Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Spirit of Christmas

There are many, many photographers of all skill levels in the SE Idaho area, but what I love about each of them is that they are so willing to share and work together to improve. I am part of several groups on Facebook created just for this purpose, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the generosity of my fellow photographers in this area.

One thing that has become popular in the area among photographers is to set up themed photo shoots. The photographer in charge makes all the arrangements for location and models, and anyone who wishes to be part of it may come with their camera and get some experience, advice and instruction from other photographers, as well as build their portfolio. I have yet to be able to attend any of the shoot outs set up by the others (something about four young children seems to make it difficult), but when the thought came to me to suggest this theme, I knew I had to follow it through.

If you follow our work on Facebook, you have no doubt seen my many ramblings and excitement over this photo shoot. I originally had the thought to do this last year, when this painting was popular on Pinterest and other places on the Internet. I fell in love with it instantly. Of all the popular Christmas characters, I have always been partial to Santa, which can be seen in my decor as well. In recent years, Santa has been under attack for making Christmas too commercialized and taking away from the true spirit of Christmas and thoughts of our Savior's birth. I loved that this painting (along with other sources) defended the legendary figure. Another source of inspiration for me has been this poem by Greg Olson that accompanies one of his own paintings of Father Christmas. I think his words here are the best I've found to explain how Santa Clause is actually the embodiment of the Spirit of Christmas:


By the magical light of a small Christmas candle
A little old man tries to carefully handle
The small porcelain manger which serves as a bed
For the wee Baby Jesus to lay down His head.

In wonder he brings the manger up to his view,
Smiles at the baby and whispers, “I love you!
I love you for bringing this season of joy,
I love you for growing to a man from a boy;

For being our light and leading the way,
For being the spirit which makes Christmas Day!
You’ve been my mentor, my model, my hero and guide,
Please continue to help me and stay by my side.

I’ve tried to follow your teachings and give as you gave,
Reminding all to be kind and that it’s wise to behave.
Help me to serve others and bring them your light,
Especially the children, please bless them tonight!

Some have so very little, scarce food for their table,
You know how it feels - you were born in a stable!
Bless all their mothers and fathers with a knowledge that’s sure,
The best gift they can give is their love, strong and pure.

That’s the Spirit of Christmas when all’s said and done,
God’s gift of love, that came as His Son!”
Then back to His mother the child is returned
The Nativity glows as the candle is burned.

In a wink the little old man slips quietly away
Some say he goes up the chimney and climbs in a sleigh.
Whatever the case, His mission is clear -
Give unto others, bringing love and good cheer.

He flies into the night and bids us adieu
Doing for others what Jesus would do!

That being said, even with my excitement and passion for the subject at hand, I am a terribly shy and lazy person at my very nature. :-) This would never have happened without the help of a couple of fellow photographers. Thank you ladies, for seeing my vision and helping me to make it a reality! With that said, please enjoy my favorite images from this session. If you would like to have this special spirit remembered in your home, please contact me for information regarding prints available for purchase. Merry Christmas!


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