Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel

For those who have not heard, my cousin Ray was killed by an IED in Iraq over the last weekend. This weekend my family is all headed to West Texas for his funeral services. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Ray was a sweet kid with a big heart and big ears. He was quiet and polite and I don't recall him ever saying a cross word to anyone.

When all the other cousins had gotten to cool to hug... Ray was always the one to get in there and grab you around the waist and squeeze his goodbyes out of you. I will miss his shining face.

Too Much

OK. Sorry guys... I went as long as I could... but the kid is just too damn cute NOT to be on my blog. I introduce to you my nephew...

I doubt this is the last time you will see him.


I have written before about the difficulty of covering funerals, it's hard to explain what it's like. Most of the time for us it's just another day at work. But on occasion it can be emotionally taxing. Military funerals are especially hard for me. I have a relative overseas in the war and it's always hard to lock that out.

Yesterday I shot Coach Eddie Robinson's funeral. I wrote earlier in the week about spending a day with him and his wife. So having seen the way they were together I knew the funeral might be difficult. For the most part it was a happy occasion, a celebration by thousands of people who had gathered together to celebrate his life.

But during the first song, Doris Robinson broke down and wept. The strength and composure she had shown all week left her in an instant. For just three minutes in a nearly four hour funeral we saw the grief and sorrow that strikes someone who has lost the one thing they love the most.

Watching through thousands of dollars of glass and mirrors, you can't look away and the camera is no longer a barrier. You are involved. You watch and you shoot and you are truly attached. For a moment you feel just a fraction of what that person feels and there is nothing to be done about it. All we can do is our jobs and try to understand what true empathy feels like.

Industrial Art

I love shooting heavy industry. I don't know why, but it always seems to have a certain grit about it. There is very little color so when color does show up its always vibrant. Here are a few examples, one from a construction site and the other from the Port of Shreveport.

A Lifetime of Love

Former Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson died this morning.

One of the things he always pointed out was his love for his wife. “The real record I have set for over 50 years is the fact that I have had one job and one wife,” Robinson said.

I had the good fortune to spend a game day with Coach Rob and his family a few years ago as his health was declining. It was a great day filled with warm people and old stories. Everyone knew Coach Rob and had a story to tell him. The press box was filled with NFL scouts who had been coached by Robinson in college. People just stopped by the Robinson's home before and after the game. Coach Robinson remembered some of them and not others, but was kind and welcoming to all of them.

Perhaps the thing that stuck in my mind the most was the obvious love between Robinson and his wife. You don't often see that kind of relationship these days.

I made this photo while setting up for a formal portrait in the Robinson's home that morning. It hasn't ever been published anywhere else. It's something I made just for myself. His high school sweetheart and wife Doris takes a just moment to adjust his tie and collar before the portrait and in that moment I can see 60-something years of love and dedication. Its a shame we can't see that more often.

When Dirt Turns to Mud

Just a short update... my dirt road turned to mud.

When parts of Texas received up to nine inches of rain on Friday the Sabanna River rose up out of its banks and we had to go in the back way, which other than the 20+ feet of water is a much worse road. This was 18 hours after the rain had stopped and the bridge is still under 10+ feet of water. Two full days later we were able to cross with some effort.