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October 19, 2007
19 Oct 2007

New Friends in Old Places

Southwest Florida was a place I called home for two years. I made many beautiful friends there and today I made two new ones–Sean and Tracy. Even though they are from Chicago, they will still be my Florida friends.

Tomorrow they marry on the beach and I have the opportunity to photograph their wedding story.

Tracy and I have been talking over the phone for the past eight-months making plans for her wedding day. We’re all set now and really excited about tomorrow!

There is a buzz about the photo booth among the wedding party. Sean and Tracy are totally excited about it also. Keep an eye out for those photographs on my blog!

We had lunch today at The Beached Whale in Fort Myers Beach. In this photo Sean and Tracy were browsing through some of my wedding photographs on my iPhone for some ideas. “I love this! Can you just photoshop us into these photographs?” Tracy said jokingly. “Whatever you did before–just do it again” she said. I will do that and more Tracy!
Tracy’s bridesmaid, Wendy had seen my work already and was a wealth of fun photo ideas. You rock Wendy!

I am looking forward to telling their wedding story tomorrow! It’s so great to have Sean, Tracy, and the wedding party so excited to have me here! Stay posted for some highlights from their wedding.

October 19, 2007
19 Oct 2007

In the Land of Giants

Wading birds, palm trees, water ways, clouds, the sky–everything is bigger in Florida.

I just arrived in Southwest Florida to photograph a wedding for my new friends Sean and Tracy. Touching down at Southwest Florida International Airport was more about avoiding all the water and finding the land so we could touch down. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there is just so much water here. Period.

It has been four months since I left Southwest Florida to live in D.C. I was in complete awe as I tried to take in all the beauty God created in this part of the world. Billowing tumultuous clouds, giant Queen Palms, and Wood Storks decorate this elaborate landscape. Here is a moment (2:26 P.M.) from my drive from Fort Myers Beach down to Naples.

October 11, 2007
11 Oct 2007

Engaged in The District


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having an engagement session with Tim & Jordan. This photograph came about on our way to the Thomas Jefferson memorial in D.C. We later made some nice photographs at the memorial. One which they enlarged to 16×24 (they were pleased with the huge print) for a surprise engagement party Tim threw for Jordan. Nice work Tim!

but this photograph was one of my favorites as well as theirs. It was about the fifth frame from the two-hour shoot which encompassed no less than five locations. Thankfully they trusted me when I told them I wanted to make a photograph of them at the underbelly of a bridge. But isn’t that pho

October 10, 2007
10 Oct 2007

Engaged in "The District"

September 27, 2007
27 Sep 2007

Soldier Story Follow-Up

Today on the Opinion & Editorial page of USA TODAY readers wrote letters in response to last Thursday’s article In Iraq, coping after someone dies for you.

One letter writer said they were struck by the survivors struggle to live lives “worthy” of another’s death. She then gave testimony of someone who died for her, Jesus Christ. She then went on to say how that changed their life and that they should not hold on to that guilt.

Here is the online version of the reader letters with one of my photographs.

I am excited to have played a small role in their letters. I didn’t write the great article last Thursday. Nor did I write in to the paper and share my faith and the hope in Christ as they did. But I did take the picture and maybe more people read the original article last Thursday because my photo caught their attention. Hopefully, again more people will read the op/ed page today because of my photo as seen in this post. Maybe, just maybe they will pursue their spiritual journey a little bit further and encounter God.

September 25, 2007
25 Sep 2007

My Friend The Emmy Winner

I would like to spend some time today bragging about how proud I am of my Emmy award winning friend and fellow Visual Journalist Stephen McGee.

Last night at the 28th Annual Emmy News & Documentary awards The Detroit Free Press (where Steve works as a staff Visual Journalist) claimed an Emmy for their “Michigan Marines: Band of Brothers” series in the Current News Coverage for Broadband category.

“It was cool that Dan Rather handed us the award. He is a traditional journalist and he handed us a non-traditional journalism award” Steve told me as we celebrated briefly over the phone today. Steve had the opportunity to meet Rather before the award ceremony after a perfect stranger (a woman of course) tied his bow tie for him.

“I’m pretty sure that he (Rather) did not know how to pronounce the name of our paper’s website” Steve said. Rather opened the envelope and pulled it farther from his face and attempted to say freep.com. “Six others from the paper stood up, with me as I buttoned the top two buttons on my Tuxedo” Steve said.

The rest is history.

The paper was nominated for three Emmy’s total “We were up against some pretty tough competition” Steve told me. That competition included The Washington Post, National Geographic, PBS, etc. Here is a List of the Emmy nominations
The Results as reported by The Detroit Free Press.

Steve and I have been praying these verses in Psalm 37 for years as we have ventured down this path of visual storytelling with the vision and dream that our work would be a conduit and catalyst for people to somehow encounter God. Emmy recognition or not God has been working through our prayers.

See video series here

One of my favorite videos within the series that Steve produced.

Many congratulations to Steve for his fine video and production work that helped make this story so powerful. Steve, you are truly a great photographer and more importantly a great man .

-Garrett.

