FINE ART GALLERY
MOH Bennie G. Adkins Dignified Transfer
On Monday, December 12, 2020 American Airlines operated a special flight (Flt 1966) carrying the late Medal of Honor recipient CSM Bennie G. Adkins and his family from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. before being buried at Arlington. American Airlines numbered the flight “1966” for the year in which he acted heroically in Vietnam to receive the U.S.‘s highest military decoration. Full honors were bestowed for CSM Adkins and his family as the Soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Ft. Campbell, KY performed the transfer and the Patriot Guard Riders from Atlanta and Washington lined the runway with American flags. Adkins received the Medal of Honor in 2014 from President Barack Obama for his service during the Vietnam War at the Battle of A Shau in 1966, during which he rescued fellow soldiers and killed between 135 and 175 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers while sustaining eighteen wounds to his body over the course of a 38-hour battle and 48 hours of escape, according to Adkins’ Medal of honor citation. “When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars,” the citation reads. “Upon learning that several soldiers were wounded near the center of camp, he temporarily turned the mortar over to another soldier, ran through exploding mortar rounds and dragged several comrades to safety.” You can read his full citation here In April, he lost a battle to COVID 19 at the age of 86. He will be buried with full military honors on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 and will be laid to rest with the remains of his wife, Mary Adkins, who died Feb. 12, 2019, and is already laid to rest in Arlington. This was a great honor to document for me as I have had the pleasure of having CSM Adkins in front of my camera for one of my favorite Medal of Honor portraits ever. God bless and thanks for being a true American Hero! R.I.P. CSM Bennie G. Adkins, February 1, 1934 – April 17, 2020.
Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas
This past weekend I thought it would be a great idea to take my wife @dandrasimmons on one of my camping trips with my military buddy @rklika. What was supposed to be a beautiful trip in a breathtaking environment with plenty of trails to hike quickly turned into a not so great trip for my wife. You see, when Russ and I go camping we like to rough it and maybe push ourselves a little too hard for “men our age” out on the trails. On Friday evening we arrived at out campsite and started to set up camp. On my recent trips I have found it more enjoyable to sleep in a hammock under the stars and foolishly thought it would be a good idea for my wife to do the same. In theory, it sounded great and she was onboard. Realistically, before she even was able to sit in the hammock she stepped on a huge tree thorn that pierced her shoe and went into her foot about an inch. First aid was provided. Next, it was time for bed. Let’s just say I was awakened numerous times to help her get in and out to go to the bathroom. Oh, and then there was that time she just fell out of it. The sun finally rose over the park and due to lack of sleep from the previous night we slept in and didn’t set out on our planned hike until 10 a.m. We were supposed to have hit the trail at 7 a.m. As we started the hike, spirits were high and the temperature was not. What we thought was a 4-5 mile hike to a fern cave turned into a 7.5 mile hike with temperatures hitting in the 120’s by late afternoon. My wife was a trooper and made the full hike, but was completely drained and near heat exhaustion. There was a time at the end of the hike that I was praying she wouldn’t collapse. We found out later that this was a freakishly high temperature day and that there were three helicopter rescues and 12 people had to be attended to by paramedics. My wife is always up for an adventure, but had had enough of this camping thing! We cut our trip a little short. I did learn that my wife will never go camping with me again unless it is glamping or she is in a camper/rv. I learned that she does not like hammocks or long hikes in high temperatures. I also learned that if I want to go camping with the guys, all I need to say is that its primitive camping where I am going and I will get a free pass. There is so much more of this beautiful park to explore and I look forward to hiking its dusty red trails again soon! Caprock Canyons State Park is three miles north of the quaint Texas town of Quitaque. The park is comprised of 15,313 acres and is the third largest park in the Texas state park system; its terrain is the roughest. The harsh, yet beautiful terrain at the park is distinguished by steep escarpments, exposed red sand- stones and deep, highly eroded and rugged canyons. The park is abundant with wildlife, including bison, mule and white-tailed deer and imported North African aoudad sheep. Common Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. ”Hay sierras debajo de los llanos" (there are mountains below the plains) was a common phrase used by early Mexican travelers who crossed through the area. Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Smooth Caprock Canyons cliff walls on the Upper North Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) in Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Barbary sheep also known as the arrui or aoudad, is a species of caprid native to rocky mountains in North Africa. Although it is rare in its native North Africa, it has been introduced to North America, southern Europe, and elsewhere. A dead tree reaches out amongst the living trees in the canyon's floor of Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Sunrise over Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Dried river bed near the Lower South Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. The canyons in the western part of at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas, support several species of juniper trees. Junipers are coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. South Prong at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Powerful forces of erosion have chiselled away at the easter edge of the High Plains for the last 3 million years. Every spring and summer, severe thunderstorms reduce raging torrents of water that scour canyon walls and etch deeper and deeper into the bedrock. Geologists estimate that Caprock escarpment is being eroded at a rate of approximately 1/2" each year. Maidenhair ferns grow from the canyon overhang around the natural springs at Fern Cave on the Upper North Prong Trail at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas, is the home of the Texas State Bison Herd. At one time, 30 to 60 million bison roamed the North American plains. The vast herds weren’t in danger of extermination until professional hide hunters arrived on the plains. Thus began the “great slaughter.” From 1874 to 1878, hunters decimated the great southern bison herd. Estimates from 1888 were that less than 1,000 head of bison remained in North America. Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas, ranks the third largest state park in Texas with 15,313 acres. Wind and water over the eons shaped the rugged beauty of Caprock Canyons State Park in the Panhandle of Texas. A lone tree extends out from the rim of the canyon in North Prong at Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas. A rock with its colorful layers lays exposed on the bank of an arroyo at Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas. An arroyo, also called a wash, is a dry creek, stream bed or gulch that temporarily or seasonally fills and flows after sufficient rain. Flash floods are common in arroyos following thunderstorms. Caprock Canyons high red cliffs are made of sandstones and shales from the Ogallala Formation, and crossed by bands of white gypsum, making up the beautiful topography of the State Park in Quitaque, Texas. Caprock Canyons bottomland along the Little Red River and its tributaries support tall and mid-level grasses including Indian grass, Canada wildrye and little bluestem, cottonwood trees, wild plum thickets and hack- berries. Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on the Lower South Prong Trail in Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas. Sunrise at Caprock Canyons State Park, Quitaque, Texas, near Wild Horse camping area.
BBQ Relief: Uniting "My America"!
On assignment with Mercury One documenting Operation BBQ Relief during Hurricane Laura: This last week as I was working in Lake Charles, Louisiana for the aftermath of Laura, I witnessed the power of a hot meal bringing smiles to faces who have lost everything. I saw hearts warmed and tears flowing as those being served questioned why anyone would care to help them. The biggest thing I witnessed and was reminded of in spite of all the division and turmoil that is happening all around me is that this is MY AMERICA!!! This is how I truly see our amazing nation…a place of loving human beings and organizations coming together for the better of mankind, instead of the divided country our media portrays us to be. Hurricane Laura came ashore on the border of Texas and Louisiana as a Category 4 storm early Thursday, August 27, 2020, ripping apart buildings and severing power lines. Over 800,000 customers were without power and at least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana. Hurricane Laura sustained winds of 150 mph, Laura's eye made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, at about 1 a.m. CDT before plowing a path of destruction north toward Arkansas, where the weakened storm was predicted to then curve east through Kentucky and Tennessee by Friday evening. Operation BBQ Relief quickly came to the aid of the communities and first responders affected by Hurricane Laura's destruction by providing hot meals in their time of need. Big thanks to Bennie J. Davis III for the edits!
New Gallery: Konyak Tribe, the Headhunters of Nagaland, India.
Living Out Their Last Days As Legends from the Past For generations upon generations, the Konyak Tribe of Nagaland, India had made headhunting not only a legitimate livelihood, but a rite of passage for young men in the past. Nagaland exists as a remote tribal state, nearly hidden among valleys and jungles, and home to diverse people groups located in Northeastern India. Now, the oldest generations are remembered by the visual marks of a tradition and way of life that has been banned. Yet the old men still bear the title with dignity. According to Konyak warrior Chopa, he expressed pride in his heritage by relating that the British successfully wiped out villages, but the Konyak remained strong to their physical and cultural roots: “We the Konyak are the most powerful. We stay here. We are dominant.” Click here to read and view the full story on my website.
Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas
Last week I was really feeling down and depressed as my trip to Iceland was put off and my trip to Namibia was canceled for this year due to the damn COVID. My great travel buddy and fellow retired Army Combat Photographer Russell Klika said, “Why don’t we just go down to Big Bend for a couple days and camp?” Let me tell you, it was just what the doctor ordered and got me out of the funk I was in!!! Our campsite was beautiful, and this AMAZING park I have never visited did not disappoint and comes highly recommended! We explored the back roads and small towns around; we hiked (park has 238 miles of multiuse trails) a lot and ate great at our campfire laughing and telling stories into the night. Summer is supposedly their monsoon season and we enjoyed amazing clouds and late afternoon rain. I am not a landscape type photographer at all and asked Russell not to photograph me shooting a damn flower, but there was so much beauty around us and inspired the creativity that the COVID pandemic had taken from me. Here is my take on the breathtaking Texas State Park that is called Big Bend. I WILL BE BACK! Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas This remote park features rugged mountains, steep canyons, amazing views, unparalleled night skies, and solitude in a high desert setting. It is located in far west Texas in the high desert setting of the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Summers are hot, winters are mild, not much rain falls, and the scenery is magnificent. Temperatures typically exceed 100 degrees by late morning and can reach as high as 130 degrees in the sun. The State Park is over 300,000 acres and extends along the Rio Grande from southeast of Presidio to near Lajitas, in both Brewster and Presidio counties. The landscape varies from river lowlands to deep canyons, from high plateaus to steep-sided mountains. The elevation ranges from about 2,300 feet along the Rio Grande up to 5,135 feet at Oso Mountain. A wide variety of mammals, snakes and birds make their home in the high desert environment as well as some wild Texas Longhorns. The full moon at 7am still rests in the sky above the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Sunrise in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Agua Adentro Mountain, Sauceda Road in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Greater Roadrunner, River Road, FM 170. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) at our campsite Pila Montoya 3 in the Upper Fresno Backcountry Zone. These unusual looking plants remain dormant throughout much of the year, but leaf out within 24–48 hours after sufficient rains. The leaves drop when the plant can no longer wick moisture from the soil. Agua Adentro Mountain in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Adult male Greater Earless Lizard - (Cophosaurus texanus scitulus) on the Puerta Chilicote Trailhead in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Sotol cactus (Dasylirion liophyllum) is composed of a cluster of numerous linear, flattened leaves that have hooked teeth along the margins of the leaf. The leaf bases are spoon-like. A tall flower stalk is produced each spring that has light colored, nondescript flowers clustered together. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) frames the Sotol cactus on the Puerta Chilicote Trail. West Fresno Rim: The Puerta Chilicote Trailhead provides access to a system of trails in the wild and rugged areas of the Bofecillos Highlands and Fresno Canyon. Dragonfly, West Fresno Rim: The Puerta Chilicote Trailhead at Ojo Chilicote. Closed Canyon Trail. This slot canyon carved its way through a mesa as it makes its way to the Rio Grande. The trail is approximately 1.4 miles long, round-trip. Clouds and the canyon walls reflect in a puddle at Closed Canyon Trail. Echinocactus horizonthalonius. Two species of echinocactus are found in the Big Bend area - e. texensis, which has pronounced ribs and very heavy, sharp spines, and the slightly less threatening horizonthalonius where most spines lie against the body, apart from the central spine which points out and downwards. Ocotillo on the Puerta Chilicote Trail. Telephone pole at Rio Bravo Restaurant, Hwy 170, Terlingua, TX. Ocotillo flowers. When in bloom, Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is among the desert's most beautiful plants. In mid-spring, brilliant, fiery red-orange tubular flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the plant's tall, sharply-spined stems. Flowers are pollinated by bees, butterflies, and many other insects, but they are also flashy beacons, attracting hummingbirds and orioles who appreciate their sweet nectar. Bofecillos Mountains in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The Bofecillos are the remains of an extinct volcano, composed primarily of conglomerate sandstone, tuff, and basalt and featuring great examples of tertiary volcanic activity. Wild Texas Longhorn in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Rock Art was left here at Las Ceuvas as early as 3000 years ago, long protected by the overhanging rock in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Cat Tails at the lush springs and a seasonal waterfall named Ojito Adentro. Its name translates to “little spring within.” Ojito Adentro is unique because it contains water most of the year, an unusual feature in the dry desert of Chihuahuan in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Ojito Adentro Trail looking at Cuesta Primo in the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Late afternoon storm rolling through River Road, FM 170. Chihuahuan Desert storm and sunset in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The night sky at Solitario (on the left) and Pila de la Posta (on the right). The Solitario is a large geologic formation in Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas. When viewed from above, it suggests an impact crater; though it is actually the eroded remains of a laccolith.
Three images for every year as a photojournalist, 2000-2020. This project spawned from the shutdown of the world due to COVID. The down time was perfect, allowing me the forced opportunity to go through my archives and get twenty years of work organized. The goal of Two Decades is to feature work that I have not showcased on my website or posted to my social media. After all the archiving was done I came away with over 14,000 keeper images. Click here to see the full new gallery on my website.
Third Annual Heroes & Hammerheads Shark Fishing
It is called fishing, not catching!!! So, we didn't land any sharks THIS time. However it was an amazing trip with 8 veterans who will forever share their bond of Padre Island. Story By: John Henderson, Legacy Farmstead The third annual Heroes & Hammerheads Shark Fishing event put on by Legacy Farmstead non-profit organization out of Boerne, TX, did not disappoint. Envision camping under the stars, hearing the waves crash against the sand, listening to the sounds of musicians around a campfire, sharing stories with your brothers, and fishing for some larger than life sharks. Friday morning everyone was pumped to make the trek down to the Padre Island National Seashore where our adventure began. Once we entered the National Park we traveled 40 miles down the beach to an isolated peaceful spot where not even cell phones worked! We stepped out of our vehicles and breathed in that ocean air, felt the warm breeze blowing, heard the waves crashing, and paused in the silence to take it all in as we knew we were about to have an incredible weekend ahead where lives would be changed. Right away our team went to work to get our camps set up. The very first thing we always do is fly our American flag high. From getting tents assembled to digging the fire pit everyone had a task. Some guys got shark bait rigged up and ran out in the water by kayaks while others prepped the rigs and poles. We had an incredible barbecue team made up of San Antonio area fireman that cooked a wonderful meal. At sunset Isaac Jacob, a country music artist from New Braunfels, TX, played acoustic by the campfire. As people introduced themselves and began getting to know one another and their individual stories, the crashing waves sealed immediate bonds between brothers who served for the same reason at different times and different places with one goal in mind. Saturday kicked off with breakfast over an open flame and some sunrise fishing in the surf. The guides prepared our crawfish boil lunch on the beach. The afternoon was spent with more fishing while hiding from the sun, enjoying the breeze. Our bbq team fed us like kings once again with brisket they smoked all day and elk sausage. We had another amazing night sunset fishing and hanging around the campfire listening to acoustic music from Zach Nytomt, a country music artist from Ft. Worth, TX. Sunday morning is always hard. Once you’ve spent a couple days in the great outdoors with men you’ve grown to love and respect for their courage, bravery, and struggles they’re individually dealing with, it is difficult to part ways. From the salt water and sand to the sunsets and sunrises, the rhythm and sounds of the ocean is all therapeutic. The goal of this event is to bring veterans and first responders together, roughing it for a few days, in an incredible beach atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Letting the natural bonds and connections made here open the willingness to share their stories, struggles and triumphs. If just one man leaves feeling more empowered, and ready to take on the world around them after this weekend, we know we did our jobs. All we do is provide the atmosphere; the group of men who join us provide the impact on each other without even knowing it.
The PA Review, Ep6: FACES
The human face has more detail than any other part of the human body and it evokes the true universal language; Emotion. But what role does this play in securing funding for our commanders or enhancing relationships with the community or bringing awareness to mental health, etc. What role do we play in connecting an audience with our goals and how do we do that? Join us as MSgt (ret.) Jeremy Lock and Dr. Mark Frank, Social Psychologist, discuss faces, expression, emotion and all the parts it plays in communicating a message to your audience. The PA Review: Host: Jeff Curtin Guests: Jeremy Lock, Dr. Mark Frank
Faces Of A New Revolution
Over the years I have covered many Black Lives Matter protests here in Dallas, Texas. This year I am beginning to see a new younger and more diverse group of people standing up, arm in arm, and demanding change for the cause. This portrait project will show that this is not just a black and white issue anymore, it is ALL our issues. And with diversity, the movement will come together in hopes to make some real changes. Here are a few images from the start of my project taken on June 13, 2020 at the protest/rally for: Black State of Emergency - Standing up for Black Lives - George Floyd & Breonna Taylor.
