Post redux: On Golden Pond

30 11 2009

Previously posted 11.8.2008

Michael and I noticed the beautiful fall color around this retention pond—less than a mile away from our home—so we hurried back home to grab our photo gear and go back to capture some images. The light was glorious, the weather was mild, and the wildlife was most cooperative.

Last year the leaves peaked for us much later (Nov. 17), so one afternoon I took advantage of the perfect light and shot some images in our neighborhood. See those photos in my posting here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Awards acceptance speech, October ’08

28 11 2009

Today I’ve been in spring cleaning mode (yet again). I’ve also been cleaning up my computer desktop and triple-backing up important files. I just came across this acceptance speech I wrote last year. In August 2008, Barbara Kelley, editor of Hearing Loss Magazine, began interviewing me for what she said was an article that would highlight professionals with hearing loss. I had no idea she was actually filling out a nomination form for a contest!

In early October 2008, just a few weeks before the awards event, I received notice that I was the winner in the Adult Category in Oticon’s annual “Focus on People” awards event! Oticon paid for flights for both me and Michael and provided beautiful accommodations at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Englewood, Colorado, just outside of Denver. Winners received $1,000 each, plus $1,000 to be dedicated to the charity of their choice. Pretty exciting! You can read more about the big event in my posting here. Below is the speech that I delivered at the ceremony.


Not only do I design, produce, and photograph for the Hearing Loss Magazine—I, too, have a hearing loss. I lost my hearing suddenly at age two, and with medical intervention, most of it was restored. To this day, we’re unsure of what happened. When I was seven, I got my first hearing aid. It was clunky and I disliked being different from my classmates, so I refused to wear it. In 1993 I lost all the hearing very suddenly in my right ear, and exploratory surgery revealed that scar tissue had caused the eardrum to collapse. The exploratory surgery did not restore my hearing, so I decided to try an aid again, some 30 years after my first hearing aid experience.

That experience was, so to speak, ear-opening! I hadn’t realized the world was so incredibly loud. My new life with a hearing aid had its funny moments. Walking up the stairs in our townhouse, with Michael right behind me, I stopped suddenly and asked him, “Do you hear that noise? What is it?” In the most loving way possible, he said, “Hon, those are your knees popping.” I was mortified! He laments my new acute hearing because he can no longer collect the loose change I drop, unheard, to the floor.

In the beginning, the TV volume was set so low when I controlled the remote that Michael couldn’t hear! I could hear soft noises such as my cat’s purr and water running in the sink and birds chirping through closed windows. There are many events I wish I could relive with a hearing aid now that I know what I have missed.

Five years ago, my life was upended. During a routine checkup, a new ENT discovered a cholesteatoma in my deaf ear. I hadn’t had any symptoms, so I had no idea how long it had been there. In my routine quest for knowledge, I did some online research, and learned that 1% of patients experience facial paralysis during this type of surgery. I wasn’t concerned. One percent is pretty low odds. I had surgery two weeks later. Unfortunately, I was one of those 1% patients. The entire right side of my face was paralyzed. I was so devastated. I couldn’t smile and my right eye wouldn’t fully close. Because of my surgeon’s aftercare regarding the paralysis, I consulted with Dr. John Niparko at Johns Hopkins just five weeks later. After alarming nerve testing results, I was scheduled for surgery the next afternoon to determine if the nerve had been cut. Fortunately, it had not been cut, but there was some repair work done. I am perennially grateful to Dr. Niparko for his skilled hands, concern, warmth, and kindness. Here I stand, five years later, more than halfway down the road to healing with a renewed sense of hope.

About three years ago, a client forwarded a job opportunity to me. Without telling me who the client was, she wrote, “this job is perfect for you in so many ways. You should go for it.”

Barbara Kelley, editor of the Hearing Loss Magazine, was looking for a replacement designer. In the end, I believe the scales tipped in my favor partly because of my personal experience with hearing loss. She felt I would bring more than just design skills to the job. My hearing loss actually became an asset in my professional life. Imagine that!

As a result, I’ve met so many interesting people who thrive despite their hearing loss. I’ve photographed a ballerina in The Nutcracker, an incoming Gallaudet University president, a local county singer, and last month I was at Redskins Park photographing football player Reed Doughty, who just revealed his hearing loss this summer.

