LGBT+ Pride Month - Thank You

I am so grateful for all of the people that were involved with the Pride Month series. There are so many stories that people have to tell and I could do this series every day for the rest of my life and not hear them all. Pride means something so uniquely different to each and every person. If I talked to 1000 different people I would get 1000 different stories. Each and everyone of them so unique to each person.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Sean Baugh

When I decided to to this series, Sean was at the top of the list of people I wanted to get involved. His dedication to the men of the chorale, his love of music, and obsession for Funyuns, diet DrPepper, and wine are just a sliver of attributes that endears him to me. I was thrilled when he agreed to share his time with me to be part of this project.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Jeanne Rubin

Jeanne Rubin is was among the first people that I knew I was going to ask to be involved in this series. She has her thumb on the pulse of the LGBTQ+ community and is heavily involved. Her many many years with GALA North Texas has made her an invaluable asset to the betterment of so many LGBTQ+ lives.

As I have come to know Jeanne better since meeting her she is truly an inspiration for what it means to be present and make sure that the fight for equality is not allowed to be silenced.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Paige Dixon

Paige Dixon is simply an amazing person. Having served in the military she is now running for Texas House District 65. That’s just what she fills her time with when she isn’t being a dedicated and amazing mother.

Paige is a very driven ally of the LGBTQ+ community. She is passionate about the equal rights of all people and has a compassion that I have seen in only a handful of people in my life. It was my honor to have Paige come in and be part of this project.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Bob McCranie

Bob is very vocal in his fight for housing equality for all. As of the time of this article there are still no national protections against housing discrimination toward members of the LGBTQ+ community. You can literally be denied the purchase of a house or loan just because of the way you love. Bob is a voice for equality when working with the Texas Realtors and National Association of Realtors to bring awareness of why these protections are so important.

LGBT+ Pride Month - BJ Cleveland

If you are not familiar with BJ Cleveland, then you have been missing out on someone truly special in this world. He is the definition of charisma and pleasantness. When I first sat down and started putting the idea of this project together his was at the top of my list of people I would be reaching out to. I was thrilled when he said yes!

I have known BJ for several years and he is a staple of the Dallas theatre scene. Most prominently known by many for his contributions at Uptown Players as both an actor and a director. I was able to secure a bit of his busy time to come together and find out what Pride Month means to him.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Candace Valenzuela

Candace is one of those people that when you talk with her you feel like she truly cares about what you have to say. So many people fake niceties and you can tell they are not really invested in knowing anything about you. That couldn’t be further from what it is like when talking to Candace. She has a loving heart, and having her as an ally to help fight the battle for LGBTQ+ equality and justice is phenomenal.

When I decided to do this project I knew that I needed to have the voice of allies as well as those that are members of the community. Candace was the first person that I thought of when I was trying to figure out who to ask to be part of this.

LGBT+ Pride Month - Tim Seelig

Pride has many different emotional meanings to everyone, because everyone has a unique story that is all their own. In this video series I sat down with various prominent figures in the community both LGBT+ and allies to hear their story and what Pride means to them.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr Tim Seelig, while he was visiting Dallas, to talk about what Pride Month means to him, and why it’s important.

Light: An ever present but often overlooked presence

We go about our lives everyday and never really give a second thought to the power of light. With and adjustment of light we can create a mood of happiness, sadness, dread, excitement, and any slew of emotions that we are aiming for. Yet, we don't really stop to think about it. We move about our days and know that it is present, but don't stop to think about how it really effects us. You can take the exact same path to work day in and day out for years and just a change in the lighting can change how we feel about our day. Sure there are other factors that can attribute to this as well, but light is more powerful that we realize.

When I photograph people I shape my lights to tell a story. I can make a corporate CEO look powerful and domineering, or kind and approachable. I can make a room look happy and inviting or gloomy and full of despair. This powerful tool is the cornerstone for a photographer. Knowing how to control it and shape it is what can set an amateur apart from a master. I take great care when I am shaping my light to ensure that I am creating the correct mood intended for the message that I want the image to portray. 

This is something you can test for yourself. When you're at home how do you normally light your rooms? Do you keep them all on full blast, or do you only turn on a few accent lights? Without realizing it we are creating the atmosphere to influence our emotions, and energy. Another way to see this effect is visit a park on a bright sunny day and take note of how you feel. Then visit that same location on an overcast day. How has your mood been altered?

It is important when you are designing the lighting for your life, be that at work, home, or anywhere that you have control over how the lighting is setup to pay attention to this. How you setup the lighting will directly influence how you feel; full of energy or tired, happy or melancholy.