***
This is a photograph I took of Steve in June 2007 while we were at his parents house in West Virginia for some reconnect and relaxation time. This was right after he and Brian Kaufman (another gifted Visual Journalist who also works at The Detroit Free Press) spoke to a group of non-profit leaders about the role of multimedia in furthering their mission. Steve is a busy man.

September 24, 2007
24 Sep 2007

Heroes After War


Heroes After War
“The sports page records people’s accomplishments, the front page usually records nothing, but man’s failures.”
-Barbara Walters

On Thursday September 20, 2007 Barbara was wrong. I think the 4.4 million people who saw my photograph and those who read the article would agree that she was wrong…at least for a day.

The story centered around soldiers tales of coping with sacrificial heroism. It focused on the impact that selfless sacrifice had on surviving soldiers. Some saw their peers cover up live grenades with their own bodies in an attempt to contain the blast. I cannot imagine what survivor’s guilt is like.

My good friend Deron immediately thought of the film Saving Private Ryan when I told him about the story. The film opens and closes with an elderly man who toward the end of his life travels to a headstone at Arlington Cemetery asking if his life was worth it. The actor was kneeling above the grave of one man who sacrificed his life for the man during World War II. “I tried to be a good man” he says with his face in his hands, weeping, at the end of the film.

My photograph is of a soldier, hero and survivor–with shrapnel wounds and all. It was a gift for me to meet and photograph you Jeffery. Thank you.

There is a long list of local freelancers and I was called for this assignment. Only the second assignment from that particular section (news) in three months. It was a blessing that I was chosen for this assignment. Not just because it went on A1 but because of the content of the story. There are no coincidences in life.

I encourage you to read the full story in USA TODAY.

September 22, 2007
22 Sep 2007

Our House


Our House
Our house
, in the middle of our street
Our house it has a crowd
There’s always something happening
And it’s usually quite loud

“I totally forgot your address. So I just drove around the streets using my nose to lead the way” the ever-affable Andy said proudly. “Once I smelled the BBQ, I popped my head over the fence and asked if Jeff & Garrett lived here. Seriously–you can ask them over there.”

Others said they smelled brownies. So what exactly was I cooking on the 4912 grill? Beef & Poultry. I promise. I had some help from Jennifer too. I believe Heidi was responsible for the sweet brownie aroma drifting through our house. It was cookies she was making by the way. If you missed them, I’m very sorry.

I really enjoyed having everyone at our house to celebrate Tim & Jordan’s engagement along with my birthday and Jeff’s birthday. Thank you for contributing to Jennifer’s Uganda fund. Everyone helped raise over $100. She will be serving there for a whole year beginning in 2008. If you still want to contribute, please contact Jeff.

Thank you for the pies, cookies, salmon, cheese, crazy photo booth poses, dishes, fighting the awful traffic (Justin especially), coolers, drinks, ketchup, sangria, and especially the birthday cards 🙂

If you are looking for our fabulous photo booth pictures, please go to this page. You can slideshow the images via the slideshow button in upper right corner of the page. If you want any prints just let me know and I’ll order them for you and give them to you the next time I see you. I’ve also enabled sharing of the original file so you can download the monstrous thirteen megapixel file. To do so click on the desired photo and then click on the “get original uploaded photo” link below each photograph. Just make sure the photo credit goes to “4912 🙂

The photo booth idea came from my good friend and outstanding photographer Robert Caplin
who set one up at his graduation party. I think I’ll start setting those up at the weddings I shoot.

blessings my dear friends!

September 21, 2007
21 Sep 2007

Zoo Station

Zoo Station
I’m ready for the shuffle
Ready for the deal
Ready to let go of the steering wheel

****
A tradition has formed.

I recently celebrated a birthday. As with every birthday in the past three years, my amazing mom has come out to visit me wherever I am living in the country. The past few years she came to beautiful Naples, FL. At the time I was working at a great visual paper called the Naples Daily News.

This year she came to visit me for a whole week here in Washington, D.C. Well Arlington, VA actually but everyone prefers to say “D.C.” Maybe because everyone knows where it is. However…I think that more likely than not we say it because makes us sound important by association. I mean–we all must be “important” here because we live near our nation’s capital–right? Guilty as charged.

My mom and I have a running joke that she always brings the hot weather with her. Hot spells whenever she is visiting me. Three-years straight! I’m moving this idea from the unproven nature of postulation into the non-committal territory of theory. Watch out relativity!

I was able to re-schedule an assignment from The Washington Post and take my birthday off. My mom and I went to the National Zoo. Our favorite area by far was the bird and aviary sections. My mom told me she got her love of birds from her father and her grandmother.

“Well aren’t you a social one” a zoo volunteer murmured to the bird. Dressed in a drab blue zoo fatigue she half-noticed the presence of humans observing her dialogue with the cariama cristata (Red-Legged Seriema to us common folk). She continued jotting notes on her official and worn metal clipboard. Engrossed in her notebook I watched her pencil making what must have been check marks of monumental importance. She barely looked up to respond to my inquiry about the social nature of the bird.

She is very social she said with a smile and moved along to more bird monitoring.

****

Beware: I may be sharing my National Zoo birthday photos for a while here.

February 13, 2007
13 Feb 2007

The Preamble

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