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 July/August 2015 Issue
Order a copy of the July/August 2015 issue, “Happiness,” by calling 1.800.972.0433. Download the digital edition.
“Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway is Humpback Rocks, a very short and scenic hike in Afton, Virginia. In the wee hours of the day one morning, my sisters and I hiked Humpback Rocks to catch the sunrise. After reaching the summit of the mountain, I took this photo of my sister, just as the sun began to rise.”
– Kelsey Grupp, about her photo on the cover. 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. 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. To learn more about her and the projects she is working on, go to kelseygrupp.com.
“This photo was taken in Chester Cathedral in late 2014. It is of the specially commissioned millennium window. In person it is truly immense to see. I think that it is a location well worth traveling to visit.”
– Eleanor Lenore Bennett, about her photo on p. 3. Eleanor is a sixteen-year-old, internationally award-winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland Trust, and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in The Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News website, and on the cover of books and magazines in the United States and Canada.
Eleanor has shown work globally in places like London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, and Australia. She was entered in The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) and was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus-run “See the Bigger Picture” global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, 2010. Be sure to check out her portfolio, eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com.
“This photograph was created while touring the art department of Texas Southern University with artists from The Art Project, Houston (a therapeutic art and economic empowerment project with men and women living on the streets of Houston). At the time I was serving as director of the project.
I was captivated by this palette and remember telling myself one day I would spend hours in front of blank canvases with palettes just like it, living out my heart’s desire. This photo was my screensaver for about a year, a vision board of sorts drawing me into a conversation with God about the life we would continue to co-create.”
– Lanecia Rouse, about her photo on p. 3. Lanecia is an artist who has served in ministry with the United Methodist Church since 2002 in various roles—as a solo and youth pastor, an artist-in-residence, and project manager of The Art Project, Houston. She currently resides in Houston, Texas where she continues her ministry as a writer, artist, photographer, speaker and workshop leader. larartphotography.com
“The Richmond Mural Project is an annual event in the summer that brings in talented artists from around the world to create murals in Richmond, Virginia. This is a photo of me doing a cartwheel in front of one of my favorite murals that was created during last year’s event.”
– Kelsey Grupp, about her photo on p. 3. 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. 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. To learn more about her and the projects she is working on, go to kelseygrupp.com.
“This was taken at the city zoo. Other than staying in water, taking mud baths and then covering themselves with sand is an activity that elephants enjoy most. Mud baths give the elephants relief from sunburn. I was lucky to be present with my camera at this time when I could capture the joy of this majestic creature.”
– Savvy Gulia, about her photo on p. 14. Savvy a freelance photographer living in New Delhi, India, decided to pursue her dream of being a photographer a few years back. Most of her images are about people, capturing life in their seemingly negligible moments. Her pictures provide an opportunity to absorb a gesture, a smile, or a frown through her vision. Savvy’s forte is travel photography, but when not traveling, she enjoys capturing portraits too. Read more about her at savvygulia.wordpress.com
“I LOVE yellow! It’s so cheery and sunny. Yellow flowers make me happy! This image of swamp sunflowers was captured in my Mom and Dad’s garden in Meansville, Georgia. They call it Big Sky Gardens. It’s a place I find peace. Walking with Mom in their garden brings sweet joy into my life on a regular basis.”
– Marie Nease, about her photo on pp. 8-9. 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 was teaching a photography class in upstate New York when we accidentally happened upon a big Kiting with Kids Day event at Maple Ridge Farm in Lowville, New York.”
– Jan Phillips, about her photo on pp. 10-11. Jan is an author, creator, and workshop facilitator who ignites original thinking and inspires action. Her retreats and presentations are multimedia, multisensory events that connect the heart and brain. She uses images, music, poetry, and storytelling to evoke deep, nondualistic creative thinking and expression. Jan is cofounder and executive director of The Livingkindness Foundation.
“This was a beautiful day with a close friend of mine. We could not stay out of the water or stop laughing all day.”
– Caroline Catlin, about her photo on pp. 24-25 . Caroline is a senior at Wesleyan University, studying psychology and photography. She hopes to find a way to combine the two in the future. Caroline grew up splitting her time between her home in Lincoln, Vermont and working at her family’s summer camp in the Adirondacks.
She describes her experience of photography this way: “If poetry is the linguistic form of putting something small into a bigger picture, I think that photography is the visual form of doing the same thing. To me, things make more sense when I see them from behind a lens.”
“Bells Bend is one of middle Tennessee’s hidden treasures, that last large tract of undeveloped land in Nashville/Davidson County, surrounded on three sides by Cumberland River Since the closure of a small ferry from West Nashville, this still rural-community has been isolated from the rest of the city, accessible by only one road off the Ashland City Highway.
In 2008, a large developer threatened the area with a multi-billion proposal to build a “satellite downtown” that would have been connected by a large bridge dumping traffic right into the heart of Bend. I’ve known about Bell’s Bend for as long as I’ve lived in Nashville. When I first heard of about the proposed development, I started going out there as often as I could to document the area—either to provide support to the conservation effort, or to provide a record in case that effort failed. Fortunately, the proposal was rejected by the city zoning board, and this farm at the end of the road into Bell’s Bend still stands today—at the edge of a public park where an office tower might have been built.”
– Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on pp. 36-37. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.
“This is the aloe vera plant in my back yard bathed in light.”
– 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 ten 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.
“A Nashville treasure… another sunrise. Somebody asked me once, “which do you prefer, sunrises or sunsets?” To which I replied, ‘Well, generally speaking, I’m already awake by sunset.'”
– Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on p. 48. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.