Open Letter to a Young Lady Who Supports Phil Robertson

I don’t get political here, or anywhere online as a general rule. And this is really not political, or social, commentary I’m going for here today.

You see, NOTHING has bothered me about the Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) controversy except for one thing … the comments I see from one person, very near and dear to me, in support of the reality television star.

This young lady is someone I know to be loving, giving, compassionate and beautiful inside and out. And she is young. And I don’t think she realizes, yet, what exactly she is doing, saying, creating with these very public comments.

So I’m going to tell a story.

There was once a young lady, very much like you. She was very committed, dedicated to her church and her faith. She had strong opinions. The whole LGBT question was simply not “a thing” then but she was such a hard-liner on such a great number of other issues it wasn’t hard to tell where she would stand.

There was a young man, and no, they were not seeing each other. He was a friend. A wonderful, amazing person. Talented, funny, intelligent. The greatest friend a girl could have. Would give you the shirt off his back.

He was also gay.

This story doesn’t end in tragedy as many have done. The young man simply disappeared one day. The young lady learned that he had moved to a big city to get away from the uncomfortableness he felt in a small town. She heard this second hand. The young man simply left, stopped being her friend.

You see, he KNEW that she would not tolerate the way he was choosing to live his life.

He was wrong. Completely. Because this young man was honestly one of the best friends this young lady ever had. Hardly a week goes by that she doesn’t think of him and wish there had been some way to maintain a relationship.

It was entirely her fault. There was no door she left open, no hint that a person who was gay could possibly befriend her, could believe she would love and accept him.

She has not made that mistake since.

Do you know who around you is gay? Do you? I didn’t. Your mom didn’t. Do you know who will suddenly move to California after high school? Who will find a larger city that offers some level of comfort for them? What fantastic person will say goodbye (or never say goodbye), move away from the South and never look back?

My heart for you is to have no regrets. Of course that will not happen. Regrets are a part of life. But the kind of big regret that can never be repaired, the rift in a friendship that can never be made right … I don’t wish that for you.

My heart for you is that you would put FIRST — as Jesus did — the very Christlike quality of compassion, and weigh all of your words and actions against that difficult standard. It’s EASY to post “you are sinful” all over Facebook when you think everyone around you believes the same thing. Don’t do the easy thing. Do the HARD thing, because that is what Christ calls us to do. Stand up and say, “I think it’s far more sinful to preach and model hatred and fear.” Because it is.

My heart for you is that you would be — as Christ is, as Jesus in his life on earth embodied — a refuge for friends who feel discarded, disregarded and marginalized by the rest of society. That you would be the kind of person who can be an example of Christ’s love that cannot be dismissed, ever, even by the hardcore atheist. I know you have it in you!

None — ZERO — of what Phil Robertson said is compassionate. I’m not going to say he isn’t a compassionate person — I have no idea. But what he said had absolutely none of the qualities of compassion and love that Christ asks us to exhibit — to make the first and foremost qualities in our lives and our relationships with others.

I say it again: Who around you is gay? You don’t know? You say no one? You are wrong then. Someone is. Someone on your Facebook friends list is gay, and hiding it. I guarantee it. Someone is cringing and hating themselves every time you post a comment. Possibly someone at this very moment — someone you KNOW — is considering suicide because it seems that everyone around them believes they are a worthless human being. Because of the comments you and so many others posted in support of a person you DO NOT KNOW.

Put yourself in that person’s place (it really is what Jesus would want!!) Think how you would feel if you were hiding something like this, and suddenly everyone around you was saying things that made you believe they would no longer love you if they found out your secret.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But, the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13

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Moved

Michelle Posey Photography’s blog has moved. For new posts and updated photos, go here:

http://michelleposeyphoto.com/blog

Old posts will still be available here on WordPress as well as on the new blog, but updated content will be hosted on my own domain, so I can post more and better photos.

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Home Grown Tomatoes

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Wedding Photojournalism?

In search of inspiration for my website update, I did a quick Google search for “wedding photojournalism” the other day.

It was surprising. The two concepts of “Wedding” and “Photojournalism” have been, well, married, for quite a while now. Yet most people still seem to be unsure what this relationship is supposed to be. There is a lot of misinformation about what wedding photojournalism is and what wedding photojournalists do.

