What is Hope? These blog posts and photographs are of people I have asked to talk with me about what Hope means to them. Their stories and discussions are helping me shape the meaning of what I believe is as important to us as breathing…Hope


Hope is a Celebration

“Hope is nurtured by celebrations”, Ed Lamonte. Ed and his wife Ruth, an Episcopal minister and retired UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) professor have agreed to find one thing each day that gives them cause for celebration. He also gets up early enough each morning to have about an hour to, among other things, […]

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Peace 2016

Peace in 2016

Here’s to a great Hopeful 2016! I began 2015 focusing on what I am calling the “Heart of Business”. My work with the Hope Project led me to focus on social responsibility story telling for Corporations and Non-Profit branding. I became apprehensive after my work load slowed in the first of 2015. But in the second half […]

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Katrina Michell

A new meaning for “Silent Night”

Katrina Mitchell.  As I write this piece it is New Years day 2016. I have been thinking about a young lady named Katrina Mitchell. Almost two years ago I had written and photographed an initial Blog post, but was not pleased with it. I suggested at that time I was going to follow-up with her. […]

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The Hope in Grief

Doris Vaughans.   Doris is an amazing woman. She grew up in a close-knit family, the daughter of a preacher, whom she describes as the single most influential person in her life, and a loving mother. In person she is a ball of fire who has fought through much difficulty and grief. She exudes energy […]

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David Lyle

Single Cell Optimism

David Lyle.   David is from Tennessee but lives in Moab Utah. He is as close to what we call a renaissance man as anyone I know. He can guide you in a raft down any river on the planet, has built his own loom to make a rug in the native american tradition, does […]

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Dolores Hydock

Hope is Joy

Dolores Hydock. Dolores is an actress and story performer, whose work has been featured at a variety of concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the U.S. She is a gardener and a champion of Joy. (CDs of original stories here) I had recently been to her performance of the one-woman play Becoming Dr. Ruth. (Did you know Ruth […]

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Mark Kelly

Liberation of the Spirit

Mark Kelly. Mark is a father, a songwriter, a band member, the publisher of Weld and a devotee of the City of Birmingham. He was born in Haleyville, Al., did most of his growing up in Russellville, but not long after coming to Birmingham for college, knew he’d found his home for life. I began our conversation […]

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David Sher

David And Goliath

David Sher. David is a serial entrepreneur, dedicated community volunteer, husband, father, grandfather, Internet evangelist and blogger. He publishes the—a blog to begin a discussion about a better Birmingham. After serving as President of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV), and City Action Partnership (CAP), David developed a passion for […]

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Mike Morris

Hope and Change

Mike Morris at Aletheia House’s Veteran training facility. Mike is originally from New York and is an outreach recruiter for a Veteran training and counseling program at Aletheia House, a drug and alcohol recovery and transitional housing organization in Birmingham, Al. He is a husband, father and is himself recovering from earlier years of sobriety and relapse. January […]

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“Delight”. A new word for Hope

  Cheryl Morgan *Cheryl is an architect, designer, urban planner, educator, friend and passionate volunteer. She is one of those people that openly welcomes good conversation and shuns instant gratification in favor of the long run success that comes with thoughtful experienced reason and planning. Since the main focus of her career has been architecture […]

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Martha H_1640

Martha’s Place

  Martha Hawkins at her restaurant Martha’s Place. I meet Martha at her restaurant in Montgomery, Al. I was having one of the best Southern cooked meals I have ever had; greens, lima beans, scalloped potatoes, squash casserole etc. But the best was her apple cobbler. While I savored my meal I watched politicians, utility […]

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“The Newspaper Boy”

  Chervis Isom, Photographed in the Norwood neighborhood where he grew up and had his paper route. I begin our conversation by explaining how the Obama 2008 election campaign of Hope and Change had inspired my desire to understand what Hope means. His face drops immediately, and he says that it is such a shame […]

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“Bless your heart, Mama loves you”

  “Bless your Heart, Mama loves you”. The first time I met Ms. Dunugan’s I noticed the Mt. Olive Baptist Church from her window. I felt there was a story about Hope in the air around her and on the street in front of her home. This was her neighborhood. She and her husband had […]

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Hugh’s Hopeful break in the dessert

Hugh Hunter in New Mexico. I am traveling in New Mexico and Arizona with my wife Marygray and have much to be thankful for, and hopeful about. We have both needed the break and are grateful to be back in an area of the country where we have always felt emotionally, physically and spiritually inspired. […]

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Celebration of a glass half full

Sara Garden Armstrong Sara is an artist in New York. She has recently come home to Birmingham, Al. in order to create and install a large commissioned sculpture for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I treasure her friendship and have enjoyed documenting much of her work for 36 years (we were both 15 yrs. old when […]

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John 2_0076 - Version 2

The family “Bubble”

  John Hunter is an editor, cinematographer, producer, rock climber and newlywed. My son John has just gotten married to a fine young lady named Lauren. Now, we know weddings and funerals tend to bring out the emotions both good and bad, unless you are one of those that believes all emotions are good. As John […]

