Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pssst.....wanna buy a temple book?

Hey you!  Over there...wanna buy a temple book?  I have been serving on a church committee since January that is putting together the approved commemorative book of the story and photographs of the Kansas City Temple.  The website went live today.  Check it out.

Unless something more amazing comes along, this is slated to be the cover.  A professional named Nathan Gifford (photo jedi master....check out his site.... and I shot it together the other night.  I would not recommend scaling a rock wall in the dark....just sayin'.

It is a true labor of love and I know with all my heart it is the work I have been recently honored to do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I need a nap.

Dear Self:

Val, you need a nap. 

Too bad you lost your journal on your whirlwind trip to Utah last fall and you could add all this to it.  Life is good though, because you did score yourself a coupon at the Staples to buy a new one...but it isn't quite the same.  :)

That said, without going into the details (who doesn't love to hear the juicy details of Val's life.....oh wait, Mr. Fun!)  suffice it to say that come July, you are going to need a nap. 

And a housecleaner.

Actually the housekeeper we could use THIS morning, since the raccoons got on the trash bags on the porch last night and the house smells like Hawaiian BBQ (those were super yummy ribs....shout out to Greg L!) for the small (50) gathering after the Tallant's Lovefest yesterday.

It is true.  They are loved

And there is trash on the porch.

To make a long story short, which is too bad because I even have pictures to go with it, Hot Rod Rock Star of the Northland, Dave, and his super-duper-cooooolest-futrure-bridesmaid-there-will-ever-be according to The Girl, Carol, went to the new Kansas City Temple (first Saturday it was opened for business) and were sealed (in their case, basically renewed their wedding vows--just for eternity).  Or as some water aerobic participant called it-- "strapped." 

It was a heavenly day.

And I was glad to be a part of it.

One more thing....

for those of you who wonder if those we love who die still exsist and are near us after this life,
the answer is yes.  :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pssst.... I have a secret.

Thank you for the beautiful pictures of the temple.  We are using them at the end of the program.  Originally we wanted to 'create' a temple on the arena floor, but as the numbers of youth grew we tossed that idea out the window and now we are creating it visually - with the Temple Chaser photos. It is really cool to see the progression from bare field to beautiful edifice!  It will be unforgettable. 

This is a note I received from the LDS Church Cultural Celebration committee.  The photographs I have been taking for the Temple Chasers Blog for almost two years as a gift for my "sister" Cheryl Kanenwisher will be used for the closing of the program.  There will be 13,000 in the arena (including the president of the Mormon Church) as well as thousands who will watch it over braodcast through the 12 stake, multiple state midwest region.

A Cultural Celebration is where the youth (ages 12-18) of the area that the temple will be serving get together and put on a theater production of the history of that area.  This group for our region is 3,000 kids strong.  They have been practicing for months now.  They have learned dances and songs.  Read about the outline here:
These are notes that I took at the orientation meeting in February.

The official website is:

You can learn about all the nitty gritty details of what this will really look like.  It promises to be a great experience. 

3,000 kids singing about doing good?  Can't wait.
So, how do I feel about this?

The first thing I thought was "Seth has to do this.  He will get to be in the presence of the prophet of the church.  Come hell or high water (as my mother says), he has to do this."  And when I say prophet, yep, I mean THAT know, the Moses kind. 

Can you say "prophet" and "hell" in the same sentence?  :)

Everything has been arranged.  He is so sick again that he will not be on the stage.  He will be a backstage crew.  The committee has worked hard to include everyone who wants to participate, even those kiddos with cognitive struggles like Downs or Autism.  I appreciate that as a mother of a boy who strives to live an everyday normal life and usually fails.
The picture thing?  That is harder to put into words.

The first thing you need to know about the LDS Church is they are not about giving or getting individual credit. 

Mr. Fun worked in the church's Family History department many years ago.  And he rode the bus to and from work.

While riding the bus, he invented a revolutionary way to view massive amounts of data called a "viewer."  I even remember the paper diagram he drew out on and showed to me.

The Church ran with his idea, and it became the norm of data viewing across family history not only at the LDS Church but professionally world wide. 

And you will not see his name in a single place.

I imagine that this photograph presentation will be pretty much the same.  I am sure that that my name will not be found anywhere Saturday night.

And I am ok with that.

There is one way, though, that this makes me a bit sad. 

Not for the credit.  Not for the praise. 

As soon as the temple is dedicated on Sunday, I feel like the "call" I have had to shoot its pictures has come to an end.  I will still go over on great sunset nights (Angel Macaroni/Moroni would miss me).  I will visit it (but on the inside, where it is air conditioned and heated....a chance from these last couple years).  I will always feel a bond to it.  A bond that only few can understand. 

That is what happens when you serve something so faithfully. 

Especially without being humans anyway. 

I went because I felt that the voice of God asked me to go....and as evidenced by some pretty neat moments over there, I must have heard right.

The ONLY reason I am a little bummed that folks will not know those are my pictures is that I am starting a new church photography project.

It is called "The Mini Mission." 

It is a tale for another time soon, but the bottom line is that I am going to retrace the steps down to the calendar day of my great grand uncle who was a called photography missionary for the LDS Church in 1907-1908. 

There is a lovely little coffee table book in circulation, complete with his photographs and the journal he kept.  The journal my great-grandmother gave him to use on his mission.

I am going to follow his mission and journal my year and a half as well.  I have posted one entry...

Wanna come along?

For those of you who will see the temple photos on Saturday night, whether in the Municple Auditorium or over broadcast, know that most of those lovely pictures were shot in my house coat or shorts from a little 16 year old, rusty teal-colored truck.  Just keepin' me and it real, folks.  :)