I am a low budget, highly creative, innovative, and sometimes obsessively detailed capturer of light and words. Self-taught photographer and writer whose heart’s desire is to share God’s blessings by serving others. May Corinth Rose do just that as we learn together.
Won’t you venture with me on this self-discovery of writing with light and words through bi-monthly family history and photo journal posts? Let’s silence the world around us for one brief moment and tune into God’s pieces of artwork.
Writing experiences include the following:
- Writer of personal short essays, narratives, and weekly family letter—1990’s-present
- Compiler and writer for two family history books—2002-2004
- Editor for Curves for Women newsletter, Strengthening Women—2007-2008
- Columnist for Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America newsletter—2007-2008
- Proofreader for two genealogy books—2008-2009
- Reporter for Four Seasons Garden Club—2009-2010
- Recorded three months of on-the-road adventures in seventeen travel journals—2010
- Published: Daily Corinthian, Florida Magazine
Photography experiences include the following:
- Library and other local exhibits—2005-2010
- Apron and gourd photography—2006-2009
- Alcorn Vocational Technical Center continuing education photography class presenter—2006-2010
- Daily Corinthian photo publications—2008-2009
- Published: Daily Corinthian, Crossroads Woman, Florida Magazine
NOTE: The following is a December 2007 article written by Daily Corinthian staff writer, Jebb Johnston, in the local Crossroads Women magazine:
“Women in the Arts”
Local Photographer Romances Beautiful Flowers
Many people use flowers to romance a special someone, but Corinth’s Cheryl Meints admits to romancing beautiful flowers. The former southeast Nebraskan, transplanted to Corinth in January 2005, has learned to pamper her subjects for the best results.
In the nearly three years since moving to northeast Mississippi, she has gained notoriety locally for her vivid flower photography—a pursuit inspired by a pink dogwood seen blossoming outside the Corinth Library. Her photos of often freshly cut flowers depend on acting quickly and finding just the right quality of light to get the perfect shots.
“When I’m really in a photo mode, I am totally consumed with that,” said Meints. “It’s like when you have a new girlfriend. You are romancing and you are wooing that individual. That’s the only comparison I can make. It’s that intense, that focused. So I romance the flowers.”
The hobby has given her some love in return. After photographing that pink dogwood, she offered a print to librarian, Ann Coker, to tack up in the break room. Instead, she was invited to become a regular exhibitor at the library, where she has regularly rotating photo exhibits in the glass cases at the library’s center.
From that springtime bloom, her photo hobby has blossomed. She has no formal training and has captured all her shots to date with Canon point-and-shoot digital cameras, shooting in the “macro” mode with the highest resolution setting. She recently upgraded to a higher model and is now shooting at 8 megapixels, more than twice the resolution she had before.
“I also have figured out what not to do,” said Meints, who names lighting as the biggest challenge in getting the results she wants. She has also learned that many of the best photos are unplanned. A good example is her photo of a green snake entwined on an oriental lily—a second-place winner in the 2007 Arts in McNairy County photo competition.
After an early morning walk, she lifted the flower and then quickly dropped it after seeing the snake. She ran inside to fetch her camera and was surprised to see the snake still there when she returned.
“It was the only lily I had in the whole yard that grew,” she said. “This was about seven o’clock in the morning on the Fourth of July, and the sun was right on it.”
In the beginning, her home “studio” consisted of “nothing more than a box or the laundry basket covered with a black piece of satin material in my bathroom, because I have a big window and I can use the natural lighting,” said Meints. “Now I have progressed to a tabletop easel that I can move.”
People sometimes show up at her home offering flowers to photograph and have allowed her into their flower gardens. “Anytime I photograph somebody’s flowers, they always get a 4 by 6 print,” said Meints. “That’s just my thank-you.”
She never uses purchased flower arrangements and does not manipulate photos beyond cropping and adjusting red-eye. She claims to always be prepared, keeping two gallons of water, a flower snips, and vases in the trunk of her car. Meints also enjoys writing short narratives to accompany the photos—as with the snake photo, there’s often a story behind them. In addition to her involvement with the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery, she is a member of the Four Seasons Garden Club and the Ostfriesen Genealogical Society of America, for which she writes a quarterly column.
While Meints does sell some items, she wants it to remain a pursuit for pleasure without the encumbrances of “work.” She recalled being asked recently where she plans to take her photography. Meints loves sharing her work—she aspires to have a “servant’s heart”—and suggests collages as a creative gift idea. She has been sifting through her best flower photos from the past year for a collage.
“I have thousands of photographs,” she said. “What good is it to have them on the computer or on a CD?”
Meints will continue looking for the beauty of detail in northeast Mississippi’s flora. “Landscapes and big vistas—that’s wonderful, there’s a place for that—but my eye always just seems to go to the smaller details,” she said. “I think that’s why I like the flowers so much—I can just zero in on that and take it in a smaller portion.”
In other words, it’s a way to slow down…and smell the roses.