I love getting to work for a small town newspaper. At a paper the size of the Daily Inter Lake I find that I genuinely get to engage in “community journalism,” trying to be the “eyes” of the place where I live. Even after seven years here, I still find myself interested in all the small moments, ordinary goings on and beautiful little stories that are part of this place. Every time I get to tell one of these stories, I am honored and I find, the stories I get to tell, they enrich my life.
This year, since Christmas is falling on a Sunday, the newspaper decided to do two big picture spreads that would give people photos specifically related to the day first thing on Sunday morning, and could be photographed in advance. The photos in this blog are from the Montana Life section on the annual nativity scene display put on the first week in December by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kalispell. The display is a multi-denominational event featuring nativity scenes or “creches,” many with international origins.
One of the things I love best about working for a newspaper is that I have a legitimate excuse to ask for certain levels of access that most people never get. And this story is one such example. For these photographs, I asked if I could come to the church before the crowds. I wanted to turn off the overhead lights and make photographs using the Christmas lights and a handheld Ice light, which lets me have much more control and stronger directionality to the light.
This was truly a fun project and I hope you enjoy the photos. Merry Christmas and joy for the year to come.