I’ve also met many HLAA members, such as our May/June cover girl, Abbie Cranmer, through our respective blogs. And there have been so many unexpected perks from the job as well. Barbara introduced me to HLAA member Mike Royer and his family, who appeared on our Walk4Hearing cover this spring. I had the privilege of photographing the birth of Mike and Alicia’s third child, Ashley Jocelyn, just last month. And recently I was offered the opportunity to photograph HLAA member Wayne Roorda’s cochlear implant surgery in November.

This magazine has morphed into more than I could have imagined. I have been challenged creatively and technically. And I have discovered I have a passionate desire to change, through my design and photography, the sometimes negative perception of people with hearing loss.

I have never let my hearing loss define me. It is part of my makeup but it is just a tiny part of who I am. And if I can inspire someone else with hearing loss to overcome their self-esteem issues and find their place in the world, then that’s just another reward from this amazing job.

Thank you to Barbara Kelley and Brenda Battat for letting me run wild with my creativity and opening doors to a community of wonderful people who just happen to have hearing loss. I offer profound thanks to Barbara for her glowing nomination. And thank you to both Sara Coulter and Oticon, for your generosity, your hospitality, and for honoring me with this award.


Oticon’s Focus on People 2008 first place winners with Peer Lauritsen, President of Oticon (fourth from left): Todd Landsberg, AuD of Eugene Speech and Hearing Center in Eugene, OR (Practitioner Category); Doug Wernke, M Ed of the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Rapid City, SD (Pediatric Practitioner Category); Cindy Dyer of Alexandria, VA (Adult Category); Peer Lauritsen; Lynn Rousseau of Gainesville, FL (Advocacy Category); and Mariella Paulino of the Bronx, NY (Student Category)

Road trip to Harrisonburg

27 11 2009

Today Michael and I headed out to the Green Valley Book Fair in Harrisonburg, Virginia, about 2-1/2 hours away (you know, because we simply need more books). The late afternoon sky was spectacular—simultaneously gloomy on our right with swaths of cornflower blue on our left. Then the sun broke through a dark patch, illuminating the barren trees. We were compelled to pull over and get this can’t-miss-it shot.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Martha & Corinne

26 11 2009

I photographed Martha and her daughter, Corinne, last December down in San Antonio when I was visiting my family. While I posted the “glamour sessions” with all my “models,” I didn’t post any of the mother/daughter duo shots. You can see the results of those glamour sessions posted here. Martha flew up two weekends ago to join us for our first-ever Tapas Party. She now has a whole new gaggle of friends in the D.C. area!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Apparently, one is never too old….

20 11 2009

for her father to cut up her breakfast in little bite size pieces! My dad made us breakfast one morning and Michael got this shot with his iphone.

© Michael Schwehr

Portrait: Charles Mokotoff

19 11 2009

I popped over to the Old Town Hall in Fairfax to photograph Charles at a recital this morning. He was part of the Friday Morning Music Club concert series. All FMMC concerts are free and performed as a public service. The Old Town Hall is a lovely place to photograph with its hardwood floors and original old windows with beautiful natural light. I got a few more images to use in the feature layout of the upcoming January/February 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine.

This morning’s FMMC hour-long program consisted of:

Berbiguier: Trio For Flutes, Op. 51, No. 1 (Mvmts. i-iii); Albéniz (arr. Bill Holcombe): Tango from España (performed by Yvonne Kocur, Lauren Sileo, and Holly Vesilind—flute trio). You can listen to Yvonne Kocur’s graduate flute recital at George Mason University here. Listen to Lauren Sileo in a recording with pianist Bryan Wagorn here.

Albéniz: Selected solos, Charles Mokotoff, guitar. You can hear snippets of Charles’ music on his website here.

Haydn: On Mighty Pens, from The Creation; Bach: Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten, from Cantata No. 78 (Nancy MacArthur Smith, soprano; Carolee Gans Pastorius, mezzo soprano (guest); Patricia Parker, piano)

Sondheim: One More Kiss; Porter: So in Love; Weill: What Good Would the Moon Be?; and Rossini: Una voce poco fa (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Stacie Steinke, soprano. Steinke is the Artistic Director for Make-A-Scene Music and Entertainment.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Tapas Potluck ’09 with live entertainment!

