Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have to be one of the luckiest people ever. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities over the years. Last month, I was asked by the Decatur Limited magazine's editor, Ralf Pansch, to be the featured artist for the September/October issue. I was incredibly honored to even be considered to be the featured artist! I used this platform to showcase my artwork from two unique and rewarding opportunities given to me in the last year: my trip to China as the Millikin University Choir's documentary photographer and the photographs I produced for my good friend, Michelle Stephens' play "In Real Life." Both experiences were inexplicable.

While in China, my job was to document the choir interacting with the culture, trying new things, site-seeing, and of course, performing at different venues during the tour. There was little free time with our rigorous tour schedule, so I devoted my "for-fun" shooting (well, it was all fun, but you know what I mean) to documenting street life and the people we encountered along our journey. I've always loved street shooting and meeting new people, so photographing the people of China was incredibly fun for me. One of my favorite people to meet was the woman on the bottom right of the second page below. She didn't speak a word of English, but when I asked to take her photograph, she was very excited. She fixed her hair, straightened her shirt, and sat up nice and proper for me. I took her photograph, showed it to her on my lcd screen, she smiled, then I thanked her. As I started to walk off, she tried to talk to me, asking for something to write with. I gave her a pencil, and she wrote down some characters on a Chinese newspaper and handed it to me. Obviously, I had no idea what it said, so later that day I took it to our translator, and apparently, she had given me her telephone number to call her about getting the photo. It was the cutest thing ever, and aside from my photographs, my favorite souvenir from the trip (hmm, I need to find that and scan it...).

Earlier this year, my awesome and uber-talented friend, Michelle, wrote, directed, and produced "IRL" at Richland Community College. Being able to take part in her creativity was so much fun. I always love being around the productions- there is always so much energy among the actors and crew. I was able to take the promotional photos of sock puppets...need I say more? As well as taking the archive photographs, and creating a body of to include on the stage as a sampling of work for one of the lead characters, Max, who was a photographer. Since the play was set in a large city, Hugh and I took a trip to St. Louis to take some photographs, visit the zoo, annnnd celebrate our 5 year dating anniversary. It was one of the best weekends ever. We stayed in the Millennium hotel (top right on the last page), with an awesome view of the arch. I tested out my Lensbaby Muse for a lot of the shots. Once we got back, we had several of the photos printed up, and they became part of the stage set, along with beautiful paintings by my bestest friend in the whole-wide-world, Laura. It was a great experience. I can't wait for the next production!!

Those two experiences were the inspiration for my photographs featured in the Limited. If you get a chance, pick up a copy at the Herald & Review, or check out the scans from the magazine here: