The images in our Signature Gallery are the heart and soul of our collection, and they are featured prominently at all of our shows. These photographs include our personal favorites, the images that our clients love best and work that consistently garners praise from festival jurors and judges.
Going back many generations, Russell’s ancestors helped to settle the Lehi Valley in Utah. Although at some point the family ceased to be active members of the Mormon church, certain stories continued to flow from one generation to the next. Lehi’s dream is one such story. It is said that Lehi dreamt of a path with a sturdy rail leading to a radiant tree. This wondrous Tree of Life represented salvation, and by holding fast to the rail of faith one could avoid the pits of temptation and despair. When Russell’s mother would tell him this story, the tree represented the deepest dreams of his heart, and by holding fast to the rails he would surely reach the Tree of Life, his very reason for being. Although Lark has been gone for many years, this pastoral scene in Kentucky immediately reminded Russell of his mother and her belief in the power of dreams and perseverance.
Freedom Is Not Free
Of all the photographs in our booth, this is the most emotionally evocative. Veterans and the children of veterans often stand before it, sometimes silently, sometimes spilling out memories and stories. The 19 stainless steel statues in this monument represent a squad on patrol, and the soldiers are drawn from each branch of the armed forces. They are dressed in full combat gear, beneath an overcast sky and juniper bushes turned icy by our technique, reminiscent of the rugged terrain of Korea. Nearby, a granite wall bears the simple, heartrending message: "Freedom Is Not Free."
A percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this image benefit Fisher House, a nonprofit that provides comfort homes where veterans’ families can stay while loved ones receive treatment. They are located on military installations and near VA medical centers.
Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright
When the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh asked Wright to build them a home near their beloved Bear Run Creek, he created a masterpiece that gave them more than a view of the thirty-foot falls, it gave them the opportunity to actually live with the falls running right through their home. Yet, one of the things that we appreciate most about Fallingwater is actually the role that it played in Wright’s life. At 67, many believed that his best work was behind him. Then his amazing new house made the cover of Time Magazine. The concept, design and artistic execution of his vision propelled him back into the spotlight. We draw great inspiration from the idea that at any time—at any age - you can dig deep and create the most daring, breathtaking work of your life. The shimmering radiance of this image is our tribute to Wright’s brilliant renewal of passion and purpose.
Oak Alley Plantation
The Oak Alley Plantation is steeped in history and mystery; and even now, fantasy often trumps fact when telling tales about the Grande Dame of the Great River Road. Rumors of rambunctious young men racing their horses under the great canopy of oaks and through the marble-floored middle of the mansion are too delicious to dismiss. Whispers about the clip-clop of unseen horse drawn carriages and the figure who haunts the lavender room drift along the pathways like strands of Spanish moss. We love that the ethereal nature of our technique presents Oak Alley as an otherworldly place where you can wander through history and lose yourself in daydreams.
This gentle angel watches over Savannah's most beloved city of the dead, the legendary Bonaventure Cemetery. Poets, song writers, generals and hundreds of souls rest on a bluff above the Wilmington River. For Angela, this image is special for another reason. On childhood vacations, her family always stopped to explore cemeteries, taking in the artistry of the monuments and the history of the communities revealed by their graveyards. While photographing Boneventure for the first time, she called her sister to tell her about this stunning Southern Gothic cemetery. During that call, Jenny revealed that Angela was going to be an aunt soon. Receiving the long awaited good news in such a special place made Angela feel that maybe the Angel of Boneventure was also keeping watch over Jenny and her growing family.
Russell grew up in Miami and has spent many years photographing landscapes in South Florida. Much of that time he has been searching for the perfect mangrove shot, yet he never seemed to find a setting that captured the magic of the mangrove. These amazing trees shelter and nourish creatures of the land, the sea and the skies above. For a man who has spent his life studying coastal environments and biology, mangroves are sacred and no ordinary photograph would do them justice. After more than 30 years of effort, everything came together. As the sun began to set on Anne's Beach in the Florida Keys, Russell raced along the boardwalk, waded a few feet into the water and balanced on slippery rocks to capture this image. This is noteworthy because he was barely six weeks out from invasive foot surgery and still healing. Nevertheless, Angela saw the potential for the photograph and held off on reminding him of the numerous doctor instructions he had violated until the photographer, the camera and this wonderful image were safely back on dry land.