George Floyd Dallas Memorial Service & Protest
The Next Generation Action Network holds their George Floyd Dallas Memorial Service & Protest in Dallas, Texas, U.S., June 8, 2020. The memorial for Floyd started at the Dallas Police Department with speeches and songs. Then the group took to the streets in a protest walking to City Hall and then back to the Dallas Police Department where a candle light vigil took place. The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25, 2020. Since his death, protest have occurred in cities across America. His family held a public viewing for Floyd at The Fountain of Praise Church in Houston on Monday, June 8, 2020. A private funeral service was held the following day at 11 a.m.
Solidarity Rally & March For George Floyd in Dallas, Texas.
The Next Generation Action Network holds their Solidarity Rally & March For George Floyd in Dallas, Texas, U.S., June 1, 2020. The rally started out at the Dallas Police Department and then was moved out of the curfew zone to Frank Crowley Criminal Courts Building where protest organizers and attendees were given a chance to speak to the crowd. Hundreds of protestors then began their march, ending up halfway on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge where they were met by police officers shooting what appeared to be rubber bullets, smoke and flask bangs before being surrounded and detained. The death of George Floyd, an African-American man, occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, on May 25, 2020. Since his death, protest have occurred in cities across America.
"More Life" Memorial Day 2020
The words of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy, read by actor Barry Corbin. "Oh, Shenandoah" performed by Danny Wright, audio engineering by T.J. Callaway. Images courtesy of award-winning photographer, Air Force veteran and combat photojournalist Jeremy Lock. Giving thanks and my appreciation to those who paid with their lives for our great country and all our freedom! And god bless their families! So excited to see this and play a small part!!! Special thanks to "More Life" with Jody Dean for including me in this project.
Some tear sheets from some recent work here in Dallas, Texas during the COVID pandemic. Dallas salon owner of Salon a la Mode Shelley Luther speaks to the crowd of a supporters at the "Open Texas" rally to re-open Texas businesses, places of work and religious services shut down by restrictions put in place to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as they gather in a park outside of the City Hall in Frisco, Texas, U.S., April 25, 2020. Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner was issued a citation after reopening her business, violating local and state executive orders to stay at home. REUTERS/Jeremy Lock
Blue Angels Dallas Flyover Salute May 6, 2020.
Anyone in Dallas get this first shot??? Just kidding, the first shot was from a story I worked on back in 2012. LOL
The others are my take on todays flyover as the Blue Angels salute our frontline COVID-19 responders. Thanks to ALL our responders during this time and a huge thanks to the Navy for recognizing them! God bless the good old USA!
4th Annual Food In Fashion
It was a huge honor to emcee this year’s 4th annual Food in Fashion with my beautiful wife D’Andra Simmons at the newly opened Virgin Hotels Dallas. I was also able to set up a quick on site studio to capture some of the fashion designs as well. One month ago, 12 restaurants and restaurant-related businesses were introduced to 11 fashion designers. They were given one month to create. The only direction given to the designers was that at least ten percent of what is visible must come from their restaurant partner. Proceeds from Food in Fashion benefit career-development programs in the restaurant and hospitality industries. The need for a skilled restaurant and hospitality workforce is great in North Texas. D'Andra and I being foodies absolutely enjoyed our evening for a great cause! DESIGNER: Lizzie Jones, Retrograde Designs PARTNER: Jose on Lover’s MODEL: Sara de la Cruz DESIGNER: House of No Lady PARTNER: Asian Mint MODEL: Derrel Hall DESIGNER: Abi Ferrin PARTNER: Parigi MODEL: Jennifer Davis Long DESIGNER: Status Design Studio, Sarah Thomas PARTNER: Americano MODEL: Alivia Smith DESIGNER: Audrie Austin PARTNER: Qdoba Mexican Eats MODEL: FeLisa Gambrell DESIGNER: Truanjl PARTNER: Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream MODEL: Danica Cheung DESIGNER: Ivette Custom Design PARTNER: La Madeline French Bakery and Cafe MODEL: Sonia Quezada DESIGNER: El Centro College design students under the guidance of Maria Luna PARTNER: Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. MODEL: Maria Murillo DESIGNER: Tatiana Diane PARTNER: The Owner’s Box MODEL: Tatiana Diane DESIGNER: University of North Texas design students under the guidance of Dr. Kim Williams and Margaret McKoin of The Time Group PARTNER: Old Hickory at The Gaylord Texan MODEL: Ty Cain
Costa Rica Down Time
I do love me some Costa Rica!!! Costa Rica will always have a special place in my heart, as this was where my wife and I honeymooned back in 2014. Since then I have traveled back alone and with my wife for some much needed downtime and surfing. The images below are a combination of two trips I took this year. My first trip was by myself to where we honeymooned in Mal Pais. I went alone as my wife went on a girl's trip with the women of my family. The second trip was with my wife and some friends of ours to Dominical. Although I truly enjoy all of Costa Rica, my favorite is Mal Pais.
The Social Movement TV Show
Proud to be representing team Operation BBQ Refief for a new Reality/Docu-series ‘The Social Movement’ If you were asked to Change the World... how would you do it? What issue would you start with? Who would you want by your side? What Legacy would you want to leave? Shot in Montreal, Canada over four days this past summer, comprised of 4 teams of influencers, business leaders, investors, visionaries, producers, public figures, celebrity business moguls from across the globe solving real global issues. Here are some teaser images I shot in between working on our world solution. COMING AT YOU IN 2020!!!!!!! Team leader David Marks ready to kick butt on the competition! First look and sizing up the competitors!!!! We got this!!! Proud to be representing team @opbbqrelief. @michaelxcampionwriting down our teams progress as we try to work through our solutions to a world issue. The one time you have been locked in a room racking your brains trying to solve a global issue with amazing people and you just need to break out and have some fun time!!! Let’s you know you are still a fun bunch of humans trying to do good in this beautiful world of ours! Team OBR is back at it hard again working on our solution. Our young competition prepping their project presentation! Team Operation BBQ, we got this!!! I don’t even think they are old enough to drive! Team leader David Marks @pitmaster_david and Michael Campion @michaelxcampion take the long walk to meet the mystery judges to pitch our solution to solving a worldly problem. We are in great hands with these two amazing individuals! Made our first pitch to the judges, now it’s time for a little down time and preparation for our next final pitch to the masses!!! Nothing better than @leeharvey22 getting pampered by @amyjinkc before we take the world by storm. And the winner is..... All teams gathered on stage for the announcement of the winning team. The series will launch in 2020 so stay tuned and check out @socialmovementtv for updates. Win, loose or draw, what an amazing experience to be involved with incredible people for an amazing cause!
Dallas First Baptist Palm Sunday March For Eternal Life
@firstdallas, Dallas, Texas, Palm Sunday. On Sunday, April 14, 2019, my church, First Baptist experienced a night of worship with singer Michael W. Smith and observed The Lord’s Supper. After service, the congregation led by Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress participated in the March for Eternal Life as they carried a lit cross to Klyde Warren Park proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!
