I still venture beyond the doors of the studio to photograph in beautiful and sometimes unusual places. This adventure is not one that will be soon forgotten. I met a group of photographers in this abandoned church in Detroit for a very unique photographic experience.
These creative projects are usually good for my soul, but this particular adventure left me with a deep sadness in the pit of my stomach. The beauty of the church juxtaposed with the destruction and decay weighed on me. It was a rainy day, and as water seeped through the walls and dripped into the sanctuary, it felt like the building itself was weeping.
After researching the history of the building, I discovered it was built in the 1930s, but in the 1980s it was sold to a new congregation, and it was already in decline. It was then broken into and set on fire. The doors were closed after the fire because the congregation did not have the funds to restore the building. Hymnals and choir robes were left in place, frozen in time, because no one realized they would never return to claim their belongings.
I don't know if the sadness I felt was over the loss of the beautiful church and its community and the defamation of a sacred space, or I was experiencing the deep grief and anguish of people that have taken refuge inside after its doors were closed.
Either way, I am breathing into all of the aching places and remembering that the more I feel, the more I can pour into my craft, and the more resonate and alive my work becomes.
Not just for me, but also for you. When I can sit with your loss, your grief, your laughter, your love and weave all of this into a single portrait, magic happens.
To all of you that step in front of my camera, you lift me up. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the same for you.
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