Tuesday, March 25, 2014


When Mike McKell called and asked if I would do his Family and personal photographs I was super excited, after all it's not everyday you get the opportunity to photograph a State Congressman.  Who also happens to be a very successful lawyer, business owner, husband, father and slightly obsessed hunter and fisherman, yes a politician with hunting and fishing "stories" (Don't worry I have boot's designed for this kind of crap, I mean stuff). As I spent time photographing him and his family one word kept coming to mind; traditional.

In the art world sometimes traditional is like a bad four letter word that run amuck in length because it is so boring. In politics as of late it seems to be a word to describe grumpy, rich old men, who hate everything and everyone but their own personal wealth, power and ego. This family,  just also happens to fit the "traditional Mormon" stereotype of Mom, Dad, married in the temple, with four kids. They also wanted to do a formal look, you know formal like suits, dress's, the kind of stuff I have to wear for three hours on Sunday kind of clothing, in the studio on a perfectly sunny beautiful spring day kind of traditional. Are you bored yet?

Through the course of the session this totally traditional family taught me a great deal about traditional, they showed me that we far to often get traditional wrong. Traditional is not so much a descriptive term as it is a value we all need. The McKell's showed me in their smiles, kindness, laughter, love, and charity that traditional is a lot of things.

Traditional is love: Love of your family, community, state and country. This love is not about the make up of your family or the color of the state in which you live. Traditional is just good old fashioned love, the smiling, hugging, laughing and helping kind of love.

Traditional is commitment: Commitment to your dreams, family, job and fellow man. This commitment could care less who you vote for or your political party but how you stay the course in rough times and good times. Commitment is about holding true to principles like liberty, freedom, faith and equality. Commitment is about preserving these ideals we hold self evident up as a light for our kids and the world to see.

Traditional is fun: The pull your sister's hair, photobomb mom then run as fast as you can through the pasture kind of fun. The fun that happens as you do crazy things like spin around on the modeling stool and karate moves as you walk down the drive way.  As counter intuitive as it sounds this traditional family knows how to have fun.

Traditional is Charity: The give your shirt off your back to help your neighbor kind of charity. The spend hours and hours of service to help people, to show people that someone cares. Traditional is doing your best to help take care of those around you. Giving something for the benefit of all. Perhaps the greatest thing I saw through my lens when it was pointed at the McKells was true charity, pure love.

As I photographed the McKell family I saw all the goodness that is traditional, the kind of traditional we all need.  I loved every minute of it!!

**As a disclaimer he still has to convince me his policies are the best to get my vote at the county convention, but I know for sure he is a good man!!

 His campaign add will however have amazingly inviting photo's that will persuade many.  Your welcome Mike :-)

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