Beautiful photography — visual psalms — grace the pages of Alive Now both in print and on our website. If you pray with your camera in hand, join our Visual Psalmists group on Flickr. (flickr.com/groups/visual-psalmists/).
Behind the Photographs in the September/October 2015 Issue
Order a copy of the September/October 2015 issue, “Stability,” by calling 1.800.972.0433. Download the digital edition.
“This cover photo was shot in Arizona. The sky turned a deep color and shortly thereafter came a spring rain storm.”
– Jackson DeParis, about his photo on the cover. Jackson was initially trained in scientific photography, but commercial advertising and editorial photography soon became his true calling. Dividing time between San Francisco and Nashville, Jackson is a consummate photographer, shooting everything from high-tech labs, CEOs, and artists to a wide range of editorial and product work. Equally at ease in the studio or on location, he brings to each assignment a unique vision and fresh enthusiasm, using all appropriate tools and techniques. jacksondeparis.com
“The area of Scotland known as The Borders is steeped in the history of two adjoining countries who contested each other’s territory for hundreds of years before the Act of Union in 1707. Small fortresses like Smailholm Tower (near Kelso) were built in the 15th century to defend the region against raiders from across the border.
“I stumbled upon Smailholm on the road between Dryburgh and Jedburgh Abbeys while touring the area in the spring of 2013, and spend the better part of an hour wandering the mostly barren hills around the tower—which was also an ancestral home to Sir Walter Scott, who spent part of his boyhood there.”
– Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on pp. 6-7. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.
“A few summers ago I went blackberry picking with a friend in Nelson, Virginia. As soon as we arrived at the farm, a quick and sudden thunderstorm rolled through. Unsure of how long the storm would last, we stuck it out, waiting in the car. When the coast was clear, we headed barefoot into the field for some picking. Even though the storm dampened the fields, it didn’t dampen our spirits. Rather, the storm added an unexpectedly fun twist to our day.”
– Kelsey Grupp, about her photo on pp. 8-9. Kelsey is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) studying mass communications with a concentration in creative advertising. Upon completion of her degree, she hopes to become an art director at an advertising agency. To learn more about her and the projects she is working on, go to kelseygrupp.com.
Aside from academics, Kelsey is also a dedicated student-athlete, representing the VCU Women’s Track & Field team in the pole vault. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys pursuing personal photography projects.
“The St. John’s River runs through Jacksonville, Florida. When I need a break from normal life, I take a walk. The river park nearby turned out to be a great choice on this day. At certain sections along the trail there are piers and walkways. The sun was on the way down, changing the color of the sky from cyan to this yellow-orange. The wind blew through the tall grass; the ripples on the river followed this momentum. I wanted to capture all of this movement at one time.”
– Eric Christopher Jackson, about his photo on pp. 10-10. Eric is a fine art photographer and creative writer, whose work is influenced by cinematography, interior design, and the Bible. It has been featured in Creative Fluff magazine. Eric’s poetry book was highlighted on the cover of Publisher’s Weekly Select (November 2013). Ultimately, he is interested in creating meaningful stories through the visual arts and writing. He blogs here. See more at ericchristopherjackson.com.
“How many women have lost or chosen to walk away from a relationship? When facing the unknown, solid ground becomes a memory. Our history is always floating nearby, reminding us of what once was, what we once had, and what we are trying to let go of—our baggage. It’s a place ocean-deep with fear and sadness. It’s an open horizon that whispers of new beginnings and healthier tomorrows. If you’ve walked that road or are walking it now, may the love and compassion of our most tender Creator guide you, and may the support of other women be the certainty beneath your feet.”
– Lauren Richwine, about her photo on p. 14. Lauren is an artist, photographer, and writer. When she isn’t changing diapers or cooking, she is the creative force behind “Portrait of a Lady,” to visually tell the stories of women’s spirituality and beauty. Lauren lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, daughter, and sister. See Portrait of a Lady on Facebook
“An early morning search for photos lead me to a forest in Northern Florida. The light through the trees was perfect. God’s light shining in through the darkness (John 8:12).”
