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Hedlund Family

Alison Burrell Photography

This family is so dear to me! They were my very first family session two years ago! I’m so sad that they moved away from Little Rock, but glad that they are close enough for a day drive for a session 🙂 Miss you guys!!


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we at Fellowship do many set changes. there are some churches who do crazy big changes and do them quarterly or bi-yearly, but we do smaller changes with every sermon series.  so we could be changing our set for the Worship Center or rather, the dub-c maybe 9-12 times during the year.

what we came from was a kind of busy, dotted look, and what we went to is a simple sleek look.

not great res cuz its from my iPhone.

here’s a shot of the new look to the right here^^^^

the lighting we used on the sails are simple American DJ, mega bar 50’s. there are 2 of them on each sail. i will get more pictures of the color blending we can do with that. i will try to get some video of it too. the pictures are great but some good video tells a better story.

the hardest part of this set up is not really visible in this pic, but we lifted a grand piano onto an 18″ riser on stage right. the thing is a beast and doesn’t play well with others, but hey, its gotta come back down next week, but who’s complaining?

i like this design because of it’s simplicity and depth/texture that can be made with the sails and our backwall. in the past some of our stage designs

The "sails" look.

have felt very one dimensional, and flat, especially when looked at

through IMAG. this design has some good usable depth, that makes it attractive.

i am still waiting for when we can afford an l.e.d. wall, but I am not holding my breath. we priced it at like $900,000 for the size

and definition we would want. probably not gonna happen for a long time.

<—–here’s a sideshot of the sails that i thought was pretty cool.

In The Beginning...

We recently did a set change in the Dub C. (I am trying to make that the lingo for the Worship Center, but it seems I am the only one it has caught on with) We tend to change the set with every sermon series that we do at FBC, which I like because I feel we never get to a stale set look.

This is the canvas that we started with. We usually use the large white rectangle, with a projector and have moving backgrounds with song lyrics. We have found this to be an important part of our worship space, so that the congregation does not have to worship and get a kink in their neck looking to the side screens. It has added a lot of color and movement to the stage and makes it more interesting, and inviting.

We seem to battle with the color of our worship space as the walls, chairs, ceiling, floor and everything is on the tan/taupe side of the color spectrum. We have 4 eletralite movers mounted above the crowd to act as paint on the side walls, and other areas, while 2 elations sitting on the stage are used to paint the ceiling and stone walls.

The screen mounting

Wow… the stage is messy with all the gear pushed forward…

We dropped the side curtains and hid the valance to streamline the stage look. Nice clean lines make me happy. It totally makes the stage design pop, as you will see in later pictures.

We mounted a rear projected screen behind our proscenium, and had to build a box for the projector to live in… mounting that was fun… Also, if you are in the market for a projection screen, Shepherd Ministries out of Dallas.

And the lift that is on stage might be the single most, amazing piece of equipment ever made… Ever.  I wish we owned it, or it’s 5 foot taller brother…

In rehearsal

This pic is of Tuesday night rehearsal. We haven’t gotten the projector plugged up and tweaked. but you can see the idea coming together…

I didn’t dig the repetitive rectangles we had going so as you can see in the next picture we took down the black legs and hid that valance also, so help clean up the stage look.

You might find yourself wondering what the circles are that are floating around the stage. Those are coffee can lids that Ed Lowry, our resident mayor of awesometown, found at not one, not two, not three, but four hardware stores locally, so if you were in the market for coffee can lids, I think you are out of luck until they reorder… Final count I think was 184. Each individually sprayed silver/grey and strung together with string. Ed is the man…

Full Stage - With @dallas_stacy on keys. and yes i know the right side lighting is a little off...

We also used some “fake” amps onstage, to add interest and vibe to the look.

Bass Cab

Guitar Cab

We have some inexpensive American DJ (uhhhg…) mega bars that work great for architectural/environmental lighting.

Here are some of the final looks we had going… Still need some work, but we are really close…

Red look

blue look

Thanks to my team, @Dallas_Stacy, DB (I am gonna miss you!), JAd, DaveY and Cicco, for helping make this an awesome stage, and i totally couldn’t have pulled off anything like this without you guys! Ed, another awesome design…

And now for some other pics I took during rehearsal that I at least think are pretty cool. But I do think a lot of things are cool, when they are really not… Trust me, Sarah lets me know.

Joe's back

My Board

Hello Crowley...

The Great Balance.

Recently I went to a conference and heard some renoun creatives speaking on the issue of “Balancing Workload and Life”. This conference was none other than the Dirt Conference put on by New Life Church in North Little Rock, AR. When I heard what was said by the speakers, my first reaction was to want to get up and exclaim “AMEN!” But it wasn’t until afterwards when the validity of what they were saying sunk in to a deeper place.

If there was one thing that I walked away with more than the rest it was what Anne Jackson said in retort to the question “Why do you think as a church culture we wear being work-a-holic as a badge of honor?”

Quickly, she replied as if it was her next breath “It’s because we like to let productivity define our spiritual maturity.”

We feel that if we overwork ourselves, abuse our volunteers, keep track of our hours only to use then as ammo around the water cooler (or at starbucks), that all somehow makes us closer to God, or more spiritual.

We feel like if we go home and don’t work work work until we feel a sort of finalization to what we are working on, that we are somehow derailing the move of the spirit and now someone is not going to be saved. God cares more about your personal walk and the spiritual and physical health of your family, than he does about you being able to mobilize a team to deliver a good weekend of worship. Although that is an amazing ministry, the ministry opportunity that we have been failing in as a “church culture” is in our homes.

Pastor Tim Lundy has said that he doesn’t blame non-believers for not understanding the sanctity of marriage. We hardly have a leg to stand on to defend it. With a divorce rate among Christian families at the same percentage as non-believing families, how can we tell a non-believer that homosexual marriage is bad, or that divorce is not an option,  when we don’t care enough about the “Holy Matrimony” to stick it out, swallow our pride, and never have our marriages part ways?

Have we really missed it? Do we really believe that God is not big enough to take care of process, if we have to take care of family?

Time off

So today I didnt have to mix in the worship center. I did get to go to the Edge service in the warehouse and see a very cool acoustic worship time. 2 acoustics and 3 vocals. THAT IS ACOUSTIC! Too many times I think people lose sight of what an acoustic set should be… Stripped down.

Overall had a great day. I worked a little after church, as we are doing a marriage seminar recording. But i actually got to attend at night and not have to run anything. Which was really nice. We went with our community group and it was a very nice time.

i have been working on some websites. they are kicking my design/coding butt. this one…

NorthGate Church proved to be a learning experience. i made 4 designs and none of them worked well. so i actually just re-did their existing site, and made it a little more user friendly.  there will be a next step to this site as they get community groups and other ministries going.

I also did a site for Sarah and Niki’s business Southern Baby Boutique.

Which didnt really kill me, as it is basically a front page to their etsy site. In the future when they get it going a bit more and there is more money i will buy an online store for them. Those can just be a bit pricey.

The other one i have been working on is Solace Found.

They are the band that I am working with right now as their Production Manager/FOH Sound. This one is really for fun and learning. If you look close you can see that it is basically the Northgate site with a few embellishments. Really you will all find out that I suck at web design and coding, I am a good faker. Anyway, I am gonna go make dinner… Peace!

When Jennifer Hudson stepped up to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl, there was a sense of high drama. This was her first appearance on the national stage since the October murder of her mother, brother and nephew: Would Ms. Hudson be able to master her emotions and make it through the anthem? In the end, it was a cinch. There was nary a catch in her voice, no unwanted, creeping tremolo. In fact, her vocal performance was remarkable in its near-perfection — or would have been remarkable had she actually been performing. Instead, the voice we heard was from a track she had prepared in a studio well in advance. So much for high drama.

Martin Kozlowski

Ms. Hudson’s producer made no apologies for her lip-synching. “That’s the right way to do it,” Rickey Minor told the Associated Press. “There’s too many variables to go live. I would never recommend any artist go live because the slightest glitch would devastate the performance.” His justification echoed Itzhak Perlman explaining why the all-star classical quartet at the inauguration was prerecorded. “It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way,” Mr. Perlman told the New York Times. “This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”

My, what a standard of perfection is now demanded. No longer is a good or even a great performance good enough. Now we must have performances free from the “slightest glitch.” And since no one — not even a singer of Ms. Hudson’s manifest talent nor a violinist of Mr. Perlman’s virtuosity — can guarantee that a live performance will be 100% glitch-free, the solution has been to eliminate the live part. Once, synching to a recorded track was the refuge of the mediocre and inept; now it’s a practice taken up by even the best artists.

Where does this expectation of flawlessness come from? Perhaps it’s of a piece with our age: Plastic surgery and air-brushing are no longer sufficient improvements on models who already possess impossible beauty — now it’s common for their images to be digitally manipulated, their lithe figures stretched into ever more preposterous images of perfection. Or perhaps the trend is rooted in something more mundane — a fear of YouTube. Embarrassing flubs that once would have been reserved for the occasional blooper reel now go into immediate and eternal replay online.

