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Jenna Caplette
Montana photos

Jenna CapletteJenna Caplette migrated from California to Montana in the early 1970s, first living on the Crow Indian reservation. A Healing Arts Practitioner, she owns Bozeman BodyTalk & Integrative Healthcare. She says, " Health is resiliency, a zest for the journey. It’s about coming awake to the joy of being alive. As a practitioner, its a privilege to facilitate that healing process, to help weave new patterns of health & well-being. “ And by the way, healthier, happier people help...

When I take photographs, I slow down and take the time to see things I wouldn’t otherwise notice. When I view a photo, I remember an experience or feel linked in a chain of family through the generations.  To encourage you to let your holiday photography do the same for you, I asked several staff members at Bozeman’s F-11 Photographic Supplies how the act of taking, making and sharing photos, grounds them in beauty and the grace of what’s possible in life. People who work in home-grown photography stores like F-11 are there because they love photography.

For instance, staff-member Bruce Muhlbradt said, “Photography helps me share the beauty that I see. Sharing beauty is seeing something positive that might otherwise be overlooked.” Art Keene takes family photos, “for the memories, for them and for me. I usually look at them in my camera or put the card in my photo frame and look at them there.”

For Brooke Huffman, “Since I got my iPhone, I make a habit of framing pictures in my mind when I see them. I can do it really quickly.  . . Out taking pictures makes me feel good, energized and refreshed. When I see the final product, I get excited.

“It’s good to express events. If I’m happy, I make them colorful, if unhappy I take a lot of grey cloud shots and by the time that evolves, I’m happy.”

Brooke Welch shoots macro, or close up images, “I like the tiny, colorful little pieces. They make me stop and take a second, to look beyond the bigger picture. Being a designer it’s easier for me to look at things in shapes and colors — I like creating things from the ground up and getting really close and intimate with a project — or a photograph.”

Briana Bell also lets photography help her to see things in a nontraditional way. That “could be approaching them at different angles,” playing with point of view like kids do. “They’re not afraid to just go for it. It helps me see different elements of something.” Bell enjoys photographing her niece and nephews, “capturing them just being kids, capturing those moments as they experience the world, taking photos of what they like to do.

“I love looking at family photos and want to help preserve our family history, create an historical context to fill in the gaps when we didn’t have a way to connect with extended family.” 

When working with others,”I like to find out what they like to photograph, then I can help them choose what are the right tools for them to accomplish what they want, so that they have an experience of ‘This is what I want to do — and now I’m doing it.’ “

Display artist, Jeff Lyden says, “Taking photos helps me to find the beauty in every day things. I really like to photograph things that are old and broken down and make beautiful images and interesting compositions from them.” Lyden enjoys sharing his images with friends, taking them out of the “digital fortress they’re locked in,” finding interesting ways to print and display them. 

Katie Efstathiou specializes in landscape photography. She takes “what already exists and represents it in a beautiful way.” When she shows her photographs, and people interact with them, it’s an experience for them, like they’re standing in her version and vision of that place and moment in time. 

Doug Cox likes that getting out and taking photos helps him to engage in the world, “chasing the light, the what ifs, looking to see what’s around the next hill.” He likes to work with other people’s photos to “help them realize the potential of their photo. Sometimes they have a nice photo and they may not realize it. They take the photo but don’t know how to make it. “

Angela Yonke wraps it all up: “Photographs capture fleeting moments of intimacy and happiness, the reactions of people. They’re great at helping with memory recall, so looking at a family photo from a long time ago can bring back a lot of detail and memories. They are a great way to communicate ideas, thoughts, feelings. There are a lot of emotions captured in a photo.”

For myself? I’m grateful for the permission to play, to explore, to notice, to learn — and connect. 

Connection. Isn’t that what the holiday season is about?

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