– Kevin Main, about his photo on p. 15. Kevin is a landscape photographer whose photos have appeared in a variety of places, from scientific journals to religious publications to art fairs. His love of God’s creation is also beautifully expressed in his children’s book, I See You There: My Father’s Love. View more of Kevin’s work at lightingwild.com
“From rolling green hills to barren moors, it’s not enough that Yorkshire is one of the most scenically diverse regions in all of England. It is also home to some of the the best-preserved medieval ruins in the whole country. Among them is Fountains Abbey. Founded as a Cistercian monastery in the 12th century, the Abbey was the center of the area economy for more than four hundred years — until it was dissolved by Henry VIII. After its abandonment, the enormous structures became a quarry, providing stone for new structures in the surrounding community, until the aristocrats of the 18th century began to preserve the ruins to dress their estates.
“Fountains Abbey is now the centerpiece of Studley Royal Park, where I spent an entire day in the fall of 2014. When I arrived in the morning, I did not know that the park would remain open well past its usual closing hour. Instead, on this day the park provided countless opportunities to photograph the illuminated towers against the twilight sky. Once darkness had settled, the voices of a heavenly choir reverberated off the vaulted arches of this chamber called The Cellarium.”
– Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on pp. 24-25. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.
“This image was taken in Costa Rica while visiting my son, Jeremy, who lives there. The cascade is called Cascada El Pavon and it is near Uvita. It is a serene place to visit and linger awhile. Each of my visits to Costa Rica has been amazing! I am planning a photographer’s expedition there in January 2016.”
– Marie Nease, about her photo on pp. 26-27. Marie is a six-time award-winning member of the Roswell Photographic Society. Her expertise in photography is mixed with a passion that can’t be tamed. The love of photography spans multiple generations in Marie’s family. Marie has published articles and short stories and enjoys expressing herself through creative writing and poetry. Marie is a mother of four wonderful young men and grandmother to six. She lives near the mountains in Cornelia, Georgia. Visit her website, wingdreamer.com.
“I could hear them long before I saw them. For me, it is a beautiful song and I always look up when I hear it. The blessing on this day was having my “big girl” camera with me to capture the single formation of these geese.”
– Susan Hay, about her photo on p. 40. Susan devotes much of her spare time pursuing her passion and interest in photography, which has increased her awareness of how photography helps us “see God at eye level.” She also enjoys leading retreats and workshops for persons of all ages on photography as a spiritual practice.
“A few years ago, I bought a little “farmhouse” in southeast Nashville on a half acre of land. The first tree to bloom the following spring was a beautiful pink Dogwood in my backyard. This shot is taken from the backyard, and shows the house through the blossoming branches of the tree. The flowers and trees in my new yard offer immense pleasure and solitude. It’s a place I can rest and relax and talk to God. Gloriously grateful!”
– Nancy Terzian, about her photo on p. 47. Nancy is our art director and graphic designer. She has designed several book covers and interiors for Upper Room Books as well as other clients via her Nashville-based design studio, Buckinghorse Design. Before starting her own business fifteen years ago, Nancy was the art director and designer for several magazines in the San Francisco Bay area, including Yoga Journal, Electronic Musician, and Frisko. To see some of Nancy’s other design work, visit facebook.com/BuckinghorseDesign or her website, nancyterzian.com.
Nancy is a singer/songwriter who has two solo releases under her belt — Violet and, most recently, Traveling Light (2014). She is also a nature-lover, runner, and yoga enthusiast.
“After a strenuous two-mile hike up a trail in Big Bend National Park, I sat down on a rock at the mountain’s peak. Raising my head, I feasted on this magnificent vista. After sitting quietly in a awe-filled moment, I slowly raised my camera to create a remembrance of this experience of gratitude and praise.”
– Sharon Brown Christopher, about her photo on p. 48. Sharon has resumed her interest in photography (first sparked in the age of Brownie box cameras) with the open space and time that comes with retirement. With photography as an expression of her Christian practice, she seeks to see as God sees and to invite others through her photographic images into seeing God’s presence in all of life. Rooted in Nashville, Tennessee, she is honing her vision and skill through ongoing study and adventures launched with camera in hand.