As many of you know, I grew up in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo). This is the large country in central Africa, which you may be aware of through such movies as “Gorillas in the Mist” and books like “The Heart of Darkness”. My parents were missionaries for International Ministries and my three brothers and I attended The American School of Kinshasa. It was such an eclectic group of international students, which I’m very thankful for. I believe the diversity gave me a keen appreciation and understanding for other cultures, races, and creeds. Anyway, periodically different students from the school organize class reunions. This month I attended one in Buffalo, TX. We had an AWESOME time catching up on each other’s lives, reminiscing about old times, and rekindling our friendships. This shot was taken around the huge bonfire we had one night. That’s Eric Lindland in the middle, one of my good friends who helped organize the event. Many thanks to him and Lora Swanson for all their work in putting this reunion together! Zaire Oye!!!
Archive for October, 2006
My Dad is a professor of African History and is very well informed on local and world politics. I, on the other hand, tend to shy away from such matters. So I thought it ironic that I ended up covering Senator John Kerry’s visit to Charleston in support of Randy Maata’s run for Congress. Many thanks to Yve Assad, my friend and fellow photographer, for recommending me for the assignment. It was also nice to bump into Wade Spees again, photographer for the Post and Courier.
My younger brother is a Financial Advisor and takes excellent care of all our investments. He’s always telling us to “diversify your portfolio”. So this week, Cami & I decided to do just that! We took a little break and headed to a wonderful little B&B; on the outskirts of Gatlinburg, TN. It was just about peak fall color in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and we spent the entire time hiking in the beautiful outdoors. It was fun to relax, get away from Charleston for a few days, and enjoy the time together. While we were at it, we did a little nature and wildlife photography. Oh, I know my brother’s advice was in reference to our financial planning. But I believe testing myself in other fields of photography only make me a BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER. So here’s one of my scenic images of Ramsey Cascades. What do you think – does this help diversify my portfolio?
There’s always a first time for EVERYTHING! This week I got to photograph the christening of a brand new Oil Tanker for Stena Bulk/Concordia Meritime. I have never done that before. I must say, it was a pretty cool affair. The ship had been built in Sweden and had already completed it’s maiden voyage over here to Charleston. Once in dock, the crew cleaned it up like new. Then there was a beautiful ceremony, complete with dignitaries and Honor Guard, where the ship’s “Grandmother” broke the ceremonial champagne bottle over the bow as thousands of red, white, and blue balloons were released into the sky. (I found out later that an environmentalist group called to complain about the balloons.) The lady that had been selected for the honor of Grandmother was the wife of Captain Douglas Uhles of the Hess Corporation. After the ceremony there was a wonderful luncheon at the famous Charleston Place Hotel. Of course there were a lot of big-wigs present…company CEO, captain of the ship, head of the Coast Guard, etc. Anyway, it was very exciting for me to be able to preserve this historic occasion.
Earlier this week I attended the annual Professional Photographers of South Carolina convention. It’s so much fun to be a part of all the professional associations I belong to. But more than that, it gives me an opportunity to feed that voracious appetite I have for ANYTHING dealing with my craft. Sure, you might say I’ve had a formal education on the subject, I’ve been doing it for over a decade, why bother?!? Well, I have a BURNING passion for what I do. Many of you have heard me say this before…”Being a photographer is not WHAT I DO, it’s WHO I AM!” Belonging to excellent organizations like the PPSC is one of the many ways I keep in touch with fellow photographers who I trust and admire, share new techniques and skills with others, gain insights, and garner inspiration. I don’t have any photos from the event to share with you. So here’s one of my favorites of Paige & Perry’s wedding as they did a little gig and drew gales of laughter from all their friends! Congratulations you two!!!