My plan was to photograph it before it faced demolition. Every day I would ride pass it and despite seeing the heavy machinery resting idle but positioned in a way that said “it’s almost time”, I kept procrastinating. The day I finally decided to photograph it, it was gone… demolished… and witnessing that changed me forever.

The place I’m referring to is the neighborhood church my grandmother frequented and the place I remember calling as a young child, the “I hate wearing polyester socks place“.

Before its terrible condition, the church was the spiritual home-base for many people in the community. I can still visualize the people singing; Mrs. Washington hitting the tambourine on her hip to the beat; my cousin and I making faces at each other and me being the only one getting caught and popped by my Gramma. But as time and people moved on, the years of emptiness and neglect made it obvious that the church’s days were numbered. For the sake of family and community history, I planned on spending a few hours within the church and wrapped in its moldy aroma to take photographs. Whether it was the old broken pews I spent many a time walking between at the age of 6 or 7 rubbing women’s legs, so my family says, to the water damaged piano that rested in the same place for decades, I was going to document history.

Sadly, I missed the opportunity to do something important for my family and the people connected to The Temple of Love Church. To this day, it hurts to think about – I let people down… I let myself down… I didn’t preserve a piece of history in my city.

The day I drove up to photograph the church and saw nothing but piles of wood, brick and metal was the day I promised myself that I would never take for granted the chance to photograph anything I felt important or interesting. Many instances have occurred that I’ve kept that promise, including the most recent time…. during our first winter snowstorm of 2016.

Despite not being Bucket List material, I’ve always wanted to do long exposure photographs during the winter. If you’ve create long exposure photographs you have a good understanding how colors can play a role in making a night time image look fantastic. Things like the color of the sky ranging from deep blue to magenta or a combination of both; the street lights emitting warm or cool color temperatures; structures in the foreground and background taking on a different characteristic at night or 4AM… and of course, having your F-stop set to turn rays of light into starburst. Now, take all if that and add beautiful white snow on the ground or gently falling from the sky. Now you get it…. now you understand why I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

If you’d like to see more of my work in a larger size and quantity, swing over to my portfolio website and check them out. Thanks for reading and never take for granted the opportunity to photograph what you find important or interesting.

Winter in Warren, Ohio. Photographed by Northeast Ohio Artist and Commercial Photographer, DeShawn Scott




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