Beauty in black and white

“When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.” -Ted Grant

This morning I completed (for now, at least) a display of photos at the Cianfrani coffee shop on the square in Georgetown.  You should go see them!  Since most of my time photography-wise is spent taking and editing work for clients, I loved the opportunity to revisit some of my work that simply came from my love of travel and people and beauty.   In particular, I fell in love again with a few black and white photos from over the years that I wanted to share.  The first, I took at a 70th wedding anniversary party in Austin.  Last year I won Southwestern University's Brown Symposium photo contest on conversation with the photo and still love the connection you can see between these old friends.

The photo of the soldier is from Munich, where I traveled with my family and brother's soccer team in 2008.  Since I had only had my Canon Rebel Xti for a month or two, I can definitively point to that trip as the first time I really fell in love with light.  I was so blessed to have Michael O'Brien offer his wisdom about photography and life during the long bus rides through Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic and take so much inspiration from the way that he relates deeply with everyone he photographs.

The slightly creepy old house sits just off of Highway 29, east of Georgetown.  Every time I need to remove myself from the concrete and city life (it's a city compared to where I grew up, ok?), I drive out east and can lose myself for at least an hour exploring the country back roads.  This house is one of my favorite finds and I've photographed it several times.  One of the color prints is in Cianfrani, as well!

The last two are from my mission trip to Tanzania in 2010, an eye-opening trip in so many ways.  The poverty broke my heart and reshaped my view of the America Dream, as I expected.  What caught me off guard was how easily I could related to the joys and struggles of the people I met, despite our vastly different life experiences.  The children started off being super shy, but after we talked to them through our translator  and started to play games, they wanted to know everything about us and my fancy camera.  In a different village, I talked to this woman for a long time, hearing about her very hard and lonely life.  However, it was sad to see how she had turned in her loneliness to alcohol, the smell of which emanated from her strongly.  What was even more wrenching was the fact that I knew we were going to have to drive away and not have the chance to show her the love available to her, despite any tragedies in the past.  I'm so thankful I had a chance to connect with her even for that brief time, though, and capture a glimpse of her life in a photograph, which is essentially why I love each of these photos: they're a brief glimpse into another life, another time, another soul.