Russell’s father was a columnist who covered horse racing for the Miami News for more than 30 years, so it’s no wonder that Russell finds himself drawn to the rolling hills and horse farms of Kentucky. Just outside Lexington on an overcast summer day, we came across these two gentle souls. As we wandered and watched, they stayed close to one another nickering and nuzzling from time to time. Then the stars aligned to give us that once-in-a-lifetime image. We were in the right place with camera ready when they lowered their heads and brought them together in heart-like pose of absolute tenderness. For one incredible moment, the world was just us and these magical Bluegrass Beauties.
In a wooded area along Bohicket Drive just outside Charleston, South Carolina stands a magnificent tree that is, truly, the stuff of dreams. In the presence of the Angel Oak, rowdy tourists lower their voices, slow their steps and become reverent. She stands over 65 feet high, has branches spanning more than 160 feet, covers more than 17,000 square feet of land – and she is more than 1,500 years old. Her roots reach all the way back to the Middle Ages - yet to truly appreciate her splendor, you have to look beyond mind-boggling numbers. Let your eyes travel through the glowing leaves, along her powerful arms. Discover the nooks and hints of passageways to other worlds. Marvel at the lacework of her uppermost branches. Be awed, be still and be filled with wonder.
This old mill nestled in the woods is more than just a charming, fairy tale scene. It is a beautiful symbol that represents the values of a unique school. The students of Berry College in Georgia helped to build and run this mill; and the cornmeal, wheat and grits produced here helped to sustain them during the Depression. Years later, when the mill had fallen into sad disrepair, it was students who lovingly restored it. Based on the vision of founder Martha Berry, the school still aims to provide preparation and inspiration that will lead students into lives of service. Their lessons often involve projects that benefit the community, and for more than 85 years this mill has stood as a tribute to timeless values.
To us - especially Angela - this image is pure southern gothic. It has everything: a shadowy road beneath gnarled oaks, swaying Spanish moss, and even a cracked stone arch inscribed with the name 'Wormsloe' and a set of mysterious dates. Just beyond what we can see, there should be a crumbling southern mansion; and inside we should find one of Tennessee Williams' tragic, romantic anti-heroes. Sigh. The reality, however, is that this was once the estate of the Noble Jones family. Jones was a carpenter who arrived with the first English settlers to make their homes in what would become Georgia. He survived hunger, plague and warfare: and he went on to serve the colony as a doctor, constable, Indian agent, Royal Councilor and surveyor, laying out several nearby towns. Even without gothic drama, the true story of this family and their historic estate is still intriguing after almost 300 years.
Tomb Of The Unknowns
Here rests in honored glory
an American soldier
known but to God.
There are times when we feel great pressure to create an image that does justice to the subject matter; and this was one of the most challenging tasks we have ever given ourselves. In capturing this scene, we were actually guided by the words that appear on the momument to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War soldier in Philadelphia.
Freedom is a light
for which many men have
died in darkness.
With those words in mind, we chose to photograph the monument on a perfect, early summer day. These soldiers represent the countless men and women who are willing to sacrifice everything so that we can enjoy an abundance of blessings. To that end, we feel there is great power in photographing the tomb and the solemn dignity of the guards against the radiance of a world in bloom.
Note: When seen in color, all three guards wear uniforms of navy blue. However, infrared film causes some dark fabrics to appear light while others remain dark. This is a function of the film and the weave of the material, not a result of any post-capture photographic alterations.
Reflections of Chicago
It’s no surprise that the images we create especially for people we love often turn out to be among the most magical in our collection. A few years ago a special young couple got engaged in Chicago, right in front of the ‘Bean’. Angela had watched the bride-to-be grow from her sister’s goofy little friend into an amazing woman, and we wanted to create a very special image for her. Standing with our backs to the city before sunrise one morning, we were stunned by the flawless, whimsically curved reflection of Chicago. As the sun rose and light glanced off the shimmering surface of the ‘Bean,’ we knew this was IT. With light kissing the right side of the ‘Bean’ and bringing the softest of glows into the composition, it was exactly what we’d envisioned: a magical scene to celebrate a remarkable couple.
