The Christening

Caroline Ann/Grand Niece

On Saturday April 24, 2010 the family attended the Christening of my Grand Niece Caroline. My brother’s second grandchild, the first child of his daughter Lauren and her husband Doug. Two of the most loving enthusiastic parents I ever saw! Really!

At first I was not going to attend because I always feel like such a stranger among my family, for many reason, one being I had not been around all that much in the past 10 years or so. Yet I decided to go at the last moment, ripping throw draws and piles of cloths to see if I had anything decent to wear. I did and I went, I went to record this momentous event as a documenter of family gatherings, for history, to tell a story or just record the history. So there I was among all the other family, both sides, with all types of cameras, cellphone, mini cameras, two video recorders, I am like oh my how do I get around with all those people flashing and recording? I am in a church, should I act like a family member or a photographer? I chose photographer, I got around the people, got on the floor, shook around the back of the priest, I wanted these shot, I wanted to record this moments, that will be only memories in a year or so!

God Parents

I had the revelation that I find a way into the family gatherings from behind my camera, I can interact with people in different way, I get to see with different I eye, have different experience because I move all over the space, from group to group, person to person, moment to moment, candidly as possible catching those moments… So I am glad I made the choice to attend this Christening, this family gathering.

Mom & Dad, Caroline

Growth Question: How do you respond or react in family events? Are they pleasant or a challenge?

I am Love, Jeff

Photo: are for purchase at


10 thoughts on “The Christening”

  1. Jeff – What a lovely family gathering. And how cool of you to cature the memory for them.

    Growth Question: How do you respond or react in family events? Are they pleasant or a challenge?

    I interact …
    I do a lot of listening — when appropriate.
    I do a lot of talking — when appropriate.

    Laurie Buchanan

    1. Laurie,

      Thank you for jumping right over, I am not going to tell you where I was when I had the thought of writing this blog? Blush!
      The family has not even seen these yet!!

      I am grateful for you comments, and responding to the growth questions. I imagine you doing all of those actions, as a practitioner, and as a writer, and as a lover of interaction between people.

      I am Love, Jeff

  2. First Jeff your photographs are stunning… and I know how difficult the lighting can be in a church. You have done an outstanding job of capturing the moment not just in the photos but also how the moment was for you.

    Growth question: I do fine if I have a job to do – be it facilitator or putting out cheese plates. I am the absolute worst person for small talk. I am sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. For example, my daughter is getting married in July. She was teasing me the other night and said “Mom you ARE the mother of the bride. People WILL be asking where you are. I don’t want to have to point to half way up the nearest tree and say ‘oh, see that woman in the tree with the camera glued to her face – that is my mom’ or to be about to say ‘I do’ and see you pop up from beside the marriage commissioner clicking away with a little ‘don’t mind me, keep going!'” I promised her that I would set my camera aside and listen for the important parts – like the ceremony:) Great question Jeff!

    1. Terrill,

      I am laughing and smiling… I can see you with your camera, hiding behind things, getting those shots! Be the Mother of the Bride for a while first!

      The light was tricky, I think I set the camera ISO 800 & shutter at f/30-40 at times the light would come through the windows! It was a new challenge and I met it head on and walk thought it! Thank you for the comments and the visit of course!

      I am Love, Jeff

  3. It depends on the family event, and it depends on which part of the family. I always felt like a stranger among strangers with some of my dad’s family. But since joining Facebook–don’t laugh!!!–I’ve discovered that I’m related by paternal blood to SO many people who I considered my friends in school and never knew it!! One classmate and I are related through sisters: my great-grandmother Vina Moore Lawson, her grandmother Rhoda Moore Compton. Her dad and my Paw Jack are first cousins and, according to my cousin Teddy–who informed us of the linkage *lol*–were very good friends for many, many years. I ran into another cousin on Daddy’s side of the family after I moved here, out at a grocery store. He couldn’t place my face until I told him that the Chief was my grandad–a nickname all the longtimers in Drift, KY used for him. He said “ lord you look like Dottie Kaye from the nose down and Judy from the nose up!!! We’re cousins, hun.” Never met him in my life, had no idea we were related to anyone with that last name. I’m starting to wonder how much ELSE I missed by not knowing Daddy’s family better. Today, I can honestly say that I would dearly love to be at a family gathering with the people on the Lawson side of my current trip through this life, just as one of the many Lawsons connected by blood. I always felt like a stranger among strangers, but just because I felt that way doesn’t make it truth.

    This is going to sound very odd, but some of the best family gatherings my mom’s side has are funerals. I don’t know much about funeral traditions outside of Eastern Kentucky, but the ritual is that the deceased is “shown” at the funeral home or the chosen church or, sometimes for the very elderly, at home usually for 2 nights, and then the actual funeral is held on the third day, followed immediately by burial. There’s a little preaching during the showings, a little singing, but from the end of the services until the funeral parlor closes or–when in a church or at home–whenever the last person leaves, there is a joyous, lighthearted gathering of people to reminisce, laugh, sing the old songs–mainly bluegrass and not all are gospel–and eat. When my grandmother died at the age of 59 in 1983, it was like the glue that held the family together was gone; all 8 of her living siblings, all younger than her, dropped everything and drove home. My mom was pretty much a mess, until a dear, sweet woman named Nedra Slone started naming all of the brothers and sisters after the Ledbetters that Jerry Clower talked about. *lol* My mom, no kidding, rolled in her seat. The happy times during those two days get us through the difficult task of saying goodbye on the third one. There’s a…joy. That has always followed my Pack/Shannon relatives. We love life, we love living, we love music/love to sing, we love each other and no one has ever been shy about saying so. We just enjoy being together, whether it’s at a funeral or a reunion or just sitting in the living room watching football.

    I wish that I had been able to reject some of the negativity I associated with Daddy’s family as a child and through my adulthood up until now. I think I might’ve missed out on a lot because it felt like they didn’t accept me. I guess that goes both ways, though.

    1. Stacey,

      Wow! Thank you for blogging! Yes I have heard/read some to this before in your messages to me… Thing is to find peace and acceptance of where you now are, at the events find your place to listen, listen to the stories, find the connections, be grateful for each person, for the gift that they have shared with you!
      I am very grateful for your visiting here and commenting !

      I am Love, Jeff

  4. Great photos, Jeff, very professional looking. You seem to have a knack for capturing just the right moments between people.

    Family gatherings – it depends on which branch of the family has gathered! Sometimes I feel so out of place with the ones who seem only to be concerned about material security and status. But my husband’s relatives are so warm and accepting that I always feel right at home with them. And it helps to have something to do, like playing games, instead of talking about the weather and the rat race.

  5. Beautiful little one, Jeff. And how cool that you got “out of your box” and went to the family gathering even though part of you didn’t want to. I did the same thing in Reno the other night and felt so good afterward to do something different and interesting. (Rather than sit in the motel room afraid of traveling downtown in a strange city.) Your photos are always such a treat! I am glad you are blogging…even though sometimes reluctantly. 🙂

    1. Kathy,

      How wonderful you to drop by!!! I am always honored to have your comments found here!

      Yes is good to not listen to that crazy being in your head sometimes, that keeps me away from enjoying a social life and having the opportunity to see in a new way.
      Thank you for enjoying the photos, it is a treat to share them.

      I am Love, Jeff

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