Aviation Buffs, Guess The Plane
With well over 800 hours in the air over my 21 years of service as a U.S. Air Force Aerial Photographer I have been fortunate enough to fly in just about everything the military has that has two seats. Below is a mysterious detail image of an aircraft. I am asking my viewers to play along with me and try and guess the aircraft. Have fun! Answers are at the end. How many did you get right? 1. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 2. Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber 3. Lockheed AC-130 Gunship 4. Lockheed C-130 Hercules 5. Rockwell B-1 Lancer 6. American Airlines Douglas DC 3 7. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker 8. Cessna Citation 9. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor 10. Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (nicknamed Warthog)
This past weekend, my wife and I attended The Warren Center’s gala, The Art Of Music. Singer-songwriter Ron Bultongez and I were excited to be this years Headlining Visual Artist for the event. Ron wrote and sang an original piece for the gala and I created a few pieces of art to be auctioned off. The artwork raised over $10K for the charity! However, my highlight of working with The Warren Center was donating my time to dive into and document some of the beautiful families they serve and show a glimpse of their lives. I took Ron’s music titled, Center Of It All and created a video project with my imagery titled, Beautifully Broken. I think we are ALL broken in some way or another in our lives, but what I witnessed while documenting and learning about these families was a beauty in these children not held down by their disabilities. And just like that the title was born! A value was instilled in me by my mentors throughout my military service. Give back as freely as it was given to you! Now that I am retired from the military, I choose and look forward to giving back to a military charity and a local civilian charity every year. I hope you enjoy and share the video! The Warren Center is a nonprofit agency that advocates, serves and empowers the children and families impacted by developmental delays and disabilities. The Warren Center was created in 1968. Over the years, they have given parents access to the resources their children needed, and more importantly, hope and support. To learn more: https://www.thewarrencenter.org Ron Bultongez is living the American Dream. From growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo to being named the “Hometown Hero” of Plano, TX and becoming a Top 24 Finalist on American Idol 2018. Ron’s dreams have taken him far. His journey, depth, and spirit are evident in his smooth yet raspy vocals and his bluesy, soulful songwriting. Check him out at: https://ronbultongez.com
Loving The Vibe at Newport Beach
Loving the vibe at Newport Beach, California!!!!!! Having a fun time on a short vacation with my beautiful wife @dandrasimmons .
RHOD Season Three Reunion Promo Video.
Had a little fun this week learning/making a promo video for my wife’s #rhod season three reunion finale, and a big thank you to her fans! I absolutely love photographing her!!! Hope you will watch next Wednesday! #teamdandra
Final Post for @smithsonianmagazine Instagram Takeover
I wanted to share with you all my last post for my Instagram takeover with @smithsonianmagazine through the week of Veterans Day 2018! I salute all our present military and our veterans, but more importantly the ones that gave it all and never came home! #neverforget Here is a snippet of a ongoing project I have been working on for the last couple of years with our nations greatest heroes. Those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor!!!!
NYC November 2018
My wife and I took a quick two-day business trip up to NYC. While she was working, shopping and sleeping, I was out exploring and playing in this big beautiful city.
SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE: A Veteran Combat Photographer Recalls His Most Memorable Shots
Always feeling blessed and honored to share my work and story especially during this Veterans Day! Happy Veterans Day to you all and thanks for your service! Please check out the story at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/veteran-combat-photographer-recalls-his-most-memorable-shots-180970776/
@smithsonianmagazine Instagram Takeover
Hope you will join me @smithsonianmagazine as I takeover their Instagram account for the next seven days in honor of America’s Veterans Day showcasing my work as a Combat Photojournalist through the years documenting our brave men and women in the military! Photo by @donny_bajohr at the Eddie Adams workshop memorial service.
Jeremy Lock | Recipient of the First Annual South x Southeast Director’s Award 2018 | To Be An Apata
Wow, it has been a whirlwind of “on the road” work since June for me! I have been working at workshops, (one that I run), travels to India finishing up a personal project, living out of a car for a couple weeks covering Hurricane Florence and a bunch of guest speaking to include speaking to the Canadian military and NATO forces in Ottawa, Canada. When I came home a week ago I had a beautiful email in my in box from a great mentor of mine congratulating me. “Congratulations on this wonderful South by Southeast Director’s Award. You deserve it and much more. This honor is an appreciation of the very necessary and powerful work you deliver each time you go out to do your work. You have made a personal step forward to make a difference. It shows that a person can deliver truth and beauty when they lead with their heart and soul.” – Eli Reed, Magnum Photographer I was scratching my head until I then looked further down in my emails and found the official confirmation from South x Southeast. I was truly overjoyed!!!!! This was a project that I had worked on last fall in Far East India with a great friend of mine Russell Klika and was an amazing Army Combat Camera man during his time in service. Just to get to some of our locations during the trip it took two days by train, 16 hour bus rides and finally around six-eight hour car rides. Russell big thanks to our trip and introducing me to this amazing culture! As you know I would travel with you anywhere!!! This has been an amazing project to work on that has truly enriched my life! I couldn’t have even come close to finishing up this without the help of my AMAZING writer Taylor Nam who works to bring my interviews, perspective and thoughts into a beautiful story. I continue to love working with her on our projects! So this story To Be An Apatani Woman has made it into the top 20 in Pictures of the Year International and now this award. It has been frustrating trying to find a home/publication for this project in hopes of bringing more awareness and understanding into our complex world. I am happy to be sharing it with you and in this way! Thanks again to Nancy at South x Southeast for the honor and belief in my work. I hope you will all take the time to read the story that accompanies the images and by all means please share!!!! https://www.sxsephotogallery.com/2018/10/21/jeremy-lock-recipient-of-the-south-x-southeast-directors-award-2018-to-be-an-apatani-woman/ To Be An Apatani Woman When the last tattooed Apatani woman of Arunachal Pradesh passes, the tribe will lay to rest one of the most significant parts of their history and culture–the coming-of-age ritual of nose plugging and facial tattooing, two practices that historically defined what it meant to be an Apatani woman. Up until 1974, young Apatani girls around the tender age of seven were forced to plug their noses with cane and tattoo their faces from hairline to nose and then across the chin using a tipe tere (local thorny plant). In this northeastern Indian state also known as the ‘Land of the Rising Sun,’ nose plugs and face tattoos were much a part of the journey to womanhood as was finding a husband and starting a family. News organizations have reported in the past that these physical modifications were made so that enemy tribes wouldn’t steal the famously beautiful Apatani women during tribal disputes. However, an Apatani woman named Manu gave another reason for the tradition as it was taught to her years ago by her parents: “If you don’t have tattoos and nose plugs, no boys will be attracted to you. If you want to get married, you need these.” However, according to the locals of Ziro Valley, these practices were banned by the government in the 1970’s. Some of the Apatani women expressed their gratitude that the rituals have been banned; they do not want to see younger generations go through the physical pain of plugging one’s nose and tattooing one’s face. Other women disagreed. They see the ban as a suppression of their identity. In the words of Apatani, Lulyo, “I want the younger women to keep on the tradition, because God has given them some kind of sign that they must follow the culture.” Yet, even those who disagree with the ban seemed to have reached a sort of individual peace with the changing culture, expressing a trust in fate, destiny, God or organization to the way of life that goes beyond the physical world. The ban represents both the movement towards modernization as well as movement away from what has always been. For as long as history has been passed from generation to generation, to have the plugs and tattoos is to be Apatani. Now, going forward, these women must decide what marks them as being distinct from the surrounding tribes and, really, the rest of the world. Story written by: Taylor Nam Punyo Pui, 80’s Michi Yaji, 75-80 Michi Yaring, 75-80 Yaring was 14 yrs old when she had her nose done and was tattooed at 15 yrs old. When her mother started to tattoo her she screamed a lot and asked to wait until her father came home from the jungle. Yaring said, “five people including her father had to catch her and hold her down”. Although it was very painful, she would like the younger girls to take on the responsibility and continue the tradition. Tilling Manu, 61 Manu was 3 yrs old when her ears were pierced, 7yrs old when she received her nose plug and tattooed at the age of 12 or 13. She didn’t want to get the tattoos because she heard it was painful. She ran and hid under the house with the pigs until her parents pulled her out and tied her hands and legs before performing the act. When asked now about her tattoos and nose plug Manu says, ” I am very proud to have them because it is our own culture. I want to have these because everybody knows that I am Apatani”. Michi Modii, 60