19 11 2009

This past Saturday Michael and I hosted our first Tapas Party ever—and our first party with live entertainment as well! Charles Mokotoff, an IT specialist by day and gifted classical guitarist by night, played for our guests after the buffet-style potluck dinner. It was a “playing for portraits” arrangement. Charles will be our cover feature for the January/February 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America.

After the intimate concert, my friend Ken asked me, “how in the world are you going to top this event?” I must say, having live entertainment sure kicked things up a notch! We managed to squeeze 37 guests (including Michael and me) into our townhouse—and no one seemed too uncomfortable. I think that’s our maximum capacity, though.

Thanks to everyone for bringing delicious appetizers and desserts (and those wonderful wedding gifts, too—thank you notes to come shortly!) and for helping us to continue to celebrate our October 24 wedding! Special thanks to our out-of-town guests, too: Carmen from Greer, South Carolina; Martha from Roanoke, Texas; and Cammie from Sarasota, Florida—it was such a treat to have you three join us. I hope we didn’t disappoint!

Remember—the Annual Chocoholic Party is in February (this will be our 5th)! Hmmm…near Valentine’s Day…what kind of live entertainment will we have for that soiree? Maybe Rod Stewart singing love songs live? Or Harry Connick, Jr. (oops, need a piano for that one). My first choice would be James Taylor. Surely he needs new head shots?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Karen & Tin Tin

18 11 2009

I photographed Karen and her Papillon service dog, Tin Tin, at the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) annual conference in Nashville this past June. We were photographing head shots of authors who will be providing future columns and features for HLAA’s bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce. Karen is a hearing loss resource specialist from Forth Worth, Texas. Tin Tin was also a great model!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


12 11 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Decluttering with Jasper & Spot

10 11 2009

I should come up with a better name for the cleaning I am constantly doing in my office (and every other corner of the house). It’s not spring, so it’s not really spring cleaning. Let’s call it what it is—decluttering. Constantly. I emptied out a canvas and wicker basket late this afternoon. Jasper, who never turns down an empty box or basket, claimed it as his nap bed for the rest of the evening. I only had one of my point-n-shoots ready, so the quality of this shot is questionable—but I love it anyway! He’s watching Spot, our “sea monster,” as my friend Debbi calls him/her (we still don’t know what gender this pleco is). What we do know is that he/she is huge—a little over a foot long now. Spot is sucking algae off the tank (plecos are primarily algae eaters). Check out my posting here about how we inherited Spot, the $500 free fish.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Jasper & Spot


Latest portraits: classical guitarist Charles Mokotoff

9 11 2009

Charles LeavesCharles Mokotoff is our next cover feature for the Hearing Loss Magazine. An IT specialist with NIH by day, he’s also a classical guitarist. Michael and I met him at the Hearing Loss Association of America headquarters in March. He performed for the HLAA staff and I did some studio shots for his upcoming feature article. He came by my studio earlier this week so we could get some additional images for the upcoming January/February 2010 issue. In exchange for these additional photos, he’s going to perform at our Tapas Potluck Party this coming weekend and we’re excited that we’re going to have live music! I also shot the photos on his website here. You can hear sample soundbites here.

I told my sister Debbie that if this works out well, I’m going to barter musical services from other artists for future parties. I’m thinking that, in exchange for some wonderful new head shots by me, Josh Groban can come sing something Italian for our annual Pesto Fest. As accordian-playing (and bizarre) comedian Judy Tenuta sarcastically says, “yeah, that could happen!”

Insert useless information here: During our Vegas-to-Kodachrome Basin-Bryce-Moab vacation many years ago, my cousin Bill and I were at a casino in Las Vegas. While we were waiting in line at a hotel restaurant, Judy Tenuta walked down a ramp right past us. I had only caught her act just a few times on tv, but I knew who she was immediately—the result of a photographic memory, I guess.

Hey Josh—have your people call my people!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Piano stairs

7 11 2009

Thanks to my friend, F.T., for sharing this video with me. Be sure to have your sound turned up!

A photo credit doesn’t pay the rent (much less buy me a measly 99 cent Taco Bell caramel apple empanada)

7 11 2009

Thank you to Patty Hankins of Hankins-Lawrence Images for her photo-related links she just sent. I read with great interest an article titled, “A Photo Credit Doesn’t Pay the Rent,” by photographer Harrison McClary on the Black Star Rising website.