Whatever the motivation, the fear of risking mistakes has led musicians to deny who they are as performers. The most disheartening thing about the Inauguration Day quartet’s nonperformance was the lengths to which they went to make sure that nothing they did on the platform could be heard. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma put soap on the hair of his bow so that it would slip across the strings without creating even a wisp of sound. The inner workings of the piano were disassembled. There is something pitiful and pitiable about musicians hobbling their own voices.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Mr. Ma insisted that everything at the inaugural was canned: “This is standard operating procedure for the Marine Band that performs at every inaugural,” he said. But Mr. Ma was misinformed — the Marine Band was not prerecorded. Admittedly, they did not deploy any strings to the Capitol that day, but the band’s brass and woodwinds proved eminently capable of performing live in the cold.

Not only are we told that prerecording is “standard operating procedure,” but we’re supposed to believe that it is actually a virtue: The performers, you see, care too much about their art to risk presenting something substandard. But what is art without risks? Any live performance is a high-wire act, and the wire can be wobbly. Nowadays, it seems that — when it really counts — musicians are willing to put the wire on the pavement and walk along it as if they were doing something just as daring as the real thing.

But far worse, the emphasis on technologically assisted perfection is at odds with a human conception of artistic beauty. “In all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty,” wrote the 19th-century British critic John Ruskin. “To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.”

Which is exactly what happened at the Capitol grandstand: An opportunity for glorious exertion and vitality was missed. Imagine the sight of some of the world’s greatest musicians struggling against the arctic elements — coaxing and cajoling sound out of their reluctant instruments, willing their numb fingers to be nimble. I suspect it all would have come together quite well, if a bit out of tune here and there.

But what if it hadn’t? What if Mr. Ma had suffered one of the catastrophes of which he warned — a broken string? Picture the heroic struggle as he switched his fingering on the fly to find the necessary notes on another string. Mr. Ma is among the rarefied artists who could have pulled something like that off (and probably pulled it off with none but his fellow musicians even noticing). How fantastic it would have been to see him do it. Instead we got play-acting.

But what of the conceit that a Super Bowl or an inauguration can somehow be ruined by a less-than-stellar musical performance? I would suggest that the great events of our lives are rather more sturdy than imagined, and the musical accompaniment to them somewhat less important than the musicians would like to think.

Barack Obama’s big day survived the mediocrity of the official poem and the stumblings of the chief justice. It would have survived squawks from a frigid clarinet and even a piano with saloon intonation. The real threat to such events comes from unrealistic and unreasonable expectations: The bride who demands a “perfect” wedding nearly ensures that her veil will be one of tears.

The synthetic perfection of faux-live performance may enjoy an appealing gloss, but you can say the same thing about supermarket apples — and we know how good they taste. One of the main challenges of the organic food movement has been to get people to see past the scuffs and dents and blemishes of honest produce, to focus on authentic flavors. Velveeta, of course, is flawless in its way, but over the past few years some have found that rough-hewn blocks of stinky, crumbling cheese are preferable to the homogeneous perfection of processed cheese product.

There’s no use in flailing against technological assistance in studio recordings, where the environment is artificial and multiple takes and abundant editing are routine. But it is worth resisting the burgeoning application of recording-studio perfection to live performance. I wonder if, just as there have been efforts to label organic foods with a seal of green approval, there might be room for some enterprising organization to offer a seal of authenticity in live performance. It might be quite the task — rather on the order of sending arms inspectors to track down traces of plutonium in Pyongyang. But we now know there are at least a couple of easy tests to determine the veracity of a live performance: For starters, check the cellist’s bow for soap.

Mr. Felten, a jazz singer and trombonist, writes the weekly “How’s Your Drink?” column for the Journal.


As i do agree that completely shamming and lip-syncing performances is lame, i do see the point of it. especially in the instance of large format performances like the inauguration. I have sung the national anthem at a hockey game with the rest of my band, and that was insanely hard. the amount of delay you hear (i know people use in ear monitors to combat that), and the cold temperatures playing havoc on your voice, makes it to not be a great experience. I cannot imagine how out of tune a cello and piano would be, if they were subjected to freezing temps… I do not blame people for embracing technology to help them through difficulty.


Jameson - Newspaper editor from Spiderman... Couldn't think of any other pic to use...

Where would our news industry be if they didn’t grasp the technology of spell check, and didn’t have professionals looking over their work and editing it. If that is the case and all writings are to be seen as artistic expression, then the writer should do a once through writing, without spell check and editing. That is real and raw art. If his writings are checked by other people and programs that have been written to ensure that what he is outputting is as perfect as it can be, then how far off is another artist, getting a professional with a computer program to make sure their art is all correct before it is broadcast out to the world?


