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Your Values and Gods Will

September 26th, 2020

Your Values and Gods Will

Something happened recently that I would never have expected, I closed down my Twitter account, and made my LinkedIn account dormant to the point of serving only as an online business card. I have been off Facebook for several years. Usually during Lent I give up social media so that I can use that to spend more time with the Lord. But being this is an election year, I decided that after Memorial Day I would stay off the ‘feed’ until Labor Day, and then only lurk but not interact until after Election Day.

As a Catholic man I strive to do God’s will. The best description that I’ve heard of this is that God’s will is that we depend on him. Sometimes, to depend on God, I have to remove the messages bombarding me from our over saturated information culture. Because the things I listen to contribute to my world view, and thus over time become my values.

The thing I have learned about removing yourself from social media is that you have to find something else to use that time with or you get the urge to go back on the feed ... yes, like an addiction. So this time I prayed for the Holy Spirit to show me God’s will how I should fill this time. The thing that kept coming back to me from multiple sources was to just have the mission to focus on God and His will.

This reminded me that something I haven’t though much recently is that to live mission means to eat, breathe, and sleep mission. So I applied this towards my focus on God and His will – to eat and breathe, and sleep, depending on God.

I then organized the devotionals that I would spend time with, the (online) writers or publications I would pull information from, and concentrate more on the daily readings and what each message is saying about what God wants of me or how I should respond. In a nutshell, to slow down and see more of the world around me and how God is at work through me, and to meet Him in that work.

A funny thing happened. I started to realize how the narrative in my own head was from the many opinions that I collected on social media and the like, short of the long, and how once this was removed my own thoughts started to emerge and come to the surface. Thus when I saw how much my thoughts were suppressed, and then how much being bathed in the love of God filled the void in my heart that much more, I deleted my social media accounts.

I previously did not spend much time on social media, maybe 10 hours a week, but in looking for information about art and photography, and the Church and its people, slowly but surly I was also sucked into the politics, business, and bureaucracy, so to speak. You see, through this I have learned how our world view over time determines our values, and thus determines how much we depend on God or not, and how we eat, breathe, and sleep His will for our lives.

Thanks for Reading.

Frank J Casella


Photo: Cloud Dance Above The Trees - Color Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella


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For more information and where to find me online visit info.frankjcasella.com

This post is also shared to the Fine Art America blog section. This section provides an overview of all blogs that have been posted by Fine Art America artists and galleries.



Why Life Has Its Seasons

September 17th, 2020

Why Life Has Its Seasons

When I bought my house, my late father told me to not get attached to it. And the same goes for my neighbors, as a few of them recently sold and move out of state.

Life has its seasons, and the people we meet are only for a certain time, then we meet others. And this happens for a reason, so we must trust that it is meant to be.

It brings different experiences, good or bad, to our life. Just like the leaves on the trees, and the sunlight and storms that pass each day.

Because it is through these experiences that makes it why we call it life. How we decide to live through, or respond to, these seasons determines who we become.


Thanks for Reading.

Frank J Casella


Photo: Pathway to Prairie Lake - Color Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella

The pathway to the blue waters of Prairie Lake at the Homewood Izaak Walton Preserve in Illinois.


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Frank J Casella Digital Connection

September 15th, 2020

Frank J Casella Digital Connection

Frank J Casella - American. Photographer. Catholic. Co-founder. Living in Chicagoland - USA. Pictures speak in ways that words can not. Since I was a kid, I've been perfecting how to put the viewer where my subject is - I call this "Pictures People Listen To".

I've been a Documentary and Stock Photographer since 1988, and Independent Artist exclusively on Fine Art America since 2013. Though, I've had a camera in my hand since I was a young boy. I produce and sell pictures of moments in time, and human interaction, that share hope and God's love in the world, through my Catholic Faith.

I'm also co-founder of Chicago Catholic Men's Forum, and Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland, since 2004. When you foster a Man in holiness, the positive adjustments he makes creates a upstanding man, husband, or father, and this impact can be felt for three generations.

I'm a product of Columbia College Chicago and, shortly after, my childhood dream became reality when I was assigned to photograph the ministry of the (Roman Catholic) Archbishop of Chicago - the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.

My artwork style is inspired by Norman Rockwell. I'm privileged to be nurtured by John H. White - Pulitzer Prize photojournalist.




Life Mission:

My life mission is to share hope and God's Love in the World. Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62



Testimonials:

"Frank Casella .... is like an Old World artist, creative yet meticulous, inspired yet careful, in awe of visual beauty yet not afraid to engage it through the lens of his camera. .... Frank Casella's work is what we mean when we say that photography can be an art".

-- Rev. Anthony J. Brankin, Chicago Priest and Sculpture


"Frank, I just wanted to Thank you again for coming to our photo club and your program on visual storytelling. I know we all got something from your presentation. It was a good idea the way you got us involved in your program. ....

.... For myself it was humbling to see how well you can design a moment to last forever. And your sense of getting the essence of the subject, that simple moment. I have a new respect for black and white images and I understand how it can enhance an image. Thank You again Frank it was a privilege for us to have you as a program presenter."

-- Tim McGrath, c/o Park Forest Photography Club


“Frank, Great Work and great job on your Website. Your work is thoughtful and good and you are an excellent Godly man and photographer”.

– James Klein Lenderink, Commercial Photographer



Stay Connected:

If you would like to see my latest updates and promotions, sign up for my mailing list at www.list.frankjcasella.com delivered one to three times a week ... Direct to your Email box! Unsubscribe at any time.

Or you might like my once a month list SundayLetters - A picture, a life topic, and latest blog entries or creative projects, always on Sunday about once or twice a month.

I am very intentional about my use of social media....


To that end, here are positive reasons why I post primarily on my own blog or mailing list, not on social media:


1. Having a home

This site is a creative outlet for me and my works. When I want you to know something, I'm going to talk about it here, both with the mails I send you and with the blogs. This is where you'll be able to find me over time and space. This is my home.

For example, people in my old neighborhood used to just drop by to sit on the front porch and catch up; this site serves the same purpose for me. It's something we can depend on so we can always be in contact.


2. Internet citizenship

This is called the "web" because our sites all interconnect with links. Hyperlinking is what gives the Internet its richness. Following links has helped me learn so much, and give back. My own blog site lets me do that.



Where To Find Me Online:

Official Website Email List - Latest photographs, promotions, and related posts from this blog..

CMCSMen - A Blog to Nurture Catholic Men's Spirituality.

SundayLetters - A picture, a life topic, and latest blog entries or creative projects, always on Sunday about once or twice a month.


Check out my personal pictures and projects at the Personal Work Collection - Photos.FrankJCasella.com.

... If you find an image there that you'd like to see for sale, drop me a note - Contact.FrankJCasella.com.


View My hometown photo project 'Home Sweet Homewood 1 Day' at - Homewood1Day.FrankJCasella.com - moments in time photographs of Homewood, Illinois





Come back here to browse my website, and bookmark - FJCPhoto.FrankJCasella.com

Search My Stock Photos on www.licensing.frankjcasella.com


Drop me an E-mail and say hello - Contact.FrankJCasella.com. (Phone calls by appointment made via email.)



See my photos featured in the PENTAX Photogallery



“As a photographer, the big secret is entering into the charisma with the person you have in front of you. If you don't feel it, you'll never do it well.” ~ ARTURO MARI, Vatican photographer


Lost in a Fog

September 12th, 2020

Lost in a Fog

One day I lost a file folder. Well, at least it was missing. I changed my agenda and searched most of the day looking for it though I really didn’t need it. And I couldn’t rest until I knew where that folder was.

Have you misplaced something and were glad when you found it? Your eye glasses. Your car keys? Your checkbook? Then how much more should you be with human life!

When you see someone who has gone astray from their Faith think of how much Jesus wants them back in the fold… and let God use you.


Thanks for Reading.

Frank J Casella


Photo: Lost in a Fog - Photograph Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella



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Goals Are Just Problems Waiting to Be Solved

August 25th, 2020

Goals Are Just Problems Waiting to Be Solved

Tons of material has been written about setting and achieving goals. Almost nothing has been written about intentions. Intentions are the foundation for goal achievement. Intentions are the power behind goal achievement. Intentions create both resolve and desire. The resolve and desire to achieve. What are your intentions?

In business, when you get your sales plan or sales quota, do you intend to achieve it? Or are you defeated the moment you look at it? How about that home project that you’ve put off? Or in developing your holiness?

Mentally change “gonna” to “intend.” I’m gonna lose ten pounds. I intend to lose ten pounds. Which do you think is more powerful? Intention makes things happen.

Here’s a way to begin understanding intention: take a resolution or a goal that you did not achieve. Write down why that achievement did not occur. Not excuses, the real why. Now write another paragraph on what you could have intended to do that might have made that goal, or that resolution, a reality.

Many people I know convert setting goals into problem solving. In other words, instead of setting a goal just look at that goal as a problem that needs to be solved. This method tends to make goal setting more digestable.

You may have a goal, or you may have been given a goal, but your intentions will dictate the outcome of the effort ( or lack of it ).

Photo: The Bike Race - Black and White - Photograph Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella

Also, View The Bike Race - Color - Photograph Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella



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The Benefits of FineArtAmerica Blogs

August 17th, 2020

The Benefits of FineArtAmerica Blogs

Note: This is information about FineArtAmerica / Pixels member blogs only and not other third-party blogs.



One of the hidden secrets free to all of us members on Fine Art America / Pixels, in addition to contests and groups, is the blog tool. All of us who use this tool do so in several different ways. Some of us do not use them at all (yet). Those of us who use the premium website tool (AW) have a few more features to benefit from. ...

So, I want to host this blog entry to talk about the how to's, because a part of the Pixels community is about helping each other in life as artists, and the business or Art. As the slogan goes 'Independent. Together.'

If you are intimidated by the idea or feel like you don’t have enough time, trust me this is a misconceptions. Here are some things for you to think about ..

Artist coach Barney Davey has this to say about blogging - "I also hope you are blogging because it is the single best way to develop an email list and pull your collectors, fans, friends and followers closer to you. You can use a blog to show your business and your personality, and snippets of your life to your readers. They don’t care what you had for dinner, but they are interested if you attended a recent gallery opening, took a museum tour, or like listening to Beethoven or Muddy Waters while you work at making your art."

He also offers the tips below found on his website.

Reference link https://artmarketingnews.com/why-artists-should-blog/


Top Ten Reasons Why Artists Should Blog:

1. Help sell your art direct to buyers.
2. Promote awareness and gain interest in your art.
3. Grow your email list.
4. Control your digital brand and reputation.
5. Drive traffic to your website.
6. Open the door to guest blogging.
7. Create links and SEO value for traffic and search engine rankings.
8. Make a positive influence on juried show judges.
9. Introduce your work to gallery owners.
10. Provide content for social media platforms.



If you want to get started and don't know what to say or write, or just want to get a feel for blogs, then I suggest you visit the blog feed on FAA / Pixels and just read some of them and make comments.

If you want to start using your AW blog, as a premium member, you can add live links and there is also a search bar at the top which is really important for when an art collector visits your website and blog.

Finally, if you go to the sell art online page, it describes blogs as such:

https://fineartamerica.com/sell-art-online.html


"Blogging is a great way to attract the attention of search engines and bring more visitors to your profile and your artwork.
Fine Art America allows you to post an unlimited number of blogs on our site. Each time you post a blog, you'll automatically generate a new webpage which is meticulously designed for high rankings in Google.
If you post regular blogs on the topic of "landscape paintings", for example, Google will eventually realize that your a painter focused on landscape paintings... and over time, you will move up in their search results for that term."


So, if you use the member blogs please share why and how, and your experiences? If you do not use the member blogs why is that?


FAA / Pixels members, I have started a private discussion thread in the main forum, if you'd like to participate or just learn from reading the comments:

Reference link https://pixels.com/showmessages.php?messageid=3875066 ( Private discussion thread, login to FAA first )

More information https://pixels.com/showmessages.php?messageid=3932920

Enjoy your day!

Frank J Casella,
Photographer



Honesty

August 7th, 2020

Honesty

By Frank J Casella


Deception has many pitfalls so it is much better just to be honest with integrity, both in life and in our work. There is also something to be said for authenticity.

For example, when it comes to my pictures, I try to keep the image processing as natural as possible to the original subject photographed.

In other words, I share my vision to improve on the original subject but keep true to originality, honesty and integrity.

Likewise, in life, there is so much we need to filter through to find what is authentic.

Because sources we listen to sometimes take their vision or expression too far, or to the point, of deciding what they think we need to hear.

It's good to listen to what they say but, keep our eyes open.

The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth.

Luckily, the internet makes this easier to do. Below are some quotes that talk about honesty, with a summary when needed for further explanation:


"Honesty is the best policy"

~ Benjamin Franknlin


"The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity."

~ Proverbs 11:3


"Those who plead the case first seem to be in the right; then the opponent comes and cross-examines them."

~ Proverbs 18:17


A persuasive speech in court can easily make one forget there is another side to the question. When the other party speaks, people realize they made a premature judgment. The experience at court is a lesson for daily life: there are two sides to every question.


" A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."

~ Proverbs 16:28


"Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

~ Romans 13:7


"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."

~ Luke 8:16


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

~ Oscar Wilde


“The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”

~ Thomas Jefferson


"The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty."

~ Zig Ziglar



View Authentic Expression - Color Photograph Copyright Frank J Casella


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Weather Art Photography by Frank J Casella

July 31st, 2020

Weather Art Photography by Frank J Casella

A dramatic sky is often a pivotal part of my weather compositions.


I want to capture that feeling of catching your breath when you step outside and see an incredible scenic alive with brilliant color.


The weather each day is also a gift from God, from the first days of creation, a sign of His love in the world.


Click here to view the collection of my weather art photography.


There is always another e-mail waiting. Instead, take the next few moments to just look at these photographs and spend time with it.

Let the elements of this moment in time to absorb into your soul.




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Comments - Flowers Purple and Sunlight

July 23rd, 2020

Comments - Flowers Purple and Sunlight

You might say that art photography of flowers can be a bit over saturated. That is why it is a big deal when one of them starts to see uplifting comments right after it is posted. So I thought it might be a good idea to share some of them with you:

"Beautiful, delicate blossoms, Frank. Lovely color and light."

"Love this tender portrait, Frank! These small blooms deserve the spotlight!"

"OMG, this is simply stunning, Frank! Would make a fabulous watercolor - hahahahaha! That's the way my brain works."

"Gorgeous photo with very beautiful light."

"Love this!"

"Great close up, Frank!! The black background sure help to make them pop!!"


View Flowers Purple and Sunlight - Square - Color Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella


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Dignity

July 14th, 2020

Dignity

Depending who you talk to, there are many interpretations of the word dignity. Those of you who read me often know that when faced with something like this I first go to seek what God and the Bible says about it:

Matthew 25:35–25:40 - 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

* [25:37–40] The righteous will be astonished that in caring for the needs of the sufferers they were ministering to the Lord himself.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church insists the "dignity of the human person is rooted in his or her creation in the image and likeness of God." "All human beings," says the Church, "in as much as they are created in the image of God, have the dignity of a person." The catechism says, "The right to the exercise of freedom belongs to everyone because it is inseparable from his or her dignity as a human person."

So, dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, and to be treated ethically with inherent nobility and worth.

Said another way, then, is dignity the quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect?

I share this with you today because as we prepare to start 2020, a new year and a new decade, I think it is important to be mindful of dignity. We see lack if it all around us, both online and offline. And we lack dignity mainly when we are not treating each other as such.

We can blame this, if we want, on social media, politicians, other people in our personal lives or work environment. But the buck stops with us, I think. We have the sole power to hold and give dignity.

Confidence, success, respect, and integrity are some of the benefits of dignity. And when we treat others with dignity is the best way to see others treat us the same way.

Likewise, just as a good friend is found by first being a friend, and happiness is never found by the person shopping for it … rather, genuine happiness is the byproduct of making someone else happy.

Some suggestions to help develop these qualities are Zig Ziglar Tweets, IG posts, and Podcasts; plus Daily Reflections from Dynamic Catholic; and more personally Manhood Monday.

So, no matter what your interpretation of dignity is, the best way to describe it to others is to live it.


“The fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” -- Tom Ziglar



Photo: Sunrise After the Blue Hour - Color Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella


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