Photographic Artists Stop Time
In June of 1968 I was an English major on summer break from UNC Chapel Hill looking for work. Thinking I could maybe put a couple of sentences together I applied for a job at the Robesonian, the Lumberton daily newspaper. I intervied Penn Gray, city editor, and old time photographer. He gruffly told me, lookingn over his glasses that I had a job. He also wanted to know if I could take a picture. I had to say I had no experience. But as he shoved an old twin lens camera into my hands he said, "We'll teach you." And that they did. After a few hours learning f-stops and apertures and film speed and the basic techniques, I got to take a few pictures and develop them in the paper's old stinky darkroom. Later in the week I was given the assignment of photographing the Lumberton High cheerleading squad for the sports page. They exuded all their vibrance and charm and I trapped their beauty in my little magic black box. It was then that the true magic of photography hit me. It was a calling to an art that could stop the hands of time, take a slice out of life and preserve it fresh for the ages. Those prints are probably in a frame, or in someone's drawer or in a box, waiting for someone to notice a beautiful teenager from days gone by. photography became a calling, an art, something I felt I was put on the earth to do--I couldn't NOT do it. So, after over 500 weddings, too many families, children, seniors and events to count; after three studios and several color labs, I have opted now to run a less frantic studio. Rodney Horne and I concentrate on bringing our hightest talents and skills to each assignment, taking the time and effort to deliver the best that is in us and not quit until we have something exceptional. We want to help our clients decorate their walls with timeless art made with pigment and canvas in tribute to their most cherished loved ones, their families. Sometimes when I pass fine homes I wonder if when the inhabitants furhished those homes with fine tables, chairs sofas and accessories, did they spare no expense or effort to decorate their walls with artistic likenesses of the members of their family. Did they make the effort to bring their loved ones together and choose an artist would could best stop the hands of time when the moment came for his shutter to fly. Those that do not arrange these momentus occasions say that they always meant to. I could not begin to tell you how many people who see one of our artistic framed family wall portraits or senior portlraits or baby or bridal portraits on canvas, and say, "Oh how I wish I had had one of those done when my chilren were younger." All that I am left to say is, "Well, what about your grandchildren?"
A Robeson County poet once wrote: "When I'm at the end, and my days are near gone; the thoughts that will bring the most sorrow; are of things intended to be done today but at last put off 'till tomorrow." The moving finger writes and having writ moves on; nor all our wit nor piety can call it back to cancel half a line nor all our tears wash out a word of it.
If the house were on fire What is important? Furnish your walls. The hours perish and are laid at our door. If not now, when? Call for your appointment.