Like with most good art, I learned of Gregory Daniel through word of mouth in the community. Friends I know and trust told me - and showed me - the amazing work he and his wife/partner Lesa had completed throughout the years and I was mesmerized. The detail and depth of emotion captured through his photography and painting put forth vibrant, living images - not two-dimensional pictures.
I decided to work with Gregory and Lesa to capture a transitional moment in time for my 13-year-old daughter, Lily Grace. So much had changed for her in the past year. New relationships were forming, while she still clung deeply to the safety and love of mom and dad. Daily, I watched as she reached for independence, dipping her toes in the water of teendom. Yet, somehow, my beautiful, soulful, considerate baby girl was still looking to me and her dad for acknowledgment, support and strength.
We decided to photograph Lily at the Titusville garden, behind the Daniel’s studio. The day was magnificent, with blue skies and cottony clouds and soft, glowing light filtering through the leaves. Gregory and Lesa worked tirelessly to capture Lily’s best angles, but what came across most to me was the innocence they found in her eyes; still searching, still trusting... my precious child somehow transformed to this stunning she-creature, straddling both childhood and adulthood at the same time.
The work speaks volumes for itself, but this work truly - and masterfully - stopped time in its tracks. I can’t slow the growth of my young daughter, but I will forever be grateful for the time travel I will be able to take as the years march on and I stop to glance at the beautiful artwork created by Gregory and Lesa Daniel.
With sincere appreciation for your professionalism and talent,
Shawna Serig Kelsch