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She had a hole in her heart

Katrina Mitchell. Katrina has two children that live with her mother, and she works at a place called Workshops, Inc. whose mission is to help people with disabilities prepare for and find employment. I photographed her while working on an annual report for another non-profit that is a funder of Workshops, Inc. Katrina has recently […]

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Jason Wallis

Phatic Hope

  Jason Wallis and family. Jason is a photographer, filmmaker, husband and father of two children. He came up on my radar first as a fellow creator of commercial images, but he further impressed me after I saw his photographs done with an organization working for clean water in India called Never Thirst. He traveled […]

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An Orphan’s Hope

Jack McKay is a 103 year old orphan. When I first met Mr. McKay he was 99 years old. My mother had died and he was buying her home. Imagine moving your household and invalid wife into a new home at that age. When I first saw him, he was striding (without a cane) towards […]

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The Hope of Captain Kangaroo

Terry Miller has a photographic memory. I started working on this Hope Project years ago by talking with my childhood friend Terry Miller. I thought it would be easy to begin with someone I knew, someone close to me emotionally. What I found was how hard this discovery process is no matter how well you […]

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2014 Blog

2013 was great but….

At year end I want to thank everyone for the support and interest in this discussion about Hope. I have learned a lot and now know that there is much more to hear about how Hope effects us all. When I hear young sixteen year old Lexi Sanders say “I don’t know what Hope is, […]

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Dotty Lou_2573

“I call this my new normal”

  Dotty Lou Farias sits on the mostly demolished deck that was in front of her home destroyed by hurricane Ivan. I first met Dotty Lou Farias during the early days of the BP oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. She was outside the Gulf Shores, Al. City Hall building confronting several BP emissaries […]

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Hope Can Survive Death, If You Bring It Back to Life

Hope Can Survive Death, If You Bring It Back to Life. The first things I learned about Troy King were that he had a passion for yoga, and he’s good both in front of and behind the camera. Troy is a Branding specialist from Atlanta, and I met him on a photo shoot in Puerto Rico, where he was the creative and […]

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Noah Gallaway_2892

Hope is a Necessity

Noah Galloway – “I had tourniquets on all four limbs”. Noah did two tours of military duty in Iraq and was injured. I met him while working on a film project for an organization that challenges veterans to go farther physically, mentally and emotionally than they ever thought possible. Noah met that challenge and has […]

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Scott Lumpkin_9474

Hope is an Attitude

  Scott Lumpkin is a film producer, father, husband and skateboarder. I asked Scott how hopeful he felt he was, on a scale of 1 to 10. He replied, “I’m an 8.” I ask what he thinks Hope is, and he says, “Hope is belief without need of proof that it’s gonna be ok. I […]

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A Katrina Gulf Oil Spill Connection

  Derrick Williams on a surprise vacation. I met Derrick on the beach in Gulf Shores Alabama shortly after the BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico back in April of 2010. I had just begun work on the Hope Project, and I found out fairly quickly that I did not know what […]

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Peggy Honeycutt

A hopeful Cancer Survivor

  Peggy Honeycutt ia a Hopeful Breast Cancer Survivor. Peggy is a wife, mother, realtor, hiker, backcountry enthusiast and breast cancer survivor. She says to be diagnosed with a very bad disease “is utter sheer terror. There is a photo of herself on her business card that shows her with long blond shoulder length hair. […]

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Hope is a renewable resource

  Tom Wofford has re-embraced Hope. Tom’s only brother and that brother’s son both died within a few months of each other. It was tough. He talks about taking care of his elderly parents and what kind of responsibility that is. I say something like, “good for you, you’re a fine fellow!” But he says […]

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“Active” Hope

Duncan suggests that there is both an active and a passive Hope. Duncan Blair is a husband, father, banjo player and attorney who happens to have Parkinson’s disease. The time I spent talking to him was the most intellectually challenging, yet stimulating, of all the talks I have had on the subject of Hope. I believe the […]

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Filmmaker questions God, but hopeful

David Brower – “By most people’s reckoning, as an atheist I should have no Hope what-so-ever”. David said: “I hear a lot lately that we are wired for religion, that there is a religion gene. I don’t buy that. I would say that we are genetically wired to want to know why, but that could […]

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Son is this truckers’ Hope

Michael Wallace – “If it wasn’t for Christopher, I wouldn’t be here.” Michael’s son Christopher harbors no resentments towards his older brother Jamie who killed their mother (Michael’s wife). Michael’s mother killed herself shortly afterwards in an episode of extreme grief. Jamie was born with many physical and mental problems and is institutionalized. Though he […]

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Hope – “Happy Optimistic People Evolve”

  Michael Scoggins saves his Grandfather with Hope. He is really close to his Grandfather who is 61 and has his own HVAC company. Michael has been working with him since he was 10. The grandfather always had two jobs and would say “sleeping was for rich folks”. The other day he called to say […]

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Woodlawn student has Faith

Alexandria Sanders (Lexi) doesn’t know what Hope is. Though I feel she has as much Hope in her DNA as anybody I know, she is like many, in that she has not been asked before. She is a student at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Al. She and I met at her house to talk […]

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