Memorial Day Weekend couldn’t have been better for a softball tournament at Main Park.
The weather was just about perfect. The games were thrilling. The level of enthusiasm contagious.
My daughters played softball for many years before they found other ways to occupy my time. LOL.
We did one year of travel, which was a huge time and money commitment. I can certainly appreciate the dedication of each and every family at the fields that weekend, with a special nod to the Mokena Blast parents who spent countless hours launching a three-day tournament with great success. Thirty-eight teams played 91 games. Amazing!
From the sounds coming from every corner of Main Park, everyone seemed to be having their own kind of blast. For a few days I photographed and reminisced about how despite all the hours I spent watching softball instead of doing something else, it was definitely worth it.
My older daughter is almost 15 and thinking about college. I wouldn’t trade those warm (and sometimes freezing) days and nights at the ball field for anything.
Happy summer everyone!
Inspired by my foray into teaching the history of photography I was inspired in two different ways.
I joined Instagram. (jeanlachat)
I was able to start a photo column at the Mokena Messenger. It’s a wonderfully local paper in our town, edited by the fabulous Will O’Brien. The Messenger arrives free in my mailbox every week. I shoot freelance for them. I write occasionally. I read it cover-to-cover every week because I love knowing what’s going on in my town.
Will wrote a wonderful story on my studio opening in March. I literally cried when I read it.
You can read some of it online here: http://www.mokenamessenger.com/capturing-moment
When I pitched the idea of a locally-grown photo column, he said yes!
And so the photo debuted last week in the Messenger.
And I checked this morning on the website and saw that it was number one on the most viewed list!
I couldn’t be more excited. I did have some regular photo features waaayyy back at the Sun-Times but it was short-lived because of a shrinking news hole and an unsupportive editor. I always loved the concept though, and I am pleased that 15 years later, I can again use my photography to explore, inform and entertain on a regular basis.
Please keep checking back. It hits the website on Wednesdays and the mailboxes in Mokena on Thursdays. I have another cool image coming your way this week. And with all my Mokena friends’ help, I will be able to show what makes living in this little town so wonderful.
Communion weekends hold a special place in my heart.
My camera just loves photographing the little brides of Jesus. And even though I no longer go to Catholic church, watching the Communicants in their dresses and suits, solemnly lining up two by two, with hands clasped in reverent prayer reminds me of growing up Catholic on Chicago’s South Side. Of rosaries and little white purses. Of parties with potato salad and old aunts. Of not really knowing what commitment to Jesus you just made, but that it was very, very grown up. And very, very important.
I had the good fortune of meeting and photographing Tori a couple weeks ago. I made it to the service and then photographed her outside of church and during their family party. She was an awesome subject to photograph. Mature beyond her years, but just silly enough to enjoy being the guest of honor that day. When the wind swirled around the courtyard, lifting her veil and dress higher than was proper, Tori took it all in stride. We caught some great images in between the gusty breeze and this lovely young lady will have photographs that I hope she will love for her entire lifetime.
The family party was warm and welcoming; the kind where you are able to talk and hang around with a group of strangers, and still feel very much at home. I found out that Megan, Tori’s mom, had lost her own mom just a few short years ago. She had personalized candles around the banquet room that had a photo of her mom and dad holding baby Tori on them. We had a chance to chat for a few minutes, and Megan was certain that her mom was positively beaming down on the family that day.
Just before I left, Megan carefully removed the veil from Tori’s head so she could have more freedom to jump around and enjoy her cousins and friends at the party. It looked very much like weddings I have photographed and I said to Megan, “Just think, the next time you will need to do this is at her wedding!” Megan laughed, nodded her head and agreed.
And before we knew it, Tori was off and running.