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Answers to Your Questions About My Special Program

July 10th, 2020

Answers to Your Questions About My Special Program

Answers to Your Questions
By Frank J Casella, Photographer

Since I have introduced my discount program, some of you have asked similar questions. Here are the top four that I answer:

1) Why offer discounts?
My life mission is to share hope and God's Love in the World. Art is in the eye of the beholder. People have told me how they, in their mind, hold onto my pictures, but can't always afford to own it. Others can afford my works and, in an online marketplace, a discount better helps them to make the decision to buy it. My ultimate goal is not what price you pay, but what it is about my work that makes it priceless to you. In other words, when someone offers me a bundle of money for one of my pictures, I'm not silly and accept it (and donate most of it back into the economy).

"The only thing we take with us when we die, is what we have given away" - Francis Cardinal George


2) Is this not a race to the bottom?
Well you would think that by offering discounts turns Art into a commodity. Short of the long, business in the digital world has disrupted and transformed how we buy and sell Art. Art galleries have always been limited on what they can offer. A photographer, unlike a painter, can produce images at rapid speed, and the printing process likewise can produce it. The online gallery, like Fine Art America / Pixels, are like the Ford assembly line of the modern day. In other words, Art is like cars, when Henry Ford was able to mass produce his cars and with many of the popular features of his competitor, he was able to lower his prices compared to the others. Today with cars this is taken for granted. However, Art websites other than Fine Art America (FAA) have fixed bottom floor pricing for all artists, and this is why the free market system for independent artists on FAA works for everyone. Again, business in the digital world has disrupted and transformed how we buy and sell Art.


3) Why do you provide discount codes so we can pick the artwork?
Each week I feature an artistic photograph, then I will Email this new selection to my mailing list - subscribe to the Email list - and then you look in the Email when you get it for the special subscriber discount code. When available I will also provide free shipping provided by FAA/Pixels especially during the Christmas shopping season. The intent of this is done in a predictable way so the people who can most use the discounts and need to budget for the purchase, because I don't want them to go into credit card debt with a surprise offer. Such as how Zig Ziglar says: “Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.” and that “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons".


4) Where can I find you on social media?
More often than not, the best you can do is to subscribe to my mailing list. Plus, if you have an account on my official website you'll see my stuff in your activity feed there. Because it takes a lot of deep work to create inspiring Art, my philosophy has become that social media is a tool for when something is working, not a tactic that causes it to work. Thus, so many people who are moved by my photographs and articles share it on social media. This has taken years to develop and I am most grateful ... many hands make work light.

View the Feature This Week by Frank J Casella



God give you peace,
Frank J Casella

Frank J Casella Photographs


'Pictures That Share Hope and God's Love in the World'



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Problem or Perspective

July 3rd, 2020

Problem or Perspective

Do you have problems, or is it just your perspective?


Not a week goes by that someone doesn't say to me "why don't you have any problems"? I answer them with "I just keep it in perspective".


Some of you may know that I spent almost a decade assigned to photograph the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin during his ministry in Chicago. One of the things he often told people is 'if what you're looking at will make a positive difference ten years from now then do something about it, but if not then put it into God's hands'.


This is one of the many lessons that I learned from him. Many times my problems become my own because I see it though my eyes, through my needs, through my world view. When I switch my viewpoint to how does it serve others before myself, then I ask God to help me see the situation through His eyes.


Lets face it, we live in a war torn world. We see many problems around us every day. The real problem I see is that us human's try to do everything on our own, without any thought about how God sees it or our part in God's plan for each situation.


I believe that God uses people to fulfill His work and plans for this world ... many times we get in the way with our own agenda.


I pray that, after reading this, you view your life as an instrument of God's love and plan for this world. You were born to make a positive difference in this world through your unique talents and abilities. Let God use them.


It's all in your perspective.


Enjoy your day!

Frank

Photo: Morning Run on the Trails https://frankjcasella.pixels.com/featured/morning-run-on-the-trails-frank-j-casella.html


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Welcome to Frank J Casella Artist Photography Blog

July 2nd, 2020

Welcome to Frank J Casella Artist Photography Blog

Thank you for visiting the blog for Frank J Casella. Pictures of moments in time, and human interaction, that share hope and God's love in the world.

This blog is about pictures, hope, and God's love. To start reading from the top, click the 'VIEW ALL" button above. Enjoy!

Subscribe to my E-mail list and receive subscriber exclusive photographs, promotions, and updates straight in your E-mail box! (direct quick link at www.LIST.FRANKJCASELLA.COM)

I am very intentional about how I (don't) use social media, because I choose to live a balanced life in a noisy high tech world.

I've become passionate about designing my life around focused work and protecting my time from distraction and devices. After all, it's the only way to get any photography done.

Follow along with my journey at the options below. Thanks and see you in your inbox soon!

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Stars and Stripes - Photograph by Frank J Casella

June 26th, 2020

Stars and Stripes - Photograph by Frank J Casella

The Star Spangled Banner

In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith's song) The Anacreontic Song, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



Photograph: Stars and Stripes - Color Photograph Copyright Frank J Casella

Visit The American Flag Collection on the website.


