As a young man growing up in the church, my mother kept my three brothers and I around strong Men of God. Our father not being in the home, these men became our mentors. Teaching us the things only a man could teach us. So, needless to say, I have been around Pastors, Elders and Bishops all my life. There has always been a persona associated with these men. Their office or title has put them on such a pedestal that to the average person they seemed out of reach. Untouchable! Almost surreal. They never seemed to laugh or joke (unless it was with other clergy). They never seemed to relax. Even their casual seemed a bit formal. So you can imagine the preparation and anxiety I go through each time a Pastor or Bishop schedules a photo shoot. Go over my etiquette and remember protocol. Be careful how I address them and by all means pose them with the dignity that accompanies the office. Don't handle them. Trust me, its a lot of work.
So you can imagine my surprise when the coolest Bishop on the planet walked into the studio in a pair of stylishly ripped jeans and a t-shirt. A personality so bright that darkness has to put on shades in his presence. So this bishop who leads 100's of clergy and thousands of congregants in countless churches says "So, Sir Cedric, what do you want me to do?" Unlike so many others who walk in barking orders and giving instructions, Bishop Eric D. Garnes yielded to my expertise and the leader became a follower.
So we begin in two sets of formal garments then proceeded to a a couple of suits and ended with the torn jeans. With each wardrobe change Bishop Garnes shifted gears. He went from regal to dapper to smooth without breaking a sweat. From one look to the next, from one shot to the next, the transitions were as natural as breathing. This was not a Bishop. He was way too smooth. WAY TOO COOL! I forgot I was shooting a Bishop and shot him like he was a super model for the cover of GQ magazine. Instead of walking out drained from having to pull teeth, I hated that I had to stop because of another scheduled shoot. There are people who change one day to the next. In church one way and in the street another. In public or private Bishop Eric D. Garnes doesn't change. From Day 1 to Day 1,095, he has always given me and my family the same love. I Am Honored!!!