Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thoughts on a Christmas Eve morn

This year was a year of change. It didn't start out that way - it began as most years do, with resolutions & business plans & such. But this summer, my father-in-law suffered a medical emergency, and by mid-August he was gone. He was laid to rest in a beautiful spot right by my husband, who passed seven years ago.

One month later, I had applied and been accepted to graduate school. (It's a low-residency program, so I will still be in Salem to create portrait art for you all. No worries!) I chose an MFA program in Creative Writing at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. It's about an hour drive from my home via the back roads, so the twice-yearly pilgrimage to on-campus seminars will be an easy one.

We can never see our future, not really, but I have the strong sense that my love of photography & my love of writing will somehow be intertwined. Perhaps creative books with portraits of my clients & a written tale of their lives? Perhaps a collaboration of my visual & written art? Perhaps a reality much bigger & better than any I can imagine?

I think that is the message of this year. Our dreams are only the beginning. Our futures - yours, mine - will be grander & stranger than what we can envision. Rather than trying to glimpse (and plan) it all before we dare begin, we need to pray & trust & fly out our doors every day, because wonderful adventures await.

A very merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's SUPPOSED to be fun!

Marge was recently ordained as a deacon in the Episcopalian church. I knew Marge as a fellow member of St. Paul's Episcopal. She also went to seminary with my son, Gabriel, in an ecumenical school called Northwest House of Theological Studies, loosely affiliated with Willamette University.

Together, we decided she needed an updated 'biz pic' as she steps into her new vocation. Before we began, she (like 90% of the people who come before my camera) told me she didn't really enjoy having her photograph taken.

When we were finished, she said, "That was fun!" I told her (as I told all the others), "It's SUPPOSED to be fun!" :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I took a mini vacation to Portland, Oregon, affectionately known by the locals as 'Stumptown'. I visited with a friend who is an avid amateur photographer, and we spent a full day wandering through downtown & the Pearl district, photographing the sights.

This was photography for the sheer joy of it - but I also took the opportunity to learn. I have a very wide angle lens, and I wanted to become more comfortable with it. So, I put it on my camera and used it all day long. It forced me to see the world through a WIDE perspective. I was frustrated sometimes when I saw a beautiful photo op that begged for a zoom lens, but by the end of the day, I was pretty pleased with my results. I love photography!