Finally getting around to posting a fun assignment I had this past April for the EarthX 2018 gala here in Dallas, Texas. I was brought in to do a little portrait session with some of the VIP’s attending the event. Wow, and to my surprise, I was blown away when Dr. Buzz Aldrin, one of my childhood heroes walked in to be photographed! He is a great person full of character and life and was so much fun on set! His attire is absolutely so fitting for him! In fact all the VIP’s I got to work with are absolutely amazing and it was a true honor to work with them all!!! EarthX is the World’s Largest Environmental Expo, Conference and Film Festival. Their mission is Connecting a global community to create a sustainable world for all life and future generations. They have a vision of being the leading global connector and environmental forum to positively impact our world for a sustainable future. Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr.; January 20, 1930) is an American engineer, former astronaut, and Command Pilot in the United States Air Force. As Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 11 mission, he and mission commander Neil Armstrong were the first two humans to land on the Moon. Aldrin set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC), 9 minutes after Armstrong first touched the surface. (Global Impact Honoree 2018) Left: Miguel Hoffmann – Mexican Actor (Most recognized actor in Mexico). Right: Danni Washington is an on-camera personality and science communicator who is deeply passionate about our oceans. (Global Impact Honoree 2018) Left: Ovie Mughelli – Former Fullback for the Atlanta Falcons. Right: Colbie Marie Caillat is an American singer and songwriter from Malibu, California. Caillat rose to fame through social networking website Myspace. At that time, she was the number-one unsigned artist of her genre. After signing with Universal Republic Records, she released her debut album Coco in July 2007. Left: Sonja Morgan (The Real Housewives of New York City) is a fixture of New York City society. She got her start modeling in Paris and Milan and studying marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, representing high-end luxury brands while keeping her Berkshire-bred sensibilities and values. Sonja used her business acumen and social skills—along with rock-and-rollers, royalty, and the power set—to launch several award-winning luxury fashion brands and successful hot spots across the country. Right: Jorge Heredia is an award winning Host, Actor and Journalist who launched his career as the host of Emmy & Paoli award winning entertainment variety show, “Que Pasa Miami?”. The show garnered a global weekly audience of 22 million and was broadcast in 19 international cities. Jorge decided to expand his portfolio by working as an actor on independent films and television in the US. Left: Dr. Cyrus Wadia is Vice President, Sustainable Business & Innovation, NIKE, Inc., where he is responsible for enabling the company’s sustainability strategy with the goal of driving change across Nike and the wider industry. (Global Impact Honoree 2018) Right: Cyrill Gutsch founded Parley for the Oceans to provide a collaboration network where creators, thinkers and leaders can come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate to end their destruction. Parley is known for renaming sustainability into ‘Eco Innovation,’ a concept realized through high-caliber collaborations and the introduction of Ocean Plastic™, a range of premium materials for the sports, fashion and luxury industries made from upcycled plastic debris collected on high seas, beaches and in remote coastal communities. (Global Impact Honoree)
2018 Kolkata, India
God I LOVE India!!! Its been a great couple of weeks here in Kolkata, India working on a project I started last November on the city's yellow Ambassador cabs. I have been all over this “City of Joy” sometimes walking up to 10 miles a day. I will be excited to share my project when its completed. In the meantime, here are some images shot in-between my project. Also a big thanks to my partner in crime, my military and travel buddy, Russell Klika @rklika
May 25, 2018 Bike The Bricks in McKinney, Texas
Bike The Bricks is a multiple bike race (11 races) that puts these cyclist on a timed (20-70 min) multiple lap 1 mile L-shaped track through a beautiful neighborhood and McKinney's Downtown. In some places throughout the town, spectators are inches from the action as some riders reach speed of 40mph. Bike The Bricks cyclist take off down the hill on West Virginia Street for the first part of the first race on May 25, 2018 in McKinney, Texas. Seated on his bike at the starting line among other competitors a cyclist eats an energy packet before the annual Bike The Bricks race. Female cyclist prepare to round the corner of Tennessee Street and Hunt during a race on the May 25, 2018 in McKinney, Texas. Spectators having lunch at Square Burger watch as a cyclists round the last corner of Kentucky Street and Virginia Street before they cross the finish line during a race. A Mckinney family brings their West Virginia Street living room outdoors to watch and cheer on the cyclist competing in the annual Bike The Bricks race. A cyclist leading her race prepares to round the corner of Tennessee Street and Hunt on the last lap of a race. Cyclists race through Downtown McKinney during the annual Bike The Bricks race. In some places throughout the town, spectators are inches from the action as some riders reach speed of 40mph. Cyclists race neck and neck with each other through Downtown McKinney during a race. Downtown McKinney streets are blocked off and transformed into making a 1 mile L-shaped track for cyclists competing in the races. Cyclists collide at the starting line as they begin the final race of the day. Cyclist race up Louisiana Street during the the annual Bike The Bricks final race. A cyclist and his family and friends leave the race venue to pack up the car and head out after the final race of the annual Bike The Bricks on the May 25, 2018 in McKinney, Texas.
May 5, 2018 Voices In The Streets, When The NRA Comes To Dallas
This weekend the city of Dallas hosted the NRA convention and thousands of gun enthusiast. While others FOR and AGAINST the NRA took to the city streets to let their voices be heard. This is a combination of three rallies: Stand Up To The NRA, Rally 4 Reform and a open carry fire arm rally. It was great getting out there and running into some old friends like Adrees Latif while working with a younger photographer I am mentoring. All the rallies went of great and from what I could tell I didn’t see any fighting from opposing sides. When I did encounter anything it was a discussion between the two.
January 20, 2018 Dallas Impeach Trump Rally
This weekend we had three rally’s (Woman’s March, Pro-Life, and Impeach Trump) here in Dallas. I chose to go out and cover the Impeach Trump Solidarity Rally & March For North Texas. The weather here finally warmed up and maybe around 100 people gathered at Dallas City Hall to call for Trump’s impeachment.
I just returned back home from a truly epic 37-day trip to the northeastern part of India with a fellow retired Army photographer friend of mine, Russell Klika. You can find him on Instagram at: rklika Trip Overview:
We started our India trip out from the city of Kolkata and headed north into Arunachal Pradesh and visited the city of Tawang and Ziro. Next we went to Guwahati in Assam for transportation to Nagaland. Lastly we started to make our way home back to Kolkata but not before stopping at Majuli Island for some relaxation. Stay tuned for upcoming stories I worked on in these areas! Kolkata:
After a physically demanding trip in the remote regions of northeastern India we finally made it back to Kolkata where we had a few days to burn before our flight home. Jokingly, Russell said, “We should go out and photograph Kolkata for 24 hrs.” And “Kolkata 24” was born! I then laid down the rules. I said, “This is awesome, and you must produce an image every hour to share on a social media platform, so at the end you HAVE to show 24 images.” The game was born, but little did we know how demanding it would be. A local friend and photographer Raj Maeyukh Dam decided to join in with us and help us around the city. Our little adventure took us to such places as the Chicken Hotel Market, Old Kolkata, numerous Ghats, a railway colony, Chinatown, nightclubs, the train station, flower market and running the streets in the late hours with the dogs. (Next time you see me, ask me about the craziest thing I have ever seen with dogs, it blew my mind!)
During our game, we had some great hours where we would stumble upon something cool and shooting would be great. But on the other hand you had the hours were we would be in transit from one part of the city to another or in a place where nothing was really going on and shooting was hard. It didn’t matter the situation, you have to have an image to represent that hour. Which now brings me to my next point. Editing of the final 24 images to produce a well-rounded representation of the city was another challenge. On the good hours you had to cut some of your best images of the day and on the not so good hours you might be posting a fish picture from dinner in Chinatown.
“Kolkata 24” was a blast and a great way to test our skills! I hope you enjoy the way I saw this vibrant and energetic city in 24hrs.
I would love to hear your comments! “Kolkata 24” Timeline 5-6 am: Hogg Market: Chicken Hotel Market 6-7 am: Walking Central Kolkata 7-8 am: Walking Shakespeare Sarani (area) 8-9 am: Metro to Kalighat 9-10 am: Kalighat market & Viewed Mother Teresa hospital. (No photos allowed) 10-11 am: Coffee at Raj’s uncle & ride to our hotel to refresh cards and batteries 12-1 pm: Our hotel and the Taltala Market area 1-2 pm: Heading to Old Kolkata through traffic and Central Kolkata 2-3 pm: Old Kolkata Ghat and the railway colony 3-4 pm: Old Kolkata 4-5 pm: Old Kolkata Nimtala Park (affection) 5-6 pm: Bara Bazar 6-7 pm: Drive to Chinatown, Topsin and dinner at Lee Garden 7-8 pm: China Town, Topsin 8-9 pm: China Town Topsin and to a fair (stuck in traffic) 9-10 pm: Fair and walk to our hotel to refresh cards and batteries 10-11 pm: Our hotel then head to Sudder street by walking 11-12 am: Sudder street & Park street 12-1 am: Park street 1-2 am: Park street (Roxy Club) & Sudder street 2-3 am: Howrah Train station area 3-4 am: Howrah Train station & Malik Ghat Flower Market 4-5 am: Malik Ghat Flower Market
National Geographic Magazine, The French Version
Feeling so blessed to come home after such a long trip and find in the mail a beautiful surprise! My photo ran in such an amazing magazine, the French version!!!! See sweetie, it wasn’t all fun and games on our honeymoon! 😉
It was an AMAZING trip to India this year! My old military buddy Russell Klika @rklika and I spent a little over a month on planes, trains and automobiles this past November. We landed in Kolkata, India and spent a few days playing in the city. Next we headed to Arunachal Pradesh where we ventured into the Himalayas to visit and work with the monks at the Tawang Monastery in Tawang, India. Next we were off to Ziro Valley where we worked with the beautiful Apatani women who are distinct with the coming-of-age ritual of nose plugging and facial tattooing. Lastly before heading back to Kolkata, we went to Nagaland where we worked with the Headhunters, who have their face tattooed if they have taken a head or two. The purpose of this trip was to document cultures that in a few years will be gone forever. The projects will be released soon. In the mean time, here are some faces and places from our travels in between our destinations.
