A moment, a glance, and all time stops, Time stops for this moment to understand. Within this same moment is another time, A childhood of holiday memories Filling the air around this face: Christmas holidays, Climbing on the old feeder, Descending into the cellar world, Wading, empty-hooked, in a pond While his dad pulled in his 30th fish. I am not yet old, Yet he, younger than I, Already is gone. He knew how to live, He knew important deeds: To look you in the eye, Say “I love you” with goodbye. And here he looks again at me from the face of this little boy. I must live well and be ready for my end.
I wish that taking a photo helped, but it does not. Regardless of the circumstances which put this couple out on this corner on this day, this must be nothing but a humbling experience. It also makes me think…
Schoepf’s Barbeque here in Belton, Texas blesses my home with a double dose of love. Not only does that wonderful aromatic fume drift by my house when the winds are favorable, but most weekends, I have the pleasure of falling to sleep to the thumping of the distant bass drum, some indistinct bass guitar, and cheering crowds at the end of every song. I guess that would be annoying to some, but I enjoy it.
Do you see good photo ops, but just cannot seem to make the camera capture it like you see it? Photography is half creativity and half technique, and without a firm grasp on the technical side of how our cameras capture photographs, we can only hope our cameras take the photo we want. We will learn about light, how our cameras capture it, and the limitations and creative potential unique to photography.
I will soon have the pleasure of leading some photography classes here in Temple, Texas, and I wanted to start off with the most useful topic possible [note: I did want to start with portraits, but due to some miscommunication between me and Temple Parks, we will do the portrait workshop in February]. How many of us would not appreciate being able to take better photos of our family and friends? The vast majority of our photos are of people, yet photographing people can prove to be one of the most difficult photographic pursuits. The focus of the workshop will not be to cram technical information…as if portrait photography were as simple as learning some formulaic technique anyway. The focus is to turn simple tips into habits through doing. We will identify the problems plaguing our pictures, learn the fix, and practice that fix enough that we all but eliminate…
I never could have dreamed this day would come. The only thing that would top an indian (of the American variety) walking into my day in full regalia would be moving out to the reservation and going native myself. I had seen the “Native American Dance” performance slated on the schedule for our school, but for all I know, some dude in blue jeans and a dollar store head dress was going to strut in with his cultural spiel. Just because I would beat myself if it did turn out well and I was not ready, I had to scout a potential portrait location.
An elementary school cafetorium is not exactly the most inspiring backdrop for an American Indian portrait shoot, so I took a little walk behind the school as soon as I arrived that morning. Just two weeks before, I had been day dreaming in that very grassy field, which was much more tall and Great-Plains-wavy then, what it would have been like hundreds of years ago, pre white dudes. The gentle, brown sea sparked the beginning of a (most likley ill-fated) novel idea. Long story short: there is no better, close place for the potential shoot.
Then, into my cafetorium walks Tallbear. I swooned. I recovered, helped hook up the sound system, took a few shots with some tastefully 80s colored backgrounds, pondered the possibility of wrangling them into an impromptu portrait shoot, then swooned again.
Today was graduation day for Robert M. Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas, named for he retired Army General who not only has a truly impressive military record, but even after retiring has continued to serve his local community. I have been working the past few weeks at Shoemaker High School as a short-term assistant band director, and not only has the high school taken me in as one of their own, but even in a short time, I have seen this man, General Shoemaker, several times at various school activities, and begun to understand the grandfather relationship he has with the students of his name sake high school.
I was going about my own business, teaching school (music, these days), when I heard about a young singer who was coming to the school to share about her experience in the music industry and, of course, sing a few songs for us. It turned out to be Katie Armiger, an up and coming female vocalist in country music.