I do this more often than not—give away my photos for free. While I always appreciate fans of my work and am truly flattered they want to use my images, I rarely get offered anything in exchange. Can they not even spare $10, $20, or $25 to use an image? Even cheap (but good quality) stock sites such as Big Stock Photo or iStock Photo charge a few dollars for use of their images. This is merely an observation and it doesn’t usually bother me to the point of distraction—but after reading the posting and comments from other photographers, it got me to thinking about it in a different light. Photographers are often told, “We really love your image and want to use it, but we can’t pay you anything. (Even though we do profit from our newspaper/newsletter/magazine.) We’ll give you a credit line, though. And maybe a tearsheet for your portfolio. Plus, it’s free advertising for you!” While I wouldn’t ever knock free advertising, how much business will the Meat Cove Express generate for me? One must consider the publication. Is it worth the trade of a stellar image for a credit line and a tearsheet?

I liked Doug’s comment in particular: “Good work. The argument they give photographers is ridiculous if applied to any other business. I could never dream of walking into a car dealership and saying, “I like this car—if you give it to me for free, I’ll tell everyone that asks who gave it to me. It’ll be great advertising for your work!”

Heymo had it right when he wrote, “Couldn’t agree more. This ‘free publicity’ thing never worked for me. It only tells a potential client ‘hey, I’m cheap!'”

And my favorite comment was by Paul O’Mahony: “…a society that devalues the artist’s labor…when was it ever different? However, the only people who can devalue the artist’s work is the artist. No one can devalue your work—unless you let them. This view might not make you rich in money, but it protects the rest of your riches.” Well written, Paul!

From time to time, I get requests from painters who want to use my images as reference. I appreciate their compliments and the fact that they bothered to ask in the first place. I’m well aware that there are a great number who go ahead and do it without my permission—I’ll most likely never realize it. I never think to ask, “are you going to profit from the painting that results from using my photo as reference?” If so, don’t you think I should be compensated in some small way? Maybe enough to buy a cheap lunch? If not with money, why not barter your services (whatever they may be) in exchange for my images? Since I started this blog, a half dozen painters have asked permission to use a floral image as a painting reference. I agreed, with the only stipulation that they remember to send me a jpg or a link to view the final painting. Not one has remembered to do so. Is that asking too much?

I think a great majority of people in this point-n-shoot-saturated-world don’t think about what goes into creating work of this caliber. I’ve been shooting since high school, which was quite some time ago. I upgrade my equipment when needed. I own a plethora of really good Nikon glass—and if you know anything about Nikon, you’ll know they’re mighty proud of their glass and they attach exorbitant price tags to it to prove it. If you want optimum quality in your photos, you need great equipment. I constantly read about photography. I subscribe to several photography magazines. I have a nice collection of studio lighting videos. In my book library there are 100’s of tomes on the subject—everything from posing models to landscape photography to macro and garden photography to event and wedding photography to marketing your photography. You name the book, I probably have a copy in my library. I scour the web for inspiration and to see what others are doing with the subjects I love to shoot. I’ve gone to fee-based workshops to learn more. I’ve studied under other photographers and I am constantly striving to improve. I own countless CF cards, SD cards, flashes, reflectors, lenses, filters, camera and studio accessories, studio strobes, soft boxes, stands, barn doors, gel filters, backgrounds, props, makeup, clothing, jewelry, clamps, light boxes, etc. You name it—I probably have at least one. And now that I shoot exclusively digital (for the last seven+ years, at least), I own all the latest software required to process these images. The CS Suite doesn’t come cheap. I bought the first incarnation several years ago and now own all the upgrades up to CS4. Upgrades are running $300+. Occasionally I purchase Photoshop plugins online to infuse more creativity into certain images. At this point in time, I own two Mac G5’s (I’ve owned about 13 computers in the last 20 years of self-employment), a Mac laptop, several Wacom tablets, a monitor calibrator, two Nikon slide scanners, several Epson inkjet printers, a laser printer, flatbed scanners, card readers, and at least seven backup drives….not to mention all the graphic design software, fonts and clip art I have amassed. I’m sure I’m forgetting something that emptied my wallet. I pay annually for my site and the other domains I own. I spend a good deal of time maintaining my blogs, both this one and the gardening-only blog. Both blogs are an intense labor of love and have brought me such joy and recognition of my work. Something/someone has to pay for all these books, workshops and equipment. “We can give you a credit line” falls kind of flat in light of the work and equipment that goes into creating these images, ya know?