Kurdistan, Iraq Color Fest
On my recent trip to Kurdistan, Iraq with the amazing Mercury One we had a little down time to take in the first ever festival of colors in Sami Abdulrahman Park, Erbil, hosted by the Nishtiman Youth Network (NYN) Color Fest was happening the day after we arrived in Iraq. This was the first large gathering of Kurdish young people (aged 13 to 30 and some “young at hearts” like us) celebrating ethnical, religious, and cultural diversity in the region. This festival took place a couple days before their Independence referendum vote. Every Kurdish youth must have been there. It was a celebration of freedom and independence! With techno music blaring from the stag, they threw color powder in the air and at one another while a helicopter dropped rose petals from the sky. It was not too long ago that that ISIS controlled this region. It was incredible to experience and be part of this jubilation and celebration of normalcy and unity for all those that have weathered through turmoil and crisis. According to Wikipedia, On 25 September 2017 Kurdistan held their referendum vote with preliminary results showing approximately 93 percent, cast in favor of Kurdistan independence. The referendum's legality was rejected by the federal government of Iraq.
ISIS Last Stronghold
With only 8.1 km separating Batnaya and Tel Skuf, they existed as sister cities in an area of Iraq called the Nineveh Plain – a place that Christians and other ethnoreligious minorities have lived for millennia. When ISIS swept across Iraq in August 2014 on a mission of systematic annihilation against Christians and other religious minorities, chaos ensued. People were forced to flee their homes instantly, knowing full well that ISIS would soon destroy their churches, houses and places of work. Eventually, ISIS took Batnaya with the full intention to advance towards Tel Skuf, desecrating everything in its way. In the resulting struggle between the Kurdish army, called Peshmerga, and ISIS to take possession of the land, Batnaya became a desolate moonscape and Tel Skuf an uninhabited ghost town, constantly under enemy fire, directly on the war’s front line. By October 2017, the Peshmerga, together with the Coalition Forces, drove out the last of the ISIS from Batnaya and eventually all of Nineveh. In Tel Skuf, 300 families have started the process of patching their lives back together. In Batnaya, however, only one man has re-established his home and returned with his family. Even with ISIS gone, the current political uncertainty has caused some to hesitate on returning to Nineveh while others have chosen to leave the province altogether, seeking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan, other nearby countries, or in the West. For all the displaced people of Nineveh, these towns mean more than the streets and buildings – Nineveh is the wounded but still beating heart of Iraq’s minority population. The Nineveh Plains are symbolic, a cultural and religious landmark and to remain with the uncertainties of war still on the horizon is to claim ownership of one’s future there. -Story written by Taylor Nam Erbil, located approximately 120 kilometers north of Baghdad, is the capital city of the Kurdistan Region and became the destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the neighboring province of Nineveh. This region is where the majority of Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities, including a nearly 2,000-year-old Christian community, reside. Although ISIS never reached Erbil itself, war consumed its neighboring cities and threatened the lives of everyone in the area until its expulsion from Iraq in the fall of 2017. In a process of systematic persecution of Christians and other ethnoreligious minorities like Yazidis, ISIS invaded the Nineveh Plains with the intent of creating its territorial caliphate and to obliterate everything representing these cultures. Women and children were no exception. When ISIS took Batnaya, thousands fled to the Kurdistan region with only minutes notice, taking with them only what they could carry and leaving most of their possessions behind. Once clear of Batnaya, they had little place to go except for refugee camps. Although they may have escaped the ISIS invasion, the people of Nineveh were far from safe. Batnaya’s neighbor, Telskuf, was held by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and became the front line against ISIS. The militants who captured Batnaya were stopped only a few kilometers away. Filled with homes, shops, restaurants, schools — like any normal town — Telskuf marked the last line of defense in Northern Iraq. Just on the horizon and after years of occupation, looting, shelling, desecration and eventually coalition bombing, Batnaya was reduced to near rubble as Telskuf remained relatively intact. Although ISIS nearly captured Telskuf it continued to besiege it daily with mortars, artillery, sniper infiltrations and roadside bombs. Eventually, the extremists were pushed back by the Peshmerga forces with air support from the United States. As a defensive measure, The Peshmerga drew literal lines in the sand with WWI-like trenches dug deep into the Telskuf ¬that remain visual scars recent conflict. For almost three years, ISIS ravaged Batnaya and continually attacked Telskuf. The rubble piles and dry, fragmented vegetation in both towns reflects the destruction. With debris littering the streets and entire buildings leveled almost beyond recognition, Nineveh was transformed from an ancient sanctuary to ruins. In Batnaya, very few buildings withstood ISIS’s occupation. Those that did were disfigured by the ravages of war – graffiti, bullet holes, bomb craters, missing walls and piles of rubble. With all the residents gone and around 80-percent of the town damaged, the now ghost town took on a moonscape-like appearance. The Peshmerga (with air support from the U.S.) eventually pushed ISIS out of Batnaya but the retreating fighters scorched the earth as they fled by blowing up key infrastructure, llooting and leaving booby traps for the victors in an already devastated city. The Christians of Batnaya have been slow to return, because so little of their old lives remain and danger still exists. By September 2017, only one family had returned to Batnaya. They live in what would be a normal home in any other town but here, perched amidst the wreckage; the structure’s mere existence is remarkable. Other residents, while at first expressing their resolution to return to their city, now face the reality that everything they once knew is nearly gone. What used to be a place of worship, the Catholic Church in Batnaya, now stands as a testament to jihad. With the statuary destroyed and the building in near ruins, the altar was used as target practice by occupying ISIS militants. On the walls, hateful messages were made in Arabic but also in German ISIS soldier scribbled caliphate graffiti on the walls – a testament to ISIS’s global appeal. The local vicar has expressed that he will keep the bullet-riddled altar as a monument and a reminder to visitors and Parishioners alike that although outside forces like ISIS may try to wipe out Christianity, the community will endure. Clothing, toys, and photos — memories of happier days — all had to be left behind when the people of Nineveh fled for their lives. In the choice between personal mementos and one’s life, the decision is instinctual and often instantaneous. For the Christians of Batnaya, the abandonment and loss of material things represents how quickly their lives can be taken from them. Initially, the general attitude among the displaced Christians, Yazidis and other refugees was that they would return to their towns in Nineveh, including Batnaya and Telskuf, when ISIS was defeated. However, some have left Iraq and will never return seeking refuge in neighboring counties like Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond. Many remain in refugee camps with no money or means to rebuild. In Telskuf, the town is making a comeback with stores and shops reopening. Even restaurants are turning on their lights once more. No matter if they choose to go back home to Telskuf and Batnaya or to move elsewhere, the attitude of those Christians and the other displaced peoples who lived through the ISIS invasion remains one of hope and pride. ISIS did not win. Jihad did not prevail. And, for the future, hope exists.
Cinderella, One Of The Family
Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq: At the age of twenty-two, Ranen had never heard a pin drop. She had never experienced the movement of a decibel through her eardrums, living her life in silence and virtual isolation. Along with her younger brother and sister, Ranen had been born born deaf. However, while Rita and Yusaf both were able to get cochlear implants that bypassed normal hearing processes and allowed them to hear, Ranen was told that her case beyond professional remedy. As the only person in her family unable to hear, Ranen existed in a separate world from everyone, feeling segregated from the family activities. She resented her forgotten, isolated life and her parents for their negligence to even try to help.
