October 31, 2011
Lisa Hawkins, California: “Ballet Folklorico—Maddie”
We had just moved to a new city and my daughter, Maddie, was looking for a way to have fun and meet new people. Maddie loves to dance. She had already taken tap and ballet when she was younger, so we figured that looking into other dance classes would be a good place to start.
Flipping through a magazine one day, we chanced upon Ballet Folklorico dancing. As most people don't know what kind of dance this is, we found that the best way to explain it was by saying that it's a bit similar to Flamenco dancing, with lots of stomping and big colorful skirts to whip and twirl around.
Since I'm a Mexican-American, we thought this would be a good way for Maddie and all of us to learn and celebrate our culture. She has been dancing for over five years with the group, La Cultura, and has really enjoyed making new friends and performing for others. Her dance group performs for schools in Cinco de Mayo parades, weddings, fiestas, and even church activities.
I took this particular photo a few years ago when she was performing at Disney's California Adventure park. I love that I was able to capture the skirt in action because the skirts are whipped around so fast it's not easy for my camera to capture such quick movements. This has since become one of my favorite photos.
October 24, 2011
Matthew Campbell, New York: “Missionary in New York Walking the Tracks at Dusk”
Missionary work can be pretty tough. One of the most important things that I have learned, not only in missionary work but also in life, is simply this: Enjoy it.
Taking time to realize the blessings and beauty that surround us makes all the difference in our journey through life. We encounter opportunities every day to enjoy life. This picture was taken as the sun was setting during a walk back to our apartment. We took some time to enjoy the beauty that Heavenly Father has blessed us with. No matter how tough life gets, we can choose to enjoy it.
October 17, 2011
Shelly Norton, New Mexico: “Quality Time”
My favorite subject to photograph has always been my own family. I enjoy it even more when I get to capture candid moments of them. My children grew up without noticing that a camera was in my hand, making history of their expressions, alone time, playtime, activities, and family time. One reason why I love this particular photo is that I now have a new favorite subject—grandchildren.
On a recent visit to San Diego, California, to see our son, daughter-in-law, and two little granddaughters, once again I kept my camera at the ready for any opportune moment. Two-year-old Ruby adores her daddy (Erik) beyond anything I've ever seen. She hangs on to every single word he says, laughs at every silly thing he does, listens carefully to anything he teaches her, and copies absolutely everything he does. After a long day at work and then law school, my son came home and agreed to Ruby's request for him to read her a story. During a pause in the story, I was fortunate enough to catch my granddaughter’s and son’s gaze of pure happiness, love, and adoration that passed between them. That was a memory worth keeping! As I look at this photo, it reminds me of how precious a gift we've been given—the chance of being with those we love eternally.
October 10, 2011
Ed Ferrin, Texas: "Hurricane Ike"
My wife and I live on Galveston Island in Texas. We were one of the many families to leave our home and flee north to escape Hurricane Ike in September of 2008. Sharlene, my wife, and I had a pop-up trailer and camped out at one of the state parks for two weeks before they would let us back on the island to check on our home. We were one of the fortunate families living on the island who were able to return and live in our home. We lost a car, everything on the floor of our garage, and many shingles from the roof of our house, but the inside of our home was dry. About 75% of the homes on the island had been flooded and their occupants had to arrange for temporary living quarters until their homes could be repaired.
As soon as we learned that our home was okay to live in, we started checking on friends and ward members to see how they were. For most of them, the news was not as good. Most had gotten floodwaters into their homes. We quickly learned that the ward and stake members were meeting at the church to get organized to help victims of Hurricane Ike. I drove my pickup over to the church and volunteer to help. Being an avid photographer, I took my camera with me. Because I knew the island well and had a pickup, I was volunteered to run supplies and equipment to the different locations where volunteers were helping Hurricane Ike victims. Traveling all over the island, I was able to take a lot of photos of the destruction to our island caused by Hurricane Ike.
As I traveled around the island helping Hurricane Ike victims, it quickly became obvious how deep the storm surge on the island had gotten and how much damage it had done. The most obvious sign of how deep the water had gotten on the island was the many boats that had been lifted from their docks and deposited in parking lots and roadways. The shrimp boat in the photo had been docked at the 19th street pier prior to Hurricane Ike and was now resting in the parking lot of a restaurant 2 blocks to the west. While the boats, like the one in the photo, where an outward sign of the depth of the storm surge, the most tragic was inside the homes I visited. So many personal items were lost and to me, an avid photographer since the age of 18, it was most heartbreaking to see all the water-soaked family photos and photo albums that were lost. Many items lost to this storm could be replaced, but the photos could not. We had taken our photos with us when we left, but many did not; the salt water from the Gulf of Mexico destroyed their wonderful photographic history.
Now, three years after Ike, the boat has been removed from the parking lot, the restaurant is back in business, and all of our friends and ward members are back in their homes. We survived Hurricane Ike and are doing well.
October 3, 2011
Kathleen Francis, Oregon: The Walk
The four girls in this photo are all my granddaughters. Three are sisters; the fourth is their cousin. All four have been through some disappointments and some sadness, and I believe that through it all I have watched them grow closer and closer to each other. They count on each other, tell secrets to each other, confide about their sadness, and whisper about their dreams. They spend a lot of time at our house, and there is never a shortage of little pink and purple clothes, teddy bears in dresses, Barbies with braids, and I-love-you notes covering the fridge. So when my family went in together to buy me a very nice camera a few years ago, fulfilling a lifelong dream I had to get involved in photography, those four little girls became my favorite photo pastime.
I have captured many moments like The Walk and have quite literally taken thousands of photos of them. The girls are very relaxed in front of a camera, and the poses come easily.
The Walk was a photo taken in the summer of 2010, on a dirt road that seemingly led to nowhere. I thought it looked so lonely, but the girls holding hands, and giggling as they walked away from me, brought to my mind the thought that as long as they had each other, they would never be alone—never without a friendly face, a hand to hold—for they are truly best friends, not just because they’re family but because they love each other. Thus came the saying, “As long as we have each other, we will never walk alone.”