Monday, March 31, 2008

The Rutherford Fam

These are the various members of the Rutherford family at Vivian Park just past Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.

i had seen some cool pictures of a train car on another photographer's site (Kate Benson) and inquired where they were taken and Kate, the photographer, was nice enough to tell me. Granted, i think she may be tired of my questions now. But i think a lot of being a "good" photographer is knowing where those good spots are.

I have known Kari for quite some time - since i was a junior and maybe even part of my sophomore year in high school in Irvine, Ca. So that must have been the 1993-1995 time frame or something. That may not seem like a long time to know someone for most people, but for us army brats that's a long time to stay in touch with someone. Now that i think of it, she's probably my second longest friend. (That sounds like something one torturer would say to another during the height of the Inquisition). Sure there are lots of people i've known for longer, but none really other than one that i still keep in regular touch with. So thanks for being such a good and long-lasting friend Kari!

So those of you who know Kari very well (which would probably be no one who is reading my blog) might be wondering how i met Kari in Irvine, CA if she was living in Orem. Well, i'll tell you, even though you probably already know - but hey, wouldn't it be boring to just have all these pictures and no text? No? Oh, well - too bad.

Sometime during my Sophomore year i think i met and started dating Jenna Olson from Valencia, CA. I met her at a Church dance somewhere - they were a big deal back then, i think my friends and i went to a church dance every week, and they were HUGE! i was about to give you the whole story, but then i realized i could be held liable for the drool-damage to your keyboard. Suffice it to say that Kari is Jenna's cousin. When i moved to Utah from California, Kari was kind enough to let me road trip with her back to see Jenna. I still remember that road trip, it was pretty fun - and i think it may have been one of my first road trips with a friend vs. family.

Anyway, fun road trip and all that it was, i believe in some way it may have been the beginning of the end of my relationship with Jenna. i'm still not 100% sure how or why, but i'm pretty sure that any girl that reads this will shake their head at me for how obvious it must have been. I'm sure it was my fault and i still kick myself to this day - no wait, that's Jen kicking me. Ow, stop it.

We took these pics the day before Easter, and i had hoped it would be a nice warm day, but of course it wasn't. It was plenty sunny - really too sunny for the pictures i wanted to take, but it was really cold. It was kind of tough to take family pictures because the kids didn't want to take off their coats, which was quite understandable, there was no way i was taking mine off. And even with coats on, some of them just weren't too excited to be there. (That's why there are no solo pictures of the front of Elijah).

Although Elijah wasn't too enthusiastic about pictures in the cold, as you can see, Ally was a trooper! She even took her coat off for a few pics! Even with little smudges on her cheeks from keeping herself amused she was super cute and photogenic.

If you would like to see more of the pictures from this shoot please visit my website here. Oh, and i'd be remiss if i didn't mention my wonderful assistant for that day: my wonderful wife. She volunteered to accompany and assist me for the afternoon and was invaluable. She had lots of picture ideas and was a great reflector holder.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gifts From God

Well, i'm not sure if anyone still checks this blog - can't say that i would blame anyone for having given up. But when i'm posting my own pictures, or pictures that i took for myself vs. a client, it takes me a really long time to go through them and pick my favorites; Which is probably pretty obvious considering how many pictures i usually post at a time. But hey, i figure posting 10 or even 20 pictures out of a couple hundred (or thousand) isn't too bad. It's especially hard to virtually discard images (by not posting them) because even though some of them might stink, i like them all.

But when the pictures are for someone else, i like to think i do a reasonable job of getting them posted in a timely manner - at least relatively speaking.

Photographing nature, and the outdoors in general has kind of always been my passion. I've always felt that nature, this world, and all the beauty in it must be God's greatest gift to us. The beauty of nature has always been one of the primary pillars of my belief in God.

And although i still believe that, every time i see an infant i can't help but think that perhaps life, specifically as it is found in babies and children in general is His greatest gift to us. And thus the miracle of life and children represents another significant pillar of my belief in an Eternal Nature of Life.

But of course what would life be (to me, at least) without this beautiful world to enjoy; and not only enjoy, but to share with loved ones?

And so it's ironic that while on the one hand the gift of life reinforces my belief in God, nothing shakes my faith so hard as when it is taken back. He doesn't even have to take it back, just the threat makes my faith tremble. And never more so then when children are concerned - God's most innocent and precious gifts.
For those of you that don't already know, this is Grace, my newest niece; and the only niece from my side of the family. She was born to my youngest sister, Alysia, and her husband, Topher on the 18th of March. We knew well before her birth that her heart was not fully developed and that she would require extensive medical assistance after her birth. The full details are available here on Alysia and Topher's Blog.

My sister and her husband have been incredibly brave and their faith has been an example to everyone around them. And of course baby Grace is beautiful.

And although she's so beautiful it's so hard to go and see her hooked to so many machines with her life in such a delicate balance.

These pictures were taken before she was put on the respirator and my heart sank each time i saw her little face wrinkle up in what could only have been pain at so much discomfort. As much as i love to see her and hopefully through my touch and voice be of some comfort to her, a part of me shrinks from having to witness so much pain subjected to one so unworthy of it.

And of course, as with just about every sorrow i encounter, i can't help but wonder why God would allow this. But in most cases i'm eventually able to see that most sorrow is a result of our choices - even innocent ones.

I understand that while it wouldn't necessarily be difficult, per se, for God to stop "bad people" from doing bad things to "good people", it would be difficult for Him to accomplish His greater purposes if He was always stepping in to intervene.

And i suppose i can even understand that the simple choice to climb a mountain or go snowshoeing, or even drive to work accepts a cetain amount of natural risk. A risk we somehow overcome by thinking it can't happen to us or by simply weighing it against the alternative which would be to sit in a padded room for the rest of my life.

As much as i want my family and specifically my children to be safe, i could never take away from them the opportunity to experience all the wonderful aspects of life simply because something bad could happen - although i must admit i'm tempted occasionally.

But i can't even begin to understand how God could give such precious and innocent gifts to only take them back so quickly when the only choice i can see is His. But i suppose if i understood everything then i'd be God and what kind of Universe would that be?

Well, i should probably stop, although i doubt anyone is still reading. i'd like to say that at least this experience makes me more greatful for the life and family that does surround me - and i suppose it does a little, but at the same time it scares me more for the safety of my family. Especially when i realize there are so many things out of my control and it seems like God is so, well, unfair.

What more can i say then that your prayers in her behalf will be greatly appreciated. i hope she gets to stick around with us for quite some time yet - besides, her cousins wouldn't think it fair if she didn't get subjected to the same harassment as them by their uncle.