(Guest blog by Anne)
Today Nick and his two oldest sons—Chaz, 23 and Alexander, 7, headed off on a special Father/Son weekend with Nick’s old college friends, Henry and Bernard, and Bernard’s son Nate, 24. It’s the fifth trip to Henry’s home in Missouri which is on a privately owned nature preserve, for some quality outdoor, work-in-the-woods, male-bonding time. They’re working on an ongoing project that is a dream of Bernard’s and Henry’s, purposefully planned out over many years to provide the reason for this annual get-together. Little Teddy, age 4, couldn’t go this year because it’s man’s work… they’re building a treehouse! (Yes, there are tools and heights involved and it’s dangerous even for a 7 year old, but my maternal fears are mitigated by the fact that Alexander is a mature and cautious boy and Henry and Bernard are both doctors!) Teddy, with his 4 year old rambuctiousness and lack of judgement, however, will have to wait for this rite of passage.
We’ve been preparing Teddy with the promise of his own special weekend—visiting the country cousins at the farm and getting to see Grandma and Grandpa’s new house on the lake before Alexander! No dice. Screaming tantrums and “it’s not fair” foot stomping. We explained, “Alexander had to wait until he was 5 and you have to wait until you’re 5,” and promised, “You’ll get to go next year!” More screaming and crying and “that’s too far away, I can’t wait that long” tantrums. ”Don’t worry, it’ll be okay, Teddy. As soon as we drop off Daddy and Alexander at the airport Mommy will do something special with you!”
(guest blog by Leslie)
May will be over in a few short hours and with it, National Photography Month. We’ve been celebrating the month on the Facebook page with photo assignments. The photos and participation have been unbelievable. Someone once said about Nick “you’ve made us laugh and you’ve made us cry” and I’ve gotta say that the assignments have created those same emotions for me. Some heart-achingly beautiful images of people no longer with us, some goofy shots (one of a Dad wearing a court jester hat in particular), tiny little babies- as small as a hand, majestic scenery and so much more. If you don’t look at the Facebook page often- go and take a look. I guarantee you will be glad you did. (Click on the topics below to go to each assignment event.)
Each of these photographers were randomly chosen and will receive a Nick Kelsh DVD of their choice. The Fatherhood photographer will receive Nick’s “How to Be Dad” book and DVD. EVERYONE who participated is eligible to be chosen for a half hour phone consultation with Nick himself. He’ll review your photos, answer your questions, or talk about anything you want. (I’ll be in touch with all winners, but if you see yourself here, feel free to send me an email.) We’ll announce the lucky recipient of a phone call with Nick later on Friday.
1 Water – Jaime Cirillo
2 Solitude – Tammy Dennis
3 Color – Sarah White
4 Motherhood – Ashley McAlister
5 Home – Crystal Moore-Raynard
6 Photo that tells a story – Jenny Johnson
7 Landscapes- Tom Reese
8 Shadows- Kiran Oram
9 Motion- Kara Johnson
10 Unusual Points of View- Sherrie Merchant Haber
11 Memorial Day/ANZAC Day/Day of Remembrance- Ron Hertter Jr
12 Fatherhood-Deborah Wren
And finally, we had so much fun with this and received several requests, so we’ve decided to make it a weekly thing. Photo assignments will go up on either Sunday or Monday and last all week!
Among the many gifts my mother gave me while growing up- two stick out in my mind. The Brownie Camera she gave me when I was six and the book “Family of Man.” (Well, maybe she didn’t actually give me that book so much as let me look at it.) Photography has been and remains an important part of my life 40 years later. I’m learning from Nick as much as anyone is (and that’s after almost two decades of photo editing experience.) At How to Photograph Your Life we’re always about promoting the value of photography—as a means of capturing important or treasured moments, an enjoyable and creative hobby, and an art form. So what about you? Please tell us…
What role does photography plays in your life? Answer our question here and learn what motivates your fellow photography fans too!
(Guest blog by Anne Kelsh / Photographs by Nick Kelsh from The Sense of Wonder, 1998)
April 22nd is Earth Day. It’s a day to celebrate, respect, promote, honor, enjoy and protect our earth’s natural environment. A day to commit to being green. A day to appreciate the power of nature—and the power of nature photography.
It’s a good day to share a message that’s near and dear to Nick’s heart—the importance of nurturing a love and appreciation of the wonders of nature in each new generation of children. That’s the message Nick helped illustrate in an updated edition of the award-winning classic book, The Sense of Wonder, by legendary “patron saint of the environmental movement” Rachel Carson. Rachel is best known for her landmark book Silent Spring which spurred revolutionary legislation to protect our land, air and water and sparked the powerful movement that we celebrate and promote each year on Earth Day, and throughout the year.
Fifteen years ago Nick picked up an old copy of The Sense of Wonder in a bookstore in Maine. He immediately fell in love with Rachel Carson’s words and vision and knew before he finished reading it that he had to produce a set of nature photographs for a new edition. He contacted Rachel Carson’s estate and was given the privilege of illustrating a new edition of this wonderful book in 1998. Rachel Carson had written her original essay prior to Silent Spring, but became overwhelmed by the pesticide controversy that Silent Spring created and, sadly, did not live long enough to complete this special project. The original edition was published posthumously in 1965 without her planned additions.
Environmental historian (and acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer) Linda Lear wrote the introduction to the 1998 Nick Kelsh illustrated edition of The Sense of Wonder, concluding with the following paragraph:
“The book you hold in your hands is the book Rachel Carson wanted most to complete in her brief life. ‘I want very much to do the Wonder book,’ she wrote shortly before her death, ‘that would be Heaven to achieve.’ She cared passionately about the subject of how to maintain a sense of wonder and believed the war was won or lost in childhood. She hoped her book would inspire adults and children alike to experience the sensory and emotional in nature, and knew that if they did, they would have less appetite for those activities that threatened the living world. This new edition of The Sense of Wonder includes precisely the kind of photographs Carson had wanted to accompany her text. ‘We plan for it to be rather lavishly illustrated with the most beautiful photographs we can find, some color and some black and white,’ she told a friend. Carson wished there might be a good fairy to give to each child ‘a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.’ Sadly Rachel Carson never met Nick Kelsh or saw his photographs, but they are companions of the spirit. This partnership of prose and picture embellishes Carson’s message as she had hoped and encourages the work of that good fairy.”
Carson wrote, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder…he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
It’s clear to see, through the spectacular and impressive nature photography being posted by Nick’s fans on our How to Photograph Your Baby facebook page that our community is not only committed to exploring, appreciating and enjoying all the wonders of our natural world but to sharing these experiences with their children, and capturing beautiful and fascinating images—of amazing landscapes, flora and fauna, water and clouds and creatures—to marvel at and preserve and share over and over again, just as Rachel Carson had hoped.
Finally, in Nick’s tradition of offering “great quotes for photographers from great people who were not talking about photography, when you’re photographing nature (or anything else for that matter) consider this from Rachel Carson: ”One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’”
Nick has autographed copies of The Sense of Wonder available for sale in limited quantities.
This special book makes a meaningful gift for new parents, grandparents, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day—or a unique and meaningful end-of-year thank you gift for teachers.
Perfect for anyone who would share the love of nature with a child.