Funny how life works. Meeting friends and friends of friends for drinks led to a lead of a local photographer who photographs special needs children. That's how I first met Nashville native Rebekah Pope in Fall 2008 when she did a portrait session with my daughter, who has autism. Little did I know then that my decade-long dream of writing and producing a coffee table book about families who live with autism would culminate in a "yes," after many polite rejections from other local photographers with whom I'd inquired the previous two years. A phone call to Rebekah, just before Christmas, that same year, led to a meeting in the new year of 2009. And, from that meeting sprung-forth, From Heartache to Hope:Middle Tennessee Families Living with Autism, which benefited the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee, and would set in motion a whirlwind project that produced a book and a video within an unheard of nine months from conception to printer. Eighteen Middle Tennessee families and nearly 40 volunteers came together to support myself, Rebekah, publisher Tim Fields of Fields Publishing, Inc., and designer Mary Sweeney of mSweeney design.
While Rebekah's bread and butter is child and family portraiture, this, below, is where her passion penetrates her camera lens. I am blessed to have come to know and befriend this quiet woman, so opposite of me in personality. Rebekah is also a woman of deep kindness and possesses great reservoirs of earnest, sincere Christian faith. And, she actually lives out that faith. I am proud to call her a colleague and friend and share again here with you her work.
This image above was photographed in Warsaw. Rebekah will be exhibiting additional black & white photos taken during recent years in various international locations plus the American West. The photos were each hand-printed in the traditional wet darkroom on silver gelatin fiber-based paper. (Can you say "lost art?") Says Rebekah: "What pulls all the different images together is my style of imagery which is more pictoral, soft imagery."
See Rebekah's work, once again, at the Gordon Jewish Community Center, in west Nashville, Thursday, June 2, 7-9 p.m. Joining Rebekah in this exhibit are artists Mark Shinkarev and Kristen Llamas. (Rebekah and I participated in two From Heartache to Hope related events at the GJCC where new-ish gallery director, artist, performer friend Carrie Mills is rocking the place with visual art each month!)