Nearly 71 years ago

I recently inherited 15 large boxes containing an estimated 23,000 slides.  Many were taken by my great-grandfather, Frank K. Stevens, but the vast majority were taken by my grandmother, Lydia Stevens Shepherd.  My plan is to work through the boxes in chronological order and share some of my favorites here as I go.  

These photos were included in my grandmother’s first box but were actually taken by her cousin, Frances Herrick.   Angleton TX,  April or May 1944


Nearly 71 years ago, my daddy looked like this:

That’s his youngest sister, Anne, and his cousin, Pat, hugging their Bubba.  Here’s Daddy’s other sister, Sarah:

Daddy (Edwin Jr./David/Bubba/Bub) was surrounded by girls during his growing up years.  With two sisters plus three (and later four) girl cousins just down the road, they were all raised practically as siblings and he was the lone boy.

It doesn’t seem to have scarred him.  Much.

And just like today’s family portrait sessions involving lots of kids, these little ones displayed unique personalities from the get-go.

In this particular set of sibling-cousin stairsteps, Daddy was second in line:  Betty A, David S, Nancy A, Sarah S, Anne S and Pat A.  He was about 6-1/2 when these shots were taken in 1944.

I like seeing the brown shoes I’ve heard Daddy tell stories about — the ones he grudgingly put on when leaving for school in the mornings, but then tucked up into a tree along his way there.  I like seeing his stick-straight hair combed down neatly, much like it still looks today only with a little gray mixed in.  I like seeing the tilt of his head, those big dark eyes, and that mischievous grin.  Seeing him at this age makes me think maybe his mom was right to say he was the most wonderful, most beautiful, most gifted boy in all the world.

I have found a treasure trove.

[…] through the earliest boxes of slides taken by my grandmother Lydia (my mom’s mother-in-law), I’ve been thrilled to find lots of great shots of young Jane. […]

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Something new

2014 ruined me for normal life.  I guess traveling around the country with folk rock stars will do that to you.  (If by some strange chance you don’t know which folk rock stars I’m talking about, ask me and I’ll be happy to fill you in.)

You can look at the scarcity of posts on this blog to see that my head just has not been in the game.  My body may have been here (sometimes), but my mind has been lalalaaaa

… and my heart has been pulled away toward an unmarked path.

I’ve tried taking it easy to see if that might help me regain focus …

… but I just long to be OUT THERE.  Doing what?  I can’t rightly say.  It is one great big mystery.

I feel like God is beckoning to me, calling, “Come!  There is more!  See what new thing I would like to do in and through you!”

I think perhaps He wants me to engage with people more and help them come to know how very wonderful He is.

There are so many details of His Creation that I have yet to see and ponder — surely that’s part of the tug as well.

But where to begin?  When to take a deep breath and try?  What to do exactly?  HOW, LORD?

Surely daybreak is coming soon and I will have enough Light to see by.

For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 NLT

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This scamp …

This scamp …

… took my picture today!   I was maroon-faced, sweat-soaked, hair slicked back, worn out after 5 hours of photographing lots of tiny dancers — none of that mattered when McKamey reached for my camera and said “PICTURE!”

She’s a fellow photographer, after all, and had been busy with her mom’s phone camera while waiting on me to get to her. Horses?  McKamey loves ’em to pieces and dragged me by the hand to the fence so they could be in her pictures too.

This is why I do what I do.  You have blessed me greatly, Lord, and I am thankful.

Be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Kerry - April 26, 2014 - 10:38 pm

She just has a way with people ~

Rachel Leist Cook - April 27, 2014 - 4:47 am

That little girl just makes my heart melts… she is so cute. God is is truly amazing. Angels like that have a special place in my heart.

Rachel Leist Cook - April 27, 2014 - 4:49 am

That little girl just makes my heart melts… she is so cute. God is truly amazing.

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Sunrise Alleluia

Is every sunrise this breathtakingly gorgeous?

I wouldn’t know because I typically sleep right through them.  Today I was up, though.  I was with my Friends at Surfside Beach, remembering that the tomb is empty and giving thanks for the great love of the Father.

Taking photos had not been part of the plan so my camera was left at home.  Who knew THIS would be waiting for me? Thank goodness for the iPhone in my pocket.

Not a lot of words were spoken.  Not many were needed.  The message was heard loud and clear throughout Creation.

Jesus is risen!  He is risen indeed!

One of our very youngest Friends had decided that this was the day he would join the Church through baptism.

What a day for a life commitment!

sonrise 7

What a memorable day to begin a journey of faith!


They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!  

Again He said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.”  

Then He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” 

John 20:20-22

Teressa Adrian - April 21, 2014 - 6:42 am

What a beautiful beginning to Easter worship. Tony is my grandson and what a blessing God has put in our life. The photos are beautiful.

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One Wonderfully Made Day

Each day tells a new story in the book that is your life.  Some of the stories are joyous, some are bittersweet, and some are comfortingly uneventful.

Do you keep mental snapshots of those days?  Would you like to also have photographs that document your stories?

One Wonderfully Made Day is a different kind of portrait session – one that aims to observe and capture the unique characters and true storyline of one day in your life.  Images are caught rather than posed.  Interactions are candid rather than orchestrated.  Ideally, the camera is ignored and the action simply unfolds.

You might want to use this session to have me capture treasured images of:

… a baby’s first trip to the beach

… a great-grandmother reading with your children

… a bedroom blanket fort-building adventure

… a hospital visit with a beloved family member or friend

… a dad teaching his son to change a carburetor

… a daughter’s pre-game ritual through after-game celebration

… a 90-year-old’s birthday gathering

… a marriage proposal extravaganza

… a farewell for someone heading into military service

… a quiet day at home, from breakfast preparations to bedtime tucking-in routine

one day footnote

What story can I transcribe for you with the help of my camera?  I can’t wait to find out!

One Wonderfully Made Day session pricing begins at $975 and includes an 8×8 image storybook.  Please contact me to discuss ideas and options.

Donna Bogema - March 30, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Good friend, great photographer–check it out.

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