Wedding photojournalism implies not just a style of photos, but a different way of taking photos — an all-around different approach to photographing a wedding. Whereas most traditional wedding photographers do a lot of directing and posing of photos, wedding photojournalists get the best photos from events as they unfold naturally, without doing much directing, if any. Photojournalists are practiced in the art of getting great photos without attracting attention. The best of them fade into the wallpaper and get awe-inspiring photos of the most personal, emotional moments of life.

I think this makes a difference in three ways: you have a different experience on your wedding day, you have different photos, and you have a different album.

On your wedding day, you can expect that a wedding photojournalist will keep posing to a minimum. Of course, there will be the group photos (it’s a myth that wedding photojournalists do not shoot these photos) but beyond that you can expect that the photographer will be close to you, following you and shooting photos, but not telling you what to do. Almost every couple I have worked for has said “It was so relaxing working with you,” or some variation on that theme. While I’d like to think that this is a sign of my amazing personality, I have to admit that it’s more likely the style I choose to shoot: a style that frees the couple up to just enjoy their day and not worry too much about the photos.

Which brings me to the photos. You don’t have to pose for them, but you give up something, right? Actually, no. When people are having fun and enjoying themselves, they take better photos. Given the choice between posed photos and natural photos (I have been known to sometimes pose a couple of photos!) couples usually choose the natural photos, hands down. So even when I am shooting portraits, many times I try to get the subject to laugh, to have fun, to play or dance around. When you and your guests are simply having fun, the most beautiful photos result, as long as you have someone around who knows how to spot and capture those impromptu moments!

Most wedding photojournalists also take lots of different photos, from the hair salon in the morning to the sleeping children at the reception. When I’m shooting a wedding, I never stop looking for photos, which means the photos I send my clients go way beyond any shot list. After all, who would think to put “four year old ring bearer break dancing” on a shot list?

This photo of flower girls following the bride around holding her train was the result of continually looking for sweet moments during the wedding day. The photo was taken as the wedding party was walking back to the reception after taking group photos, normally a time that a photographer would expect nothing of importance to be happening.

This photo of flower girls following the bride around holding her train was the result of continually looking for sweet moments during the wedding day. The photo was taken as the wedding party was walking back to the reception after taking group photos, normally a time that a photographer would expect nothing of importance to be happening.

And of course, the photos are the key ingredients in the album. Sorry, album designers, but I have to say it. Photos, not backgrounds, not layouts, not fancy picture shapes or frilly borders. Photos are the main event, and if you don’t have great photos, no amount of PhotoShopping or fancy wrapping paper-looking background is going to save that puppy.

Just recently I decided to include albums with all of my packages because I felt that, if you are going to have storytelling photos, you should be able to have them in a book. But I believe the opposite is true as well. If you are going to spring for a gigantic wedding album, then you should have a story (in photos) to make it worth your while.

Next post: More Wedding Photojournalism Myths: Exposed!

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Happy Birthday!

I’ve been hard at work on a bride’s album and my website, and so I’m just now getting a chance to post photos of beautiful Avery taken at Burns Park a couple of weeks ago. I had fun shooting photos of her just before she celebrated her fifth birthday at the park. It was awesome … I got a chance to play!

Avery’s cousins joined her toward the end of the session for some sweet photos of all three girls.

(Sharing her sno cone with mom.)

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Tribute Time

My tribute to Farrah Fawcett, who, sadly, lost her battle with cancer today.

I had a great bride and a great group of bridesmaids who wanted to do something fun, so we did a Charlie’s Angels pose. I’m sure none of these young women were even born when Charlie’s Angels originally aired, but it’s nice to see that the legacy survives.

And, not to leave anyone out, my tribute to Michael Jackson:

Bridesmaids dance to Thriller by Michael Jackson

Bridesmaids dance to "Thriller" by Michael Jackson

I’m almost sure none of these young women were born when “Thriller” first came out in 1983, but they sure knew the moves from the music video. Whatever you may think of either of these stars, it is certain that their legacy survives and transcends generations.

It’s just a coincidence that I have two different photos from two different weddings that reference the two famous people who died today. I really don’t do a star tribute with every wedding I shoot.

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So Pretty, I Had to Share

I didn’t do anything to the photo except add the watermark — it is straight out of the camera.

My husband gave me this miniature rose plant for our anniversary a couple of years ago. I call it the Lazarus plant because every time I think it’s dead, it manages to come back to life again.

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