I love being published. I don’t care if it’s the Meat Cove Express, the Podunk Times, the Upper Slovobia Ledger, the Hearing Loss Magazine, or the Washington Post. I love seeing “© Cindy Dyer” next to an image I’ve created. But, except for my Hearing Loss Magazine efforts, most of the images I’ve had published haven’t paid one single bill—or even bought me a burrito at Taco Bell—and they’re only 99 cents! I am a self-employed graphic design and photographer. I’ve been doing this on my own for 20 years this year. I am very passionate about my work and I love sharing it with others. I don’t want to discourage people from asking; I just wish that those who ask for more at least offer me either a small monetary reward or follow through when they say they’ll send tearsheets or show me a snapshot of their final painting or sketch. I don’t think that’s asking too much. If the request comes from an organization that charges for their newspaper/magazine/publication, then shouldn’t they pay for the components that make their publication great? If it’s an individual request from an artist who simply wants my image as an inspiration—that’s one thing. If it’s a for-profit organization, then photographers should receive some kind of compensation. Yes, even in this economic climate. A photo credit doesn’t cut it.

About a year ago, an editor/writer for the Patriot-Times Ledger in Connecticut asked if she could use one of my Osteospermum flower images in a garden column she was writing for the paper. She gushed over my work; my head swelled. She said I would get a credit line and samples of the newspaper. I all too happily obliged. A few months later, I e-mailed her to ask if I could get samples of final result and I never heard back from her. I e-mailed her twice. I took the time to respond to all of her e-mails and agreed to a no-pay situation. I located the high resolution image in my archives and prepared and uploaded it to her less than an hour after her request. She was the one who offered the credit line and samples. She never responded to my two requests for samples months after the supposed publication. How is that fair? At the very least, it was very unprofessional. I’ve since lost her contact information and can’t badger her to hold up her end of the bargain. You know who you are. I can state that I didn’t lose sleep over it, but here it is, over a year later—and it obviously still annoys me. I hope that it was a lesson learned. Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

This art form—my photography—is a huge creative outlet for me. It is one of the things I am most passionate about, and I truly believe that it shows in the work that I post. Photography is an essential part of who I am. I would even say it defines me. I am humbled and thrilled by the comments of my regular visitors and I try to remember to support the work of my fellow photography bloggers, too. I’ve encountered a few decent-paying assignments as a result of my efforts on my blogs. It would be nice to have more of those and I intend to actively pursue those opportunities. This doesn’t mean I won’t grant permission in the future for an artist to use my photos as reference or for some obscure newspaper writer to use my photos gratis in exchange for a credit line and samples. It doesn’t mean I won’t allow a worthy non-profit to use my images gratis to further their mission. I do hope, however, that if you do expect something for free, you honor your end of the agreement, whatever that encompasses. Try to compensate me financially, even if it is a pittance. If, in the end, you can only offer a credit line and a tearsheet…Give me the credit line, reproduce my work well, and send me those samples!

So there. Off my soapbox (for the time being) and off on some other adventure…

Reciting haiku to kittens

5 11 2009

My friend Jeff just sent an e-mail that ended with something about how he “likes to recite haiku to kittens.” This prompted my response below:


Could you come over and read this to ZenaB and Jasper? The two of them are driving us crazy with their food switching. Most days we are sure they both love the stuff in the dark green can (chicken feast). Then they both decide, “nah, we don’t like the smell or texture of that today. Got somethin’ else?”

Then I open another can—“hey, yummmm…you guys love anything with gravy, right? You haven’t had chicken slices-n-gravy lately. Try this.” Then they say, “Ummm…ditch that one, too, Mom. Gravy? It’s overrated. What else ya got?” (insert twitchy tale action here)

“Oh, lum lum lum…how about this “Hunter Stew” thing with venison (oh, I’m so sorry, Bambi. Michael must have bought you without my approval)…Jasper, you love venison. Sunnovabitch, you won’t eat that either? Bambi died for you—show some respect, will ya?”


There are now seven (count ’em) opened, partially eaten cans of cat food in the fridge. ZenaB used to eat anything that wasn’t fish. Jasper ate some things but always fish. Now she has noticed that when he looks up at us with that “surely you have something else to feed me—don’t you love me anymore?” look, he is presented five additional entrees until one appeals to him. Who says cats aren’t smart? Now she’s doing it! I’m going to put them in separate rooms when they eat.

