Rainy Day

I recently found myself sitting in my office on a cold rainy day. When it’s overcast outside, my office definitely feels dark and dreary… which can either make me feel super sad and lonely, or really inspired and artsy.

On this particular day, I decided to push away from my desk, load my camera with a roll of film and just get in the car. I had never shot film in the rain, and I was honestly getting tired of just practicing film in my backyard. So, I drove just down the road to a little trail head that I had discovered a few weeks before and began the 50 yard trek down to a tiny creek.

It was so great for me to just focus on what was right in front of me. I’m so used to trying to capture emotion and moments and kids running all around me. But, on this particular day, I forced myself to slow down and look at the details that were everywhere. At first glance, it didn’t look like much. But, then I started seeing some really spectacular things… trees with crazy vines and odd growths on them… water droplets that were barely hanging on leaves… tall blades of grass hoisting up tiny beads of water as if they were trying to get me to bend down and take a closer look.

It was so good for me to just drop what I was doing that day for about an hour and feed the creative longing in my soul. I never want to strangle out the art of photography with the business and branding side of things. I was reminded that day why I love doing what I do.

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Images shot with: Canon 1V, on Kodak Portra 400 / Processed by PhotoVision

Rain Film01 Rain Film02 Rain Film03Rain Film04Rain Film05 Rain Film06 Rain Film07 Rain Film08 Rain Film09 Rain Film10 Rain Film11

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One Afternoon…

A few weeks ago, I was at home alone with this little guy while he was taking a nap and mom and brother were off doing something important. When he got up, we planted ourselves on the back porch and enjoyed the warm summer (perfect for waking up from a nap)!

He was laughing with me and having such a great time, so I decided to pull out a roll of film and just unload it in one sitting… capturing all his different faces and personality. One of the best ways I could see spending $25! Mason1

Mason2 Mason3 Mason4 Mason5Canon 1V  //  Kodak Portra 400  //  Developed by: Indie Film Lab

A Trip Back Home

Early this summer I spent a weekend back in my hometown. The more time that I am away from those roots, the more and more it seems things change. Things simply look different when you return with different eyes in a different stage of life.

One day when the kids were napping and I had some free time, I went on a little walk with one of my film cameras. One of the refreshing things about learning film is that it has forced me to take photos of things rather than people. The last thing I would want to do would be to “learn” my camera on a client’s dime. So, I’ve been taking lots of photos of plants and other non-moving objects.

I grew up just across the street from my grandparents and great-grandparents… one of the most amazing things about my childhood. I spent lots of time in their homes, in their yards and in their lives. I learned a lot about plants and gardening and being outside from the times I spent with them.

As I walked around the dense pine forests that make up our homestead, I came upon my Maw-Maw’s old green house. Of course it looks much different now… only a skeletal frame of what once was. Overtaken by vines and young trees vying for space. Many pots laid in piles on the ground, full of soil but void of life… symbolizing a passing away of more than just a few people, but a way of life.
Heritage01Heritage02Heritage03 Heritage04 Heritage05 Heritage06Canon 1V  //  Kodak Portra 400  //  Indie Film Lab

Mason | c. 4 months old

One of the things that I’ve enjoyed about being a parent who also happens to be a photographer is that I don’t have to plan out photo shoots of our children.

Honestly, I’m getting a little worn out from doing the elaborate photo sessions of kids with all kinds of props and bells and whistles and circuses… it just seems a bit much sometimes and I wonder if one day we’ll look back and just laugh at it all.

When I look back on my children’s photos, I want to be reminded of real moments with them. What they wore all the time… what they looked like sitting in OUR house. I want remember the emotion of what it felt like to hold them.

So, I’ve made a point to just document the mundane things… just our kid wearing what he wears all the time… laying on our floor… looking normal.

This was one of those impromptu photo shoots that happened while I was supposed to be holding Mason while Sara was preparing dinner one night. I was sitting with him in my office and something came over me forcing me to stop what I was doing and pick up my camera. So, I literally just laid him at my feet and used the blank wood floor of my office as a canvas.

Fifteen minutes later, he started fussing, so we shut the thing down and ate dinner.

Horse Obsession!

Our little guy is absolutely OBSESSED with horses. The first few days we thought it may just be a fad. Turns out, horses are here to stay. If you meet D, YOU will soon become a horse to be pulled around the house… ridden on… locked in the closet because you’ve been a bad horse… you get the picture.

Early on, we were told that it would be a good idea to get him a stuffed animal of some sort so that he could have something to hold and confide in when he gets sad. So, we decided to get him the horse pictured above. He was SO excited about it. However, just as important as finding the perfect horse was finding a rope to tie around his neck to lead him around the house. Awesome. We have such a cowboy on our hands. Not what I was expecting!

The same day that we got him the $15 horse, we decided to give his family a call so that he could talk to them since he misses them tremendously… one of the first things he told them was that he “got a horse”. He didn’t bother to tell them that it was about a foot tall… and made out of cotton. We were whispering in his ear that he should tell them that he “got it” from Walmart. Eventually he did, and they all laughed and we sighed with relief that they no longer thought that we were trying to buy his love or something!

We’ve been trying to figure out how to make his room more personal for him. Last week, the thought went through my mind that I should get some horse photos printed that I shot several months ago for a client. So, I ordered some big prints and surprised him the other day. His face lit up as if magic had landed right in his room. He has been staring at the horses and dreaming up stories about them every since.

I love the power of photographs.

I love watching his mind speed through creative scenarios that he makes up.

Together For Adoption 2010

*Photo from an orphan care center in Chilumba, Malawi, 2007

I could not be more excited to spend the next few days of my life at the Together for Adoption Conference in Austin.

Surrounded by hundreds of people who care deeply for the orphan.

Encouraged to continue on the difficult journey of advocacy and care for the least of those among us.

A few months ago when I was on their website still debating whether or not we would be able to carve out the time to attend the conference, I was reading through the line-up of breakout sessions… and just from reading the different topics covered, my eyes were welling up with tears. You know that feeling… the same feeling I get when something really heroic happens in a movie and you get that lump in your throat. I was simply amazed that there was a conference that would cover so many facets of caring for the orphan… and that this conference was going to be just an hour and a half away from us!

Honestly, I feel like the title is a little misleading… really, this is much more about being together for the ORPHAN. Of course, adoption is a huge part in caring for the orphan… but, there are so many other aspects to this as well, and I’m so excited that we’ll be covering all of them.

So, later today, we’re going to be heading over to Austin for the next few days… we’ll be chillin’ some of our best friends as well, which makes it all the better!

Some of the things that I most excited about with this conference are the breakout sessions. I’ll be attending a session led by Esther Havens about using photography to impact the global orphan crisis. Obviously, this is something extremely close to my heart… and even this week, I’ve been blown away by the doors that God is potentially opening for me to travel and use photography to give a voice to the voiceless around the world!

I’m also attending a session with Aaron Ivey on “Using Music as a Voice for the Orphan”. Can’t wait to learn from him… his songs have spoken deeply to me about the orphan.

Sara and I are also in the last stages of being licensed to become foster parents… so, we’ll be checking out sessions that can help us know more about what to expect. I’ll also be checking out a few sessions about how the church can care for the orphan.

It’s been a while since I have written about many personal things on this blog. But, I just could not contain my excitement about this.

Hopefully, I’ll be tweeting my thoughts throughout the conference… so, be sure and follow me on Twitter @ry_pri if you want to hear what’s happening.