Also, then why is no one critical of the photographic community of artists? Most of then take pictures, then edit them in Photoshop to make their works of art. Even the ones who do not use it for surreal looks, still use it to change contrast ratios. Just to make it look perfect. Exactly what they are wanting other people to view. How different is that from using pro tools to record your voice beforehand? Why can’t the photographer be good enough at their art that they take the picture and that is it from the start? That’s real and raw talent.

I guess my issue is for some reason a lot of the artistic community is critical of music having to be raw talent, pure from the heart emotion. But when it comes to any other avenue of artistic expression, it is okay to have manipulated the imagery, or written word, to the point where it is perfect, but musicians cannot express themselves by using technology or they are seen as a sell out. I see inconsistencies in their critique. And yes, i just clicked the spell check button.

This amount of drums I just find scary. Not because I can't play on it, but the fact of how it would kill the mood of the music.

This amount of drums I just find scary. Not because I can't play on it, but the fact of how it would kill the mood of the music.

I have felt for some time now, that a lot of drummers I have seen play lately, seem to not have their priorities in line. It seems that they feel like being able to do crazy things makes them a good drummer.  What I have found is that, yes, having the ability to do a crazy 180 bpm quadraquintuplet while spinning both sticks between your legs, and signaling for more snare in your mix,  is not something to balk at, there is much more to be desired when it comes to taking part of a musical setting.

I see this as a thing of beauty. Simplicity.

I see this as a thing of beauty. Simplicity.

The Main Thing

When playing drums in a band setting, worship setting, anytime you play, the main thing that will fulfill you and the rest of the musicians, is if you stay on tempo. Unless the song calls for a major push in the tempo, your job is to focus intently on keeping everyone in time. What your job is NOT, is to make the music about yourself, and play whatever you want.

tamarhythmwatchThere should be no time that you lose tempo to “show off” and do some amazing fill. There should be a constant in the back of your mind of, “If I rush, I am going to throw someone else off”.  I personally do not count when i play, but some drummer swear by it. I like to use a click. Also, when I practice I try to practice using a click. This way you train your mind on the”feel” of the tempo.  By all means, I am not perfect, and I will not say anyone is.

Just being able to keep time while you play makes it a better experience for all musicians, and the audience. There is nothing as awkward as playing to a drummer that their tempo rises and falls with the emotion and dynamic of the song. I would say until you can get to a point of being able to focus on the meter while you are being energetic, and doing amazing fills, that you should shy away from them.

bob-ross-plus-missilesTo put this in visual terms, it is like a picture.  Say you are painting… You are going for a dynamic piece of art. lights, darks, everything in between. what is going to make the lighter, bright colors pop? distinct dark areas.  Liken these to points where you are doing nothing but keeping rhythm. You have assumed a support role in the music. you are a basic metronome, keeping meter so other musicians can inject colors and life.  And when you have open space to play something amazing, to inject your own color, it makes it more meaningful and special.

This is an amazing sight. But I don't want to play any type of music with it.

This is an amazing sight. But I don't want to play any type of music with it.

So lately I have been finding myself injured in some way. I lay on the couch wrong, turn my knee mowing the yard, all seemingly harmless things, but they take me about a good week to make an attempt at recovering from. I guess I should have listened to my parents when they told me that all the stupid things I have done to my body will catch up with me. I have started to play some sports at work with some of the other staff guys… This has proven very hard, but rewarding for this 265 lbs 5’8″ man. (I know…. I hide it well) It usually takes me about a good week to recover from full court basketball, which i am actually somewhat good at,  more precision/less speed works well for me. We also play flag football, of which I am not the T.O. or Tony Romo you are all envisioning. More the special “they really aren’t going to expect us to throw to that guy” play. I am the guy that gets picked after all the girls, and the guy with one foot. I am really just waiting for the guys to take up an interest in ice hockey. Then we will really have some sports reconing. This was basically my way of voicing that I want to play hockey again… Any takers, Herndon?

Facebookers click here…

Sarah and I have been volunteering for the Youth department at church. Sarah has been singing and I have been playing It’s really cool being able to play often, again. I feel like if i play for the next couple of weeks, i might have all the rust broken off of me. Having opportunities like this really help me to feel like i “fit in” for lack of a better term. It still is not scratching the playing out itch. I would still like to pursue something of a real band that i can be a part of. I somewhat feel like it may be too much in this season, but it is good to know that i still have desires. I feel desires are what keep us alive till the next season of our lives. Its only when we become complacent with what we have, or have a negative attitude toward future endeavors that the pursuit of life seems to become very commonplace. I really don’t know what any of that means, i am still waking up. but if it makes sense then good. if not let me know and i will delete it. I am going to try and finish another blog that i have been working on for a while… Anyway, you need to check out FSM – Echo, live every wednesday night at 8 pm. if the link didn’t work