the library I saw this rain soaked trash can lid reflecting the tree branches . It was the perfect image to me for the last two days of reflecting on the last year and planning for the year ahead.  

I took this photo with a Fuji X100s.  I have been inspired by reading Sam Abel’s book The Photographic Life and how he had a B&W camera that he used as his visual diary. I also am inspired by some of my friends who are much better bloggers than I am to be a more regular with my blogging. 

Spring is coming

Monday morning this week.
Tuesday morning.

I don't believe a person has a style. What people have is a way of photographing what is inside them. What is there comes out. - Sebastiao Salgado