Posts from the Religion Category


I’ve been itching for weeks to post these photos! And now that the recital is done and the surprise has surprised–here are some lovely pictures for y’all wonderful people! Back in May, I photographed Artistic Dance Academy’s senior company as a surprise gift for their beloved instructors, Mrs. Patricia and Mrs. Crystal! These girls are on their way to make their marks in this huge world! All of them have great things ahead of them and hearts full of love & grace! I was in tears with them at their last recital last weekend! I’ve watched all these girls dance their hearts out across that stage for 7 years (both recital & Dance for Christ) now and they have grown into strong, beautiful dancers and even stronger young women. Good luck all of you as you take over this world with your faith and grace!














Hearts for Dance

Since the spring, Tess Allen has been planning a dance workshop. A dance workshop for those who would not otherwise, ever put on a tutu (to sleeping in their tutus), ballet shoes and tightly wrap a bun on their head. Hearts for Dance sponsored 12 hispanic girls, ages 3-10, from Wayne County and made all their ballerina dreams come true. With the help of my mom, Saralynn, along with Kelly Pfau, Hannah Neiman, Michelle Estrada, Tess’ mom, Donna Allen, and the studios of Artistic Dance Academy this workshop became an inspirational week for all. Tess shared her love of God, dance, and her compassion with these 12 girls, and I do believe it shows in grand amounts.

Tess gained 12 little friends this week. From lessons on the bar, to learning choreography, eating healthy snacks, coloring, and playing “freeze dance,” she truly earned the love of all these little ballerinas.

To see the article from the Goldsboro News-Argus, please visit “Ballet Dreams” by Ken Fine.

Psalm 149:3-“Let them praise His name with dancing!”

This shoot, inspired by the beauty of a dancer’s build, how light falls to accentuate muscles, my undying love of tutus, and Black Swan (in the beautiful, un-grotesque way), was magnificent. One, I could not ask for a better model. My future sister-in-law (YAY!:)), Tess, has been dancing for eleven years and is preparing for Dance for Christ, which is an annual production her studio puts on near Easter. She found some awesome tutus for the shoot and put up with my malfunctions as we shot inside as well as outside in the cold, but windless, afternoon light. The sky was magnificent, reminding me of the dreamy skies Salvador Dali painted, as the barren winter branches were silhouetted and reflected in the pond. Overall, this shoot was a huge success for me and these pictures, and Tess, are absolutely beautiful!

These first two shots were my edits for class. One inside, one outside, and both with a completely different feel.

And these last two are just in my personal edit. Tess looks so peaceful and graceful, something I am not (note: getting my soft box stuck in a chandelier).

Hello hello hello!

It has been way too long since my last blog post, but that’s about how hectic this semester has been. Since my last post, I’ve progressed to adding audio to my photo stories. This story, with a focus on the N.C. State Fair was my first. It was a rewarding experience and definitely and eye-opener with the added audio. Watch it here.

This next assignment was focused on a news event. Noting in my head that the Tea Party movement will be in history books, and after my first news assignment of covering a Marine homecoming at Cherry Point fell through, I ended up with this project. This was fun and definitely a lesson in ethics when you have politicians pushing you to report that they are running for office. Watch it here.

Either way, these two photo-audio stories taught me a lot about handling photojournalism with audio gathering and led to many long nights of editing in the Journalism school’s basement. Be on the lookout for a post of my final photo project to be posted in a few days!

Another assignment from my photojournalism class was called “Bridging The Gap,” where I did a story on someone that I would probably not every approach. Not only did I learn a lot about Maha Mantra, I learned a lot about the Hare Krishna. It was an enlightening experience to get out of my bubble I live in.

So visible to the public, but an unknown to many, the Hare Krishna are peaceful devotees of Krishna Conciousness, a philosophy of living a pure life with no intoxication, meat eating, gambling, or illicit sex. It is a Hindu Vaishnava organization based on traditional Hindu scriptures to spread the word of Krishna, or God.

Maha Mantra, a student monk from Bolivia, plays the drums as other Hare Krishnas chant and sing September 9 at UNC-Chapel Hill. Every Thursday evening, Krishnas gather their pots and their faith to feed students at UNC. They believe in giving away free food so people do not go hungry. The food is always vegetarian because they do not believe in violence against humans or animals as part of living a pure life.

Maha Mantra meditates before the weekly Sunday program. During his meditation in the temple, a few visitors came to admire the dieties. “It’s so serene, isn’t it?”

Meditation is a daily practice for Maha Mantra as he works his way to being a temple priest.

Maha Mantra serves up apple juice and jokes with Hare Krishnas who attended the worship. “Food is a way of connecting and concentrating to be connected with krishna all of the time,” said Maha Mantra.

After Sunday’s worship program, there is a free vegetarian dinner to members and guests who attended. Usually, about 100 to 150 members attend the Sunday program.

Everyday at 4:30 a.m., devoted Hare Krishnas meet at the temple to worship the deities and meditate. During the worship session, members chant, sing, make flower garlands for the deities and listen to scripture teachings.

For an hour period from 5:00-6:00 a.m., Maha Mantra chants the Hare Krishna on his beads. The beads, which are similar to a rosary, represent a single prayer. There are 108 beads and they are kept in a bag from getting dirty.

Always dressed in his orange robes, tube socks, and some color of Croc-like shoe, Maha Mantra cooks the nightly offering for the deities Wednesday evening.

Giving food to the deites is a form of devotion to Krishna. Members who live at the New Goloka temple splits up daily tasks among each other.

Maha Mantra meditates in front of the deities and the founder of the Hare Krishna religion.

Members dress the dieties and the founder in traditional clothing as if to bring them into real life. For example, during the meditation, the Puja has a bag of beads around his hand just as worshipers have their bags on their hands. The clay on Maha Mantra’s and other worshipers forehead is a symbol of what religion they are in and “to be conscious that the body is an instrument of God’s service.”


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