Please come read any or all of the haiku below to ZenaB and Jasper for me. Maybe you can get through to them with your cat whispering skills. (Yes, I know I took liberties with the numbers of syllables).

Oh ZenaB and Jasper
You love chicken and gravy
Don’t turn your nose at me!

Do not look at me that way
I have opened five cans today
Okay then starve

One more can and that is all
oh so now you do like fish?
Do not just lick the gravy

Jasper look Hunter Stew
Oh Bambi died for you
Show some respect

I put the fresh can down
if I do not receive their gaze
I can pretend I got it right

What will I do with you
you most spoiled felines
cats are starving in India


Cat Haiku Update: Jeff responded with:

I haiku, you haiku, we all haiku!

My words have inspired
Thoughts of food and felines
Finicky are they


I read this after I had just set out two bowls for their dinner. I figured there was no way they wouldn’t eat what I put out this time. I opened three different cans and put a spoonful of each in the two bowls. Three choices, all laden with yummy gravy. I walked away as they inspected it, trying not to look back. I did look back and they both curled their lips and took two steps away from the bowl. I told ZenaB “eat it or else.” She began to eat. I walked off into the living room and then looked back to see who would emerge from the kitchen first. It was Jasper—walking toward me with a hopeful look. And since I am his servant, I went in, found something fishy (Trout Feast) and he gobbled it up. Cats. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

Doughty family portraits

5 11 2009

hlm-2008-nov-cover1I photographed the Doughty family this summer at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. Reed Doughty (#37) is a defensive player for the Washington Redskins and was profiled for the November/December 2008 issue of the Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America. I design and produce the bimonthly magazine and also shoot many of the covers and features.

Reed is serving as the 2009 Honorary Chair of the Washington, D.C. Walk4Hearing™ to bring about awareness about hearing loss, its implications and causes. He recently did a PSA for the Hearing Loss Association of America and you can view it here. For information on the Walk4Hearing™, visit HLAA’s website here.

Click here to read my blog posting on our cover photo session and to download the full Hearing Loss Magazine interview by Editor Barbara Kelley. In the July/August 2009 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, Reed commented, “Hearing loss might have a stigma sometimes, but I am in need of hearing enhancement. I’m going to wear hearing aids. I hope others will get the help they need.” Learn more about Reed’s football career on the Washington Redskins website here

I met Reed, Katie and their two adorable sons at Green Spring Gardens for a family portrait session. Later I photographed Katie and her sons in my studio and posted a few images from that session here and here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


Deanne Bray from NBC’s Heroes

2 11 2009

HLMNovDec09 CoverThe November/December 2009 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America) features actress Deanne Bray, whose is guest starring as Emma on the NBC series, Heroes. She appeared on the September 28, October 5, and October 12 episodes.

From Heroes Wiki: “Emma has the ability to see sound waves as beautiful lights. Her power can also shoot out the sound waves as a concussive blast if heavily pressured enough. She demonstrates this by playing her cello so furiously that a blast of ‘sound’ leaves a scar on the wall.”

Deanne has a severe hearing loss and wears a hearing aid in her left ear. She was previously the star of the PAX-TV series, Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye. Based on a true story, the series followed the adventures of Sue Thomas, a deaf woman working for the FBI in Washington, D.C. Although the series ended in 2005, it was one of two highest rated shows on the channel.

Read Barbara Kelley’s feature, Deanne Bray—A Hearing Loss Hero, by clicking this link: DeanneBrayFeature. Be sure to click on the link once and then again when it appears a second time. The pdf should download to your desktop and open immediately.

Deanne is married to Troy Kotsur, an actor who is deaf. Kotsur was on the Lifetime series, Strong Medicine, and guest starred in Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye. He was also on the special deaf themed episode (December 13, 2008) of CSI: NY and an episode of Scrubs. Kotsur is also an award-winning director. Deanne and Troy have a four-year-old daughter, Kyra Monique.

I am fortunate to be able to photograph the majority of the covers for Hearing Loss Magazine. I would love to have flown to Hollywood to shoot this latest cover and feature, but alas, there wasn’t a budget for it. The cover photo was provided by Los Angeles-based Felicity Murphy.

Late fall in the rural Virginia countryside

2 11 2009

Fairview Christian Church (Madison, VA), erected 1880…and nearby farms

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.