Six degrees of separation

30 06 2011

The July/August 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (HLM), which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is hot off the press! This month’s “cover guy” is my friend and fellow blogger from Oslo, Norway—Ulf Nagel, accompanied by his handsome son, Oskar.

I discovered Ulf’s insightful, well-researched and painfully honest blog, Becoming Deaf in Norway, on Abbie (Cranmer) Hlavacek’s blogroll a few years ago. After reading Abbie’s blog about her hearing loss journey, I knew we had to feature her in the magazine. Abbie wrote her feature for the May/June 2008 issue of HLM and I spotlighted her on this blog here.

A few years later, she and future husband Todd hired me to photograph their wedding in October 2010. Learn how I first met Abbie (and her friend and bridemaid, Jennifer Thorpe) here, read the first recap of Todd and Abbie’s wedding day here, view Abbie’s stunning bouquet crafted by her friend and “second mother” Phyliss Hendley here, and see more wedding photos here, here, and here.

The Internet and the world of blogging has introduced me to so many wonderful people from all walks of life and I’m always fascinated by the way stories and people weave in and out of those experiences. Discovering Abbie Cranmer via her blog resulted in her being featured in the magazine and me photographing her wedding just two years later. Abbie was an Advanced Bionics (cochlear implant manufacturer) mentor and was helping Todd’s brother, Gregg Hlavacek, through the process. Gregg introduced Abbie to Todd Hlavacek via e-mail during the mentoring process and the two fell in love online! Abbie and Todd are expecting their first baby, a boy, in late September.

I discovered Abbie’s friend and future bridesmaid, Jennifer Thorpe, on Abbie’s blogroll. I then met and photographed Jennifer and her lovely family at the HLAA Convention in Nashville in 2009. A year later, Jen wrote her feature article, I Am Simply Me, for the July/August 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine. Click here to download the pdf of that article from HLAA’s website.

And the connections just get better—as a result of the photographs I shot of Abbie & Todd’s beautiful wedding, HLAA member Tina Fifer and her future husband, Tom Hamblin, hired me to photograph their wedding this October! Last month I posted their engagement photo on my blog here.

Tina just happens to work with HLAA member Mike Royer. I met Mike Royer at a stock photo shoot for HLAA three years ago, then photographed his adorable family in my studio here and here. Mike and Alicia asked me to photograph the birth of their youngest child, Ashley, in August 2008. In her spare time, Alicia is an artist and a blogger, too. I wrote about her pastel work here.

Mike later suggested that we profile the acclaimed and prolific painter, Charles Wildbank. Charles and I have connected through e-mail and Facebook and have become friends. He will be featured in a future issue of Hearing Loss Magazine. I wrote about Charles and his artwork on my blog here. Do check out his work—it is nothing short of stunning!

And finally, Jen’s blogroll listing led me to Ulf’s blog!

I wrote to Ulf and asked if he would be interested in sharing his story with Hearing Loss Magazine readers. With editing and compilation assistance from The King of Texas (who also moonlights as my father, Hershel M. Dyer) and beautiful photos by Anne K. Haga, Ulf’s story—From Silence to Sound: My Quest to Hear Again—is now in print.

Read the full article by clicking on the link here: Ulf Nagel Feature.

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
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