When the right visuals blend with the right words, there’s a bonding that takes place. Tineke Theisen and her many photography students paired their stunning photographs with Angela Zieske’s inspirational words and coffee table book Afterglow – Encounters with Light, was created.
“I see this as a book of hope,” Zieske said.
“It can be a seed for how people feel about an uncertain world.”
Zieske wrote the words over a three-year period.
She journaled her thoughts and and felt they were worth sharing.
“I knew visuals would add so much,” she said.
Zieske admitted she tried her hand at taking pictures for the book but with only a single course with Theisen, they fell short of her expectations.
The two women knew each other from chance encounters and a shared faith-based lifestyle but collaboration on this project began when Zieske reached out to Theisen for possible cover shots.
Theisen began posting potential pictures to a private website she shared with Zieske.
“I was moved to post odd photos to the site,” Theisen said.
She said it was as if she was led to chose what was destined to be included in the book.
Zieske’s words in Afterglow resulted from her own inner journey, allowing the public to share her own personal insights.
“At the time I was writing, I sensed this could be useful to other people,” she said.
“Along the way I’ve picked up wisdom from others then put it through my own filter. Nothing is ever authentically new. Everything is a gift.
“For me, the writings of Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts was a revelation to me.
“I found my writing voice through that experience.”
She added, writing was her way of processing her life and this book is about giving and receiving love, in all its many forms.
“Love expressed through pen and paper is a way of getting my thoughts from inside to outside,” Zieske said.
“Our life is a story and each is a fresh page.”
As Zieske viewed more and more of the photographs Thiesen was posting, she knew it was the right step to include visuals for each page’s inspirational theme and Thiesen knew she wanted to include her students who supplied remarkable photographs.
“I invited my students to submit more photographs and each one who wanted to participate would be included,” she said.
“We could have limited it to Tineke’s many photographs but it was important to bring in photographers from the community as this was definitely a community project,” Zieske said.
There are 34 of Thiesen’s students who chose to be involved and this left Tineke and Angela with the task of choosing the right photograph for the right passage.
“Pairing photos to words was a puzzle, most were a natural pairing but a few had to be puzzled over, some of my students were tasked with shooting a specific shot,” Theisen said.
Once the foundation for Afterglow was established the difficult task of publishing the project began. With an education in publishing and some professional experience, Theisen embarked on the next leg of the journey to bring Afterglow to completion.
Although somewhat daunted and much collaboration with Zieske, Theisen brought the project through to publishing. Afterglow was self-published and printed by Everbest Canada.
Zieske continues, as is her habit, to write and almost to the last moment she managed to squeeze in a brand new passage which just couldn’t be left out.
“Inspired writing is captured rather than crafted,” she said.
All the photographers, including Theisen have become invested in the project and are avidly marketing the book before it even hits the streets.
The official launch of Afterglow is Nov. 8 at Maple Park Alliance Church from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Refreshments are provided and the evening is described as semi-formal.
There is also a spectacular photography show on display during the event.
The coffee table book, which retails for $40 (including taxes) will be available at the launch as well as the Farmers’ Christmas Markets at the Arts and Rec Centre, from the website www.encourterswithlight.ca or from any of the photographers and Zieske or through e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m very happy and proud of the finished product,” Zieske said.
“It’s very emotional to see the beautiful finished book.”
For Thiesen she’s happy to hand over the reins to Zieske.
“Angela has the energy to take this to the public. The launch is going to be very special,” Thiesen said.
It has taken hard work, considerable capital investment and a commitment to both the quality and the completion of Afterglow and both women admitted without the help and support of their husbands this project could have gone off the rails.
Zieske said with projects like this, friendships and relationships can be challenged but was happy to report there were no rough patches.
“Tineke and my friendship has grown and the business relationship has flourished.
“We’ve always worked well together but when you put money and relationships on the line it can get tense. But it didn’t.”
Theisen said even if the book never makes a dime, this project was worth doing.
Zieske added it’s a seed she felt compelled to sow.
“Whatever I do in life, I need to help people realize their intrinsic value,” she said.
“And as far as what you want to do in life, nothing is impossible.”