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 2013 Issue
“With several photography friends I spent a morning recently photographing an old abandoned hotel in Middle Tennessee. In the early 1800s this hotel provided temporary lodging for U.S. soldiers on their way to New Orleans to fight in the War of 1812. As I moved from room to room, I listened for the voices of its many and varied guests.”
- Sharon Brown Christopher, about her photo on the cover. 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.
“I only have an old and non-digital simple camera with no zoom, so I had to go quite near them, and had only one chance to capture this beautiful scene before she saw me and her natural, being-so-unawares expression and pose was lost because of my intrusion.”
- Sudha Khristmukti, about her photo on p. 1. Sudha is a long-time contributor for Alive Now. She lives in Gujarat, India with her four rescued street dogs, pet crow, owl and squirrel. She teaches English, writes for Christian publications, and plays the sitar and flute. Learn more about Sudha.
“I was in Seattle, WA and my boyfriend was staring out the window at the seaport. He looked quite pensive and alone, so I named the photo The Lonely Man.”
- Trin Blakeley, about her photo on p. 3. Trin is originally from the San Francisco Bay area in California. After graduating from UCLA, she spent many years teaching English in foreign countries. While traveling to over sixty countries with a backpack on her back and a camera in her hand, she began to see the world through the lens of her camera. Trin turned her love for photography into her life’s work and has never looked back. She makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, go to trinblakely.com.
“A couple of years ago, I wanted to do a shoot that celebrated painting — specifically as an outpouring of women’s creativity. The young woman who posed and painted for me had been painting for several years.”
- Eleanor Leonne Bennett, about her photo on page 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.
Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany,Japan, Australia, and The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011), amongst many other locations. She 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 child — Kofiné — died of malnutrition the year after this photo was published in the book, Like Breath and Water. It is still difficult for me, as I mourned her death deeply. Seeing her makes me weep for the many children who get no chance at life — and especially for Kofiné and this family who had to bury their child. There’s little joy when I see this image, these bright colors, this child barely alive beneath these colorful clothes, blankets, and hat that hide her thinness and keeps her frail body warm in the middle of desert heat. This child who breathes no more.”
- Ciona D. Rouse, about her photo on page 6. Ciona is a storyperson living in Nashville, Tennessee, who likes to look for the story beneath the surface of all people and all things. She takes written snapshots with her poetry and stories and occasionally writes visual poetry with her camera. Learn more about Ciona at her blog, rouserantings.blogspot.com. Also check out her new website, thecrazything.com.
“Whenever I take a picture of something or someone I always feel a sense of connection and increased love for the being at the end of my lens. At the same time, whenever someone wants to take my picture I shy away or feel very self-conscious while they take the photo – a somewhat painful process.
“About a year ago I started wondering what it would feel like to extend the same sense of wonder to myself as I did to the subjects of my photographs. I started practicing self-portraiture as a way to explore this further. This process has helped me develop compassion towards myself and at the same time has deepened my understanding of what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera. This particular self-portrait, Within Reach, was taken by a window inside my house. To view more of my self-portrait series visit michellehallphotography.com.”
- Michelle Hall, about her photo on p. 9. Michelle lives in Nashville, Tennessee and works at the Oasis Center with older adolescents who do not have a safe place to live and/or are living on the streets. At work or at play (and the two often intermingle), Michelle makes sense of her world by finding the beauty in the present situation. In November 2011, Michelle was given a “real” camera and she began literally focusing on beauty by learning photography. This has made her very happy.
“A young couple had strung a rope between two trees and were taking turns balancing on it. This was a totally random event that I was lucky to capture.”
- Jackson DeParis, about his photo on pages 10-11. 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
“I caught this drummer in a moment of reflection on a warm spring afternoon.”
- Jackson DeParis, about his photo on page 13. 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
“This is called a cabbage flower. They’re grown mainly for decorative and accent features in gardens and landscapes. They’re not edible—they just supply a beautiful pop of color to their surroundings. This one caught my eye when I was traveling in California. I knew with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone that the colors would be even more magnificent — so I shot it — and this beautiful magenta specimen ended up gracing the pages of Alive Now.”
- Nancy Terzian, about her photo on page 47. Nancy is Alive Now’s 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 9 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. Nancy is a singer/songwriter, nature-lover, runner and yoga enthusiast. To see some of Nancy’s other design work, visit BuckinghorseDesign.com and facebook.com/BuckinghorseDesign.
“I was at an art opening at The Headlands Center for the Arts and this lovely girl started blowing enormous bubbles. The bubbles grew larger and larger eventually surrounding her body as if she was going to float away. I found it very moving to watch her push the boundary farther and farther.”
- Dianne Griffin, about her photo on page 48. Dianne was born in Kansas City, Kansas, where the endless flat plains left their mark on her vision. Since she grew up in a lively home of fourteen, the camera became a way for her to create a language and shape a life dedicated to storytelling.
Dianne is inspired by the universal language that exists in the expressions, smiles and gestures of all people. Her work has taken her to the countries bordering the Mekong River, as well as to Nepal to document a slice of life there. She has photographed in Mongolia and China, and in East Africa, Eritrea, creating the documentary White Hotel. She is currently co-producing and directing “Painted Nails” about the hopes and dreams of a Vietnamese nail salon worker. Dianne lives in San Francisco, California. For more about her work, check out DianneGriffin.com.