I grew up in a small town in Kansas where my parents owned the family funeral home. They instilled in me a deep respect for others that I still have today. Going out to the cemetery was a normal part of my life. As a child, my hometown celebrated "Decoration Day", and people would come home from far away to put flags and flowers on graves. The cemetery was very simple, with clean, plain head stones, out in the country and lined with cedar trees to block the wind.
Several years ago I passed a cemetery in Georgia and saw marble Statuary Angels standing there. It called to me, causing me to pause and go home again. Since then, I have visited over 600 cemeteries finding peace, solitude, beauty, and hope
I earned my BFA in Photography with a minor in Art History from the University of Hawaii. I had tried painting, pottery and sculpture but found all of them too slow in the creative process. Photography filled that immediate creative urge with a click of the shutter, and the darkroom work was magic.
Later I came to realize that I was a frustrated painter. My inner eye would see something one way but the camera lens saw it differently. This was especially true when I started concentrating on my current work and would wander around old cemeteries. Feelings would surround me, but I couldn’t capture them on film. Now with the digital darkroom, I can finally open the door and let my inner eye show you what’s been kept inside all these years.
The digital darkroom is more challenging then a traditional darkroom since more options are available. I play.
And I play again.
Today I am a Mental Health Counselor working in private practice, specializing in Grief and Art Therapy. My camera taught me the beauty of the world, one frame at a time, and helped me discover who I am, which allows me to help others.
I hope you enjoy my work.
Conny L. Dempsey
All photographs are copyrighted by the photographer, Conny L. Dempsey,
and cannot be reproduced without written permission from the photographer.