© 2010 admin IMG_6243

Jerry Spranger

No, that’s not a typo… it’s Jerry Spranger, not Jerry Springer. Well, at least that’s what he told me his name was. “What kind of mood are you in…happy or sad?” He asked our group as he approached us, all smiles, at Piedmont Park, guitar in hand. “Happy,” we said, so he played “My Girl,” with as much soul and heart as David Ruffin from the Temptations. Amazing.

Jerry doesn’t have a home, but he has three daughters that he’s crazy about. He told us he was trying to make enough money playing his tunes for anyone that will listen so his girls could eat and have a “good life.” He turns 55 on October 5 and can still remember his father locking him in his room… forcing him to practice his guitar for hours on end. “It’s just ‘guitar,’” he said, in response to my asking if his guitar had a name, “I keep it simple.”

Jason and I were loving every word he was saying to us. So much life under his belt. So much hurt. He’s seen the intensity and tragedy of war and the loneliness of a jail cell. He kept repeating over and over again, “I’m just tired, man.”

I asked him why he decided to look up while I was talking through posing. “I gotta keep looking up,” he said with a shrug.

Jerry is why I love photography. Jerry is why I blog. He is “the least of these,” whom we have the privilege of caring for well. I’m honored to hear and tell his story. I’m thankful that I could walk out my front door to meet him.

May I never forget how I’m called to live.

2 Comments

  1. Robert Moore
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | #

    Again, love your photography man. You have a great eye…when or if you edited the picture what was your main focus…example….the color of his shirt! Was that saturation? Hope you are doing well! Where are you now and what are you doing post GCM?

    Take care man,

    Robert

  2. admin
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm | #

    Hey Robert. Thanks for the comment. All great questions! For me this image has a tremendous story. I think images should tell a story. I took this around 7pm. The light was perfect and the late afternoon is always going to give you the most even and “golden light.” Jerry had an incredible look about him and I knew his shirt would indeed create great contrast. As far as focal points, for portraits, the understood rule for most portraits is the eyes. That’s the strongest and most obvious focal point. Now, of course depending on the situation and pose, I suppse there maybe a reason for another focal point, but stick with the rule first then go from there. I turned Jerry into the sun to get that nice even glow on his face. Sometimes hats create nasty face shawdows, so I knew I had to avoid that. I shot this w my friend’s Canon 50d and a fixed 50mm lens at F/2.8. I would have taken more but I snapped off two then his camera died. Bummer.

    Hoped that helped. Post GCM, I’m living in ATL and working for North Metro Church’s college ministry. I do all of their media and design work for them. I’m shooting w a photographer on the weekends as things come up. Loving it all!

    Blessings.

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