May’s Assignment Gallery – Leap of Faith

Certainly not a new term, “Leap of Faith” has become vernacular for a place where people overcome doubt and are able to trust in their sometimes life-changing decisions. Unbeknownst to us at the time when we posted the assignment, the week prior, a Broadway show of the same name, Leap of Faith, opened (thank you for the FYI, Lisa S.)! As Lisa puts it, “Great minds think alike, maybe.” Well, not so much that, but more like that the timing was coincidental for sure. As we stated in the assignment post, the timing for the chosen assignment non-coincidentally coincides with the beginning of our Career Training program. One of our soon-to-be students, Marisa W. of San Antonio, TX so eloquently wrote about the same exact theme on her personal blog describing her own particular leap. More coincidence perhaps?! Hmmm…

We knew when we came up with this idea for an assignment that it may lend itself to the expression of some pretty hefty themes in people’s lives; not an easy thing to go out and shoot with intention at all.  And as we expected, those who took on this unusual challenge did so with uncommon gusto, heart and soul.

In every image is a story. Some are literal expressions of unbridled joy or just good ol’ athleticism and adventure. Others are less literal, sometimes surreal, and always poignant stories of what a jump-into-the-void-and-trust-the-net-will-appear moment or situation in one’s life can appear like in a single image or series of images.  All of these are a window into the individual photographer and tell their own unique story, in our humble opinion. They are to be honored for being willing to participate.

And because of the story-telling nature of the assignment, many of those who submitted images also included explanations of how they represent their individual “leaps of faith” in their lives. We feel it’s only appropriate to include their words with their work. Enjoy!

Kudos to the brave souls who submitted images for the very first time. It’s usually a huge first step for anyone to show the world their particular vision of it. See? Wasn’t so scary, now was it? As the year keeps rolling along, we’ll keep on giving you homework…on a monthly basis. If you’ve been experiencing a photographic drought lately, here’s something that may just wet your creative appetite; June’s assignment.


This is my son, Adriel. Obviously, the idea of the camera portrays my passion for photography. It has become vitally important to me;I haven’t ever enjoyed learning and doing something at this magnitude before. And his importance is fairly hard to explain in words/ The quote “asking me to describe my son is like asking me to hold the ocean in a paper cup.” comes to mind. However, he without a doubt the force behind pretty much all of my ambition in life!! —  Jesse M.

A Great Blue Heron exits its perch on West River near Naples, NY. For this shot I climbed into my kayak with $6,000 worth of photography equipment, which I frequently do. This is my leap of faith! — Roger B.

This is a stunt man at Old Tucson Studios who has just been shot off the roof. — Ray T.

This is my [photography] business registration. — RMSP SI 2005 Alumni, Bruce “Chippy” C.

The May assignment, Leap of Faith, had my head spinning, trying to figure if I had any pictures already taken of someone leaping into the air or when or where I can get someone to leap for me. But this morning I got to thinking about other forms of leaping and re-read the instructions in the blog. This past February I had the honor to attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration of a good friend of mind. She and her husband renewed their vows. The amazing thing about this event, my friend wasn’t sure if her husband would live long enough to observe their 20th Wedding Anniversary. It was her “Leap of Faith” that got him to that celebration and beyond. He is still with us, thank God, and every day is special for my friend to have her husband still with her, as sick as he is. So this picture I submit is my interpretation of “Leap of Faith,” because it represents my friend’s faith in God to get them through some difficult times, and the leaping forward of hopefully as much time that they can have together. — Linda C.
It was a difficult and very challenging assignment. After doing some thinking there was no doubt that deciding to do Summer Intensive was the big leap of faith for me this year. So I tried to convey the story of it. — 2012 RMSP Career Training student,  Genevieve F.
You will see from my images that I tried to capture my own personal leap of faith.  I was excited to do self portraits and to experiment with composites.
— 2012 RMSP Career Training Student, Anne A.

The picture of the Pope suspended on the red wooden platform was taken at the Guggenheim Museum in January of this year.  The artist, Maurizio Cattelan, is an Italian realist and the show was a retrospective of his work.  The Guggenheim chose to hang all of his work from the ceiling so that the viewers walked up the ramps to look at the center suspensions of art.  As a Catholic myself it sits just fine with me and to think he was suspended with JFK, the KKK and Adolf Hitler and 13 stuffed dogs of various sizes and shapes certainly added to the imagery of the whole exhibit.
— Lisa S.

First photo contest!  — Moe W.

The leap of faith was they would come back up, and not fall out! — Ken S.




4 thoughts on “May’s Assignment Gallery – Leap of Faith

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Barry Grivett


You write real good: your article about the assignment & your presentation of the results is emotionally transforming–to say the least.

I sometimes enjoy writing a bit about my own images & your eloquent words have motivated me to try even harder: as you say, “In every image is a story” and “a window into the individual photographer”.

Meanwhile, I’m thankful some others went beyond the obvious and were less literal/more imaginative & expressive than I.

I, too, would–I’m sure–love your Summer Intensive: I envy those who’ve made the leap. Alas, I’m getting a bit old (turning 69 in ~10 days) & have a full life in San Jose with my loving wife [absolutely no regrets]. For me, it would not be a Leap of Faith; it would be a self-indulgence in my passions for photography & learning.

Finally, “Water” has been at the top of my photographic bucket list for years; now, I’m equal parts looking forward to the challenge of fulfilling my own expectations & terrified. Thanks, again, for nudging me forward.

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Bob McGowan

Thank you Barry & Anne for the kind and encouraging words, and for being absolutely active and willing participants in the assignments and with the blog in general. Your contributions are always appreciated…and amazing. Looking forward to see how water may be a source of inspiration with your photography as well!


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Bob McGowan

And I absolutely agree with Anne when she states that “there is no age limit for passion and learning.” We whole-heartedly would welcome you into Summer Intensive anytime, Barry, if you chose to join us. In the meantime, enjoy your upcoming birthday and your full life in general!

Anne Abernathy

Barry, I am also a huge fan of Bob’s ability to convey the feelings and struggles that I encounter when approaching these assignments. His assignments challenge me and leave me inspired! Thank you for being a regular contributor and offering your critiques, they are equally inspiring! Keep in mind that there is no age limit for passion and learning. I look forward to your water submission!

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