A humanitarian organization, Mercury One, discovered Ranen and her family living in a refugee camp after they had escaped an invasion from ISIS on their home in Qaraqosh, Iraq. Mercury One was able to move them to safe, dignified living conditions and learned that Ranen and her two siblings were deaf.
The organization was able to assist in repairing Ranen’s younger siblings cochlear implant devices and then asked what it could do to help their older sister. Ranen’s father, Ayad, expressed that it was simply too late to help Ranen. Mercury One did not accept that diagnosis.
After multiple medical consultations, Mercury One overturned Ranen’s previous diagnosis and, as of August 2017, she had surgery to install a state-of-the-art Medel implant. A few weeks later, Ranen returned to the hospital with her father, Ayad, when she heard sounds and his voice for the first time ever.
An entirely new sense was now available to this young woman. A day after returning from the hospital, Ranen attended a wedding where she was able to hear music for the first time. To dance. To move where the notes carried her. And to feel, finally, like just one of the family. Story written by: Taylor Nam Born deaf, Ranen stands in the kitchen with her aunt after performing her morning chores on September 15, 2017 in the family home in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Ranen uses her hands to communicate as she plays cards with her father Ayad and sister Rita on September 15, 2017 in the family home in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Ranen sits at the kitchen table as her family members carry on a conversation around her on September 15, 2017 in the family home in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Also born deaf and fitted with a cochlear implant, Ranen's brother Yusaf watches her perform her chores for the day on September 15, 2017 in the family home in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Ranen's sister Rita is also deaf with a cochlear implant. Both Yusaf and Rita's implants were broken and then fixed by Mercury One when they started to help the family get out of the refugee camp. Ranen sits on the edge of the make shift couch unaware of the commotion of her brother Yusaf and sister Rita teasing each other as mother Suhama steps in to break it up on September 15, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Father Ayad changes his sons Yusaf's cochlear implant battery as he studies with his sister Rita before heading to their weekly speech therapy class on September 15, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. With funding from the humanitarian organization Mercury One, Ranen kisses her family goodbye for her second and finally journey with her father to Hotel D'hieu De France hospital in Beruit, Lebanon to be fitted with the final piece of her state-of-the-art Medel implant in hopes of hearing for the first time on September 16, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. At the Hotel D'hieu De France hospital in Beruit, Lebanon on September 18, 2017 Ranen hears for the first time in her life as her doctor Fouad Saab celebrates and her father Ayad records the moment on his phone. Ranen and her family attend a family wedding the next day after returning from Lebanon and a successful state-of-the-art Medel hearing implant on September 19, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Ranen for the first time in her life dances to the music she now hears at a family wedding on September 19, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Ranen takes a break from all her dancing at a family wedding on September 19, 2017 in Ainkawa Erbil, Iraq. Mercury One is now providing speech therapy for Ranen, Rita and Yusaf. Additionally, they are currently arranging for the family to emigrate to Australia to begin their new life.
SAVE THE DATE! I Hope you will join us when I team up with the amazing artist Steve Tate, as Art Meets Photography Tate-Lock Exhibition on September 28, 2017 at 6pm. I will be showcasing my “Burners Essence” project with never before seen work! BURNERS ESSENCE Burning Man is a weeklong event held once a year in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, that experiments in community, art, radical self-expression and self-reliance. All are welcome. A unique and distinctive culture emerges from the experience. The focus and intent of my Burning Man series titled, “Burners Essence” is to capture a sense of theater and play, and collectively explore the vivid lives each of us possesses within. Now, finally after six years in the making, I am ready to release the series. I first started what turned into this project in 2009, at my first “burn”. I was trying to document the whole thing. I had no intentions other than my love of visual storytelling. One particular day, I was shooting at Center Camp, and found myself completely overwhelmed! I remember putting my camera down in my lap and thinking to myself, “I don’t belong here”. I hopped on my bike and headed back to my camp. As I rode to camp feeling defeated, I looked at all the beautiful people I was passing by. And then it hit me; Burning Man is about all the beautiful people; beautiful in spirit and essence. Burning Man is about unlocking their freedom of expression. It’s about them! When I got back to camp I took out an old red sheet we were going to use as part of our shower, I hung it up and started inviting these beautiful people in to be photographed. I found my gift to give and my belonging at Burning Man! Since 2009, I have returned to Burning Man in 2011, 2013 and 2014. I have given the same gift of a portrait session to other “burners” each year. When I invite them in to be photographed, I don’t really give them any direction, all I say is, “I want you to express yourself in your best Burning Man fashion”. What I get to experience and photograph are magical moments capturing their “essence” and freedom of expression during one of the best times in their lives. What they get is my gift that will last a lifetime, a fond memory of their time at such a magical place where they feel included and are able to express themselves without being judged. When I started this project, I was a U.S. Military Combat Photojournalist in the Air Force (I actually retired September 1, 2013, while at Burning Man). I love visual storytelling. I thrive on “working” stories, diving into each experience and living for a moment in a world outside of my norm. With the military I captured the essence of the world’s peoples, tragedies, celebrations, and everyday realities. The reason why I wanted to capture these images at Burning Man is because it was rejuvenating for me to “PLAY”, and lose myself after the seriousness of war. This was a place to be creative, and a time for me to set aside photojournalism, and the structure of the military. This is the place I discovered the artist inside me.
“Salute To The Troops”, Honors All Those Who Have Sacrificed For Our Nation’s Free
In my 21+ years as an Air Force photojournalist in the U.S. Military, I have never witnessed more amazing support and love towards our wounded veterans than by the people of Las Vegas! I just finished up a great weekend trip working with the Airpower Foundation http://airpowerfoundation.comwhere from Nov 7th through Nov 11th of 2014, American Airlines Veterans Initiatives, MGM Resorts International, the USO, and the Airpower Foundation hosted 80 Wounded Veterans and their significant other to a four day Veteran’s Day weekend celebration in Las Vegas an all expenses paid trip for the 5th Annual ‘Salute to the Troops’. American Airlines donated a special charter aircraft, which was flown by an all volunteer flight crew of pilots and flight attendants to pick up the wounded warriors and their guests from Ft. Belvior and Bethesda / Walter Reed Medical centers, and flew them to Las Vegas where MGM Resorts International rolled out the red carpet for the Veteran’s arrival at the Mirage Hotel; a place they would call home for the next 4 days. U.S. Army SFC Jim Hummer and friend Christine Sosnowski fly on a special American Airlines charter flight to Las Vegas for the Salute to the Troops weekend. Mirage hotel employee's, guest and locals from the area line up in front of the hotel and welcome 80 Wounded Veterans and their significant other as they get off their Greyhound buses and walk the red carpet. Wounded Veterans were treated to dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Julie and Greg Hendrick head to their Greyhound bus that will take them and the other Wounded Veterans to dinner at the Bubba Gump Co., followed by a concert on Fremont Street by Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. Tourists and locals of Las Vegas sing the United States of America's National Anthem on Fremont Street before kicking off a concert headlining Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band in honor of the Wounded Veterans and their family members. Kyle Moser and his wife Alexandra along with the other Wounded Veterans arrived to a huge warm welcoming at Fremont Street for a Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band concert honoring them. Tourist and locals expressed to them, "thank you's" for their service to our country. The USO Show Troop waits backstage before performing at the Fremont Street Experience concert. Country Singer Phil Vandel and his band is one of the opening performers for the Fremont Street Experience Concert. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band perform during the Fremont Street Experience Concert honoring our Wounded Veterans. Gunnery sergeant Mike Sidoti waits behind stage before presenting the Gary Sinise Foundation with a 9k donation from the estate of his friend Lou Kushler. Kyle Moser, his wife Alexandra and a fellow Veteran enjoy the Fremont Street Experience Concert honoring our Wounded Veterans.
Cincinnati Reds Home Opener: The Findley Market Parade
You know spring has officially begun in Ohio when downtown Cincinnati turns Red. Fans from all over come to celebrate not only the opening day game but also to be a part of the historic Findley Market Parade. This parade is grass roots Cincinnati and just as important to these fans as the game itself. In Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the sport’s first professional team, the annual Findlay Market Parade marks an official “city holiday” with young and old alike taking the day off to cheer on the Reds. 2015 marked the parades 96th year. Fans were there in the Queen City to show support in their own unique way for the only MLB team that opens at home every year! This was my second year working for Johnny Bench Enterprises covering the Reds Home Opener. I love the spirit and the kindness of the Cincinnati people! Now, I might be a little bias having grown up an hour away in Dayton, Ohio. I still remember my parents taking us kids to a few games, sitting in the outfield hoping to catch that home run ball with our gloves! The Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburg Pirates 5-2.