Bridge of Silver Wings
This ethereal image takes its title from the writings of Aberjhani, a poet who has thoughtfully explored how people manage the transition from imminent personal destruction to unaccountable personal victory. We love that this image seems to evoke a similar feeling - that just through the arch of angel wings and beyond the rise of the bridge we can find our greatest joys.
Dreams of Palms & Coconuts
This is one of the first images we created when we began experimenting with our new technique and it remains one of our favorites. The element of surrealism that makes the palm fronds appear to be feathers from a glamorous jazz-era fan delight us as much as the actual memories of that day in Key Largo. Now that we’ve moved from Florida to Wisconsin, we especially cherish our memories of listening to the surf, feeling the warm breezes, and dozing on the beach in our own little paradise.
Spring House by Frank Lloyd Wright
Very few people knew about the Spring House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright home built in Florida, until it made the National Trust For Historic Preservation’s list of most endangered places in 2014. This unique hemicycle home often takes even the most devoted architecture enthusiast by surprise as it represents the last – and relatively unknown – stage in Wright’s career. The hemicycle form features concentric and intersecting circles with a wedge-shaped carport, and it first glance it seems to resemble a boat or a football.
The adventures that brought us to this image makes it one of our favorite photographs. Well before dawn, we set off to photograph some Louisiana fishing boats. The experience was awesome… but we knew that the photos were not. Then, driving home, we passed this field—and these oaks. We set up our tripod and soon found ourselves talking to a kid who told us what he’d been told about the two trees in the middle of the sugar cane field. He said they survived year after year – through floods and storms and even hurricanes – because their roots were entwined. A single tree standing alone in the field would have been easily felled, but the two that stood together could withstand anything. The Enduring Oaks hold a special place in our hearts and speak volumes about what it means to us to build this collection – together.
Jackson Square/St. Louis Cathedral
There are a lot of reasons this is one of our very favorite images. First, we LOVE New Orleans - especially Jackson Square. Beignets. Chicory Coffee. The artists hanging their work. The street performers. The fortune tellers. And the endless people watching. We also love the history of this area, especially as relates to the fascinating and fiery Baroness de Pontalba. Described as a "flamboyant, temperamental redhead," she survived being shot four times by her father-in-law and went on to help design the gardens in front of the cathedral and build many of the buildings around the square. As for the image itself, this is an excellent example of the transformative effect of using infrared film as a base in our work. The way the palms 'burst' in front of the cathedral like fireworks often makes people think this is a composite image - that we have 'photoshopped' in the trees. The fact is, these trees have been a part of the landscape since they were donated by a Lions club in the mid-eighties. Usually, people look right past the shrubbery to the magnificient church, but infrared truly gives the greenery its moment in the sun.
Irish Brigade Monument, Gettysburg
The mournful Irish wolfhound lies at the foot of a Celtic cross honoring the heroism of the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg. Being of proud Irish descent, Angela was immediately drawn to the story of these great soldiers. The legendary Irish Brigade included three units from New York that had suffered terrible losses at Antietam and Fredericksburg. Despite this, they charged into the wretched Wheatfield battle, halting the advance of the Confederate troops just as they were about to overtake the Union position. After the war, the priest who dedicated the memorial described its significance to the ages when he said that the Celtic cross had been erected to keep memory of the Irish Brigade ‘green in the American Heart’ and to remind future generations of the brigade’s bravery in the ‘great cause of American Liberty.’
The constant vibration of New York is exhilarating, but on this particular trip we found that entering Central Park and escaping the thrum felt a bit like entering paradise. The iconic, romantic promenade; the Alice In Wonderland Statue; the historic bridges – we loved every quiet nook and cranny. As we wandered, cloud bursts kept scattering the crowds, leaving whole areas of the park that seemed to belong to us. Then there was a moment, standing in front of the Hans Christian Anderson statue, when the rain stopped. We turned, looked out over the Conservatory Pond, and were struck by perfection of this fairytale scene.