The Rumors Are True!
The rumors are true! This real housewife of Highland Park is a Real Housewife of Dallas! #RHOD #August14th #ComingSoon Proud of you my sweet love!!! Hold on tight and let the fun begin! Love you! Photography: Jeremy Lock
Hair: Liz Contreras
Makeup: Leticia Garcia
First Place In Range Finder Magazine "The Portrait" Contest.
The portraits from my Ghana trip earlier this year took 1st place in the Rangefinder magazine “The Portrait” competition. I guess a teaser look is ok! We are very close to finishing up and are getting ready to start pitching/releasing the project. To see all the winners: http://digitalmag.rangefinderonline.com/rangefinder/june_2017?pg=62#pg62
Behind The Scenes of 2017 Cancer Blows: The Legends Return
Behind The Scenes of 2017 Cancer Blows: The Legends Return. Once again, my wife D’Andra Simmons and I had the pleasure as Event Chairs working with the amazing charity Cancer Blows. And again, it was an honor to photograph the legends!!! Here is a look behind the scenes of me doing what I LOVE! Big thanks to Gary & Jesse O’Riley with Go Man Productions for the piece. Here are a couple teasers of the portraits. 2017 Cancer Blows, Doc Severinsen, Dallas, Texas. 2017 Cancer Blows, Lee Loughnane, Dallas, Texas. 2017 Cancer Blows, Ryan Anthony, Dallas, Texas. 2017 Cancer Blows, Ronald Romm and his wife Avis, Dallas, Texas. 2017 Cancer Blows, Arturo Sandoval, Dallas, Texas. 2017 Cancer Blows, Wycliffe Gordon, Dallas, Texas.
Published in HUFFPOST
So proud to see a project I worked on come to life for other to enjoy!!! Funny thing is I had so much fun hanging out of a small prop plane to capture these! I hope you will take the time to read the story at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/namib-sand-sea-aerial-photos_n_5913683be4b021221db9aa70 Some coastal areas have one or more sets of dunes running parallel to the shoreline directly inland from the beach. In most cases, the dunes are important in protecting the land against potential ravages by storm waves from the sea. Namib Desert August 17, 2015. A carpet of lichens cover the the Namib Desert dunes north of Swakopmund on August 17, 2015. Currently, Namibia has 120 lichens species which are found in the Namib Desert. They grow in great diversity on west facing slopes and surfaces where they are able to draw moisture from the sea fogs. A number of unusual species of animals that are highly adaptive and can live on little water are found in this desert to include oryxes, springboks, ostriches, and in some areas even desert elephants. Namib Desert August 17, 2015. The vivid pink-to-orange color in some of the dunes is an indication of a high concentration of iron in the sand and consequent oxidation processes. The oldest dunes are those of a more intense reddish color. Namib Desert August 17, 2015. Resembling tree branches, dried up water runoff has left its scar on the Namib Desert in Namibia Africa on August 17, 2015. The desert gets less than .39 inches of rain annually. The dry climate of the Namib reflects the almost complete lack of bodies of water on the surface. Most rivers flow underground and are dry for most of the year, The Atlantic Ocean comes ashore kissing the Skeleton Coast of Namibia on August 11, 2015. The Skeleton Coast is located in northern Namibia and has long been a graveyard for unwary ships and their crews, hence its forbidding name. Early Portuguese sailors called it As Areias do Inferno (The Sands of Hell), as once a ship washed ashore, the fate of the crew was sealed.
Studio Life: Honeycomb Salon & Color Lab
A couple weeks back I had a fun fashion/hair shoot in the studio for a great client! Here are a few teasers!
Published in PATRON MAGAZINE: Master Class
An influential player of extraordinary virtuosity, Ryan Anthony blows his trumpet for cancer research along with a few legendary friends. To read the full story (Page 70-73): https://issuu.com/patronmagazine/docs/patron_april_may_2017 Once again I get to work with my amazingly talented friend who is doing incredible things despite being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma Cancer. I also included a few shots that didn't make the story.
JM Gallery Solo Exhibition, Dallas.
I hope you will come out and join me for my solo exhibition at JM Gallery in One Arts Plaza Dallas, Texas. Opening reception will be held Friday March 3, 6-9pm. Location: One Arts Plaza 1722 Routh Street, Suite 106 Exhibition runs March 3rd through April 15th, 2017. Patron Magazine ran an article: https://patronmagazine.com/bronze-star-medalist-jeremy-lock-opens-stirring-photography-exhibition-at-jm-gallery/
SCOOTING IN ITALY!
On a recent family vacation with my mother-in-law and wife, we were fortunate enough to cruise the beautiful Mediterranean. We started out in Venice and ended up in Barcelona, hitting numerous ports along the way. I was playing the family tourist photographer role, documenting our trip every day. As a photojournalist, I yearned for something more to document as a small project or as I call it, “play”. The problem was, we only had a few hours in each port. It was on our second stop in Italy, traveling through Florence and Sorrento, that I started to notice the huge number of scooters zipping in and out of traffic, the different styles of clothing and helmets, and the full range of ages that were riding. “This is my fun little project”, I decided. It was a project that I could capture in-between and while we were sight seeing, and it was a project I could “work” from a street corner, while the ladies were shopping…and they shopped a lot! It was so much fun trying to capture the scooters and their riders, especially their facial expressions as they were, zipping by.
The images in my little essay were captured in Sorrento and Rome, Italy. Some fun facts I researched according to Wanderinginitalia:
(https://wanderinginitalia.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/why-do-most-italians-ride-scooters/) Italians are not allowed to get their drivers license until they are 18 years old. However, they are permitted to drive motor-scooters at the age of 14. Therefore, teenagers are raised on two wheels before they earn their right of passage. -It is more convenient to have a small motor-bike that can weave in and out of the cars and find parking in small spaces. Besides traffic conditions, cities like Milan require a hefty price for using your car in the city center due to the high congestion and air quality problems. It is simply soooo much fun to ride a scooter around the city, zipping by monuments and feeling the air rush against you! I love watching people of every age hop onto their motorini! From teenagers: dressed in the latest fashion, with their high top shoes and conformist brands, styled hair-dos under helmets, flying to their next encounter—to the working class: women flipping their hair and pressing the gas with high heels, men with flying suit tails flapping in the breeze weaving through morning traffic, picking up their children after school and securing them in the bike—to the older people: still hanging in with the high blood-pressure traffic maneuvers and ready as every to make absurd high-flying gestures at the crazy driving comportment of the fellow motorists–that absurd driving etiquette which is innately Italian.
Prison Fellowship: There are 2.2 million men and women in prison in the U.S. Each Year.
Prison Fellowship is the largest Christian nonprofit out reach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families. Founded in 1976, this program brings restoration to those affected by crime and incarceration in all 50 states by facilitating prisoners' transformation, supporting prisoners' families and returning citizens, and advocating for a criminal justice system that reflects the God-given dignity and potential of each life. Here is a teaser look at the project. Carol Vance Unit, Sugarland, Texas. The Interchange Freedom Initiative at the Carole Vance Unit, Sugarland, Texas. The IFI program of Prison Fellowship is a model for intensive transformational programs around the country. At IFI, groups of 45 - 60 men voluntarily transfer to the Carole Vance Unit for an 18-month 24/7 holistic transformation process. There are usually four or five groups progressing through the program at a given time, for a total of about 280 - 300 men in the unit. A key feature of the program is the high number of engage volunteers to teach classes and mentor the men. The IFI program has been studied and proven to reduce recidivism by 8%. There are 2.2 million men and women in prison in the U.S. Each Year, over 600,000 get released and return to communities around the country. Will their prison experience make them better neighbors? Crain Unit, Gatesville, Texas The Crain Unit at the women's prison in Gatesville, Texas, features a faith-based dorm were 35 to 40 women live and work through an intensive transformational program together for 12 months, with the expectation that most of the women will complete their sentences and be released soon after the programs. Prison Fellowship-trained volunteers from First Baptist Church, Dallas, visit this dorm once a week, sometimes more, to teach the TUMI in-prison seminary course, which helps the women develop a much greater knowledge and understanding of who God is, Who they are, and how biblical principles can guide them both inside and outside the prison.