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Integrity

June 19th, 2020

Integrity

" It is true that integrity alone won't make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one." -- Zig Ziglar


Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence especially to strong moral or artistic values.

How many people in your life can you say possess these qualities? Fore me, off the top of my head, I would say at the most five. And if I think more deeply, I would say no more than ten.

What do you say about your own integrity? …. Do other people talk about you and your integrity when you are not around?

For most people I meet, it is too difficult to live with integrity, because it takes knowing what you stand for, developing and practicing good habits, and doing the right thing instead of the popular thing.

My late father was a great example of integrity, and my mother as well. But, speaking as a man, my father made a great impression on me by how people loved and respected him, and how he never had to worry about what others were saying about him because of his honesty.

When I was a young boy I was very shy and not much accepted by my peers, so I would lie and change with my environment like a chameleon. But then, as I got older my father started talking at the dinner table about if you don’t know what you stand for, then you will fall for anything.

This really made an impression when I went to college, and especially once I started working, because integrity relieved worry, people knew what to expect from me and count on me, and knew that I would always take the high road … with them in mind. It has not been easy, and always a work in progress as with all relationships.

I’m not going to lie to you, there were some demotions and job losses because the people above me seemed intimidated by my performance, they would rather push me out of the way than take the lead, or (fail to) see how I was making a good impression for their business.

Then comes integrity in Art. Simply put, I believe that an artist has a responsibility to begin within the parameters of artistic discipline, and then take their vision towards being distinctive. You might hear a lot today about freedom of expression, but that is just The 'Gospel' of Tolerance as I wrote about here.

So, I wanted to talk about integrity today, because it is something I think we all can be more mindful of, considering all that has happened recently throughout our culture more and more. For example, from law enforcement to priests to politicians - not everyone, but a small group that dominates the news headlines.

And likewise with social media, remember, the lack of integrity you see (on Twitter for example) is the opinions of only a small community and not what the larger community (in the world) believes.

So as you visit with friends and family, consider to look at each person and their integrity, and then ask where you, yourself, can replace bad habits with good habits in your own life.

And know that I intend to do the same as well.


" With integrity you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.

With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.

With fear and guilt removed you are free to be and do your best. "

-- Zig Ziglar


Photo: Free Bird in the Golden Hour Sunset- Color Photograph Copyright 2020 Frank J Casella


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Sunday Letters - Freedom

June 14th, 2020

Sunday Letters - Freedom

There is much talk in the news these days about the American Flag and how to respect it, so I thought it might be time on this Flag Day to share some thoughts about this flag of ours, and the freedom it affords if you call yourself an American ...


"Flag Day takes place every year on June 14, as a way for people to commemorate the American flag, a symbol of freedom and independence. It isn't a day that changes date, like Thanksgiving. No matter the day of the week, June 14 is the day to celebrate by waving your own flags high.

The holiday isn't too widely celebrated. By that, we mean it hasn't become a major commercial holiday, like Memorial Day or Christmas. Because of that, many Americans may pass by Flag Day without even realizing they've missed an important holiday for the American tradition.

Source: https://www.newsweek.com/how-did-flag-day-start-history-holiday-1510503


"Since the early days of our history, the American flag has represented freedom - something very fragile in an evil world - and our country's ideals of liberty and justice for all.

But ....

70 years ago ...

the United States celebrated a more poignant Flag Day, one in which freedom and our country were greatly in peril.

The year was 1942.

The United States had just entered into World War Two (1939 - 1945) after Japan and Germany had declared war on us, embroiling us in another world war not to be equalled in the rest of the 20th century.

During those trying times, the Nazi juggernaut had rolled up the map of continental Europe. Japan had nearly wiped out our Pacific fleet with their attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Yet, we had just fought the Battle of Midway the previous week (June 4 - 7, 1942) and had won a decisive victory against Japan, giving hope to turn the tide in our favor in the Pacific theater.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during these dark days, broadcast his Flag Day speech to the nation, closing with a prayer for the world.

The Spirit of man has awakened
The Soul of man has gone forth

Grant us the wisdom and the vision
to comprehend the greatness of man's Spirit
that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal
beyond his own brief span

We are all of us children of Earth
Grant us that simple knowledge
If our brothers are oppressed,
then we are oppressed
If they hunger, we hunger
If their freedom is taken away,
our freedom is not secure

Grant us a common faith,
that man shall know bread and peace
That he shall know justice and righteousness,
Freedom and security, an equal opportunity,
and an equal chance to do his best,
not only in our own lands, but throughout the world.

And in that faith, let us march, march toward the clean world,
our hands can make. Amen"

Source http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2894261/posts


Photo: This Land Was Made for You and Me - Color Photograph Copyright Frank J Casella - www.frankjcasella.pixels.com

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Lord God of peace, hear our prayer

June 2nd, 2020

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer

Lord God of peace, hear our prayer!

We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. How many moments of hostility and darkness have we experienced; how much blood has been shed; how many lives have been shattered; how many hopes have been buried… But our efforts have been in vain.

Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Open our eyes and our hearts, and give us the courage to say: "Never again war!"; "With war everything is lost". Instill in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace.

Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.

Keep alive within us the flame of hope, so that with patience and perseverance we may opt for dialogue and reconciliation. In this way may peace triumph at last, and may the words "division", "hatred" and "war" be banished from the heart of every man and woman. Lord, defuse the violence of our tongues and our hands. Renew our hearts and minds, so that the word which always brings us together will be "brother", and our way of life will always be that of: Shalom, Peace, Salaam!

Amen.


Photo: Votive Candle with Cross - Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella


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Prayers of a Mother

May 1st, 2020

Prayers of a Mother

Prayers of a Mother by Frank J Casella


Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity, or a deified ancestor.

Prayer, I believe, is what keeps a person together, a family together, and a nation together. The power of prayer is evident when we believe and then experience it in our own lives. There was no better model for prayer than Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

There is nothing like the power of prayer, and the powerful prayers of a Mother, they do not go to waste. The first example of prayer that Mary gave us was saying ' yes ' to bring Jesus into the world, and then how she looked to Jesus throughout his short life on earth.

We could not have Jesus without Mary. Her womb is called the first tabernacle.

The month of May is devoted to Mary in the Catholic Church. Though you may think, if you are not Catholic, that we pray to Mary to answer our prayers. Rather we pray for her to intercede to Jesus, just like we may ask a friend to pray for us, or pray to a deceased family member as I do with my own late parents to intercede my prayers. And who better to ask to supplicate to Jesus than his own Mother.

The pope has asked in a special way this year ' Let us rediscover the beauty of praying the Rosary at home during May! At the end of each Rosary, we can recite a prayer asking for Marys intercession, that the Lord might free us from this pandemic and life might serenely resume its normal course ' here.

There is nothing like the prayers of a Mother. This month, let us not only make it a time to remember our own Mother in prayer, but I invite you to join me in praying these prayers from the pope.


Keeping you and your family in prayer.

Frank

PS: My colleague artists have created some wonderful artwork of Mary, and more, that that you can browse in the Catholic Art Gallery - Artist Group on Pixels ( Fine Art America ) I curate.


Photo: 'Love and Devotion' Copyright 2010 Frank J Casella


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Feeding Our Habits by Frank J Casella

April 23rd, 2020

Feeding Our Habits by Frank J Casella

Habits are an important part of our lives, when put in right perspective. Just like in the business world, systems are another word for business habits. It is said the fastest way to success in life, is to replace bad habits with good habits.

Asa Catholic man, I know that whatever I feed my brain is what forms my habits. Our Faith promotes through the sacraments a method to develop the good habit of study and living the scriptures everyday.

The daily readings feed us like a dinner plate of different foods: Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and prayers for adoration and supplication. But we have to develop the habits and spend time with it each day, and then practice it in our lives. Baby steps lead to walking our spiritual journey with the Lord.

When we make the decision to go off this path, and do things in our own thinking, it is known as sin. Feeding our habits with things like pornography, too much booze, abuse of others verbally or physically, or getting sucked into the drama of things shared on social media, can take us to a visit with our priest for confession. The good thing is that God is a God of second chances.

But the thing about second chances is we have to make the corrections so that we don’t keep going back. As Henry Ford once said, “Failure is an opportunity to begin again, only more intelligently”. Our shortcomings serve the purpose to embrace God and depend on His will for our lives.

Feeding our good habits, with Christ as the center of our lives, is what helps to transform our bad habits into virtues, and is what makes working towards being a saint is all about.

“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.”




Photograph: Eggs With Steam – Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella


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Slowing Down

April 4th, 2020

Slowing Down

Put Things In Right Perspective


When I took my dog, Buddy, for a walk yesterday (somehow he always knows that time, even when the time changes), we went the usual path in the neighborhood. With the COVID-19 Virus in full bloom, and everyone inside with the stay-at-home guidelines, several of the homeowners stepped outside to say hello after seeing us walking by through their windows.

One woman, who also has a Golden, always loves to give Buddy a hug. She was very sad how she felt that she could not do this, even though pets do not seem to be on the ‘ social distancing ‘ list. I mentioned how we take that all for granted now, how touching others does more for humanity than we realize.

This woman, who is a professor at the University of Chicago, said in conversations with others are saying how ‘ Mother Nature is saying to slow down ‘.

To be honest with you, I have lost this perspective a bit. I think slowing down was the right message for me to hear. It always amazes me who or what God uses to help us put things into perspective, if we are willing to be aware of it.

So this got me to thinking, how next week is Holy Week and many of the ( Christian ) churches will not have any services .. something also taken for granted ..

In other words, God has a vision for each church that we would grow so much in our love for God that we would love people the way He loves them: unconditionally and passionately. To be filled up with His grace, truth, and purpose so that everything we do will reflect Him to those around us.

The picture at the link below, has a similar message in the description about slowing down and to put things in right perspective … if you have a few moments to read it.


Measuring Up To Jesus



Thanks for reading. A blessed Holy Week to you.

Frank


'Pictures That Share Hope and God's Love in the World'

I invite you to view my collection of colorful uplifting photographs and gifts, and bring new light and life to your home and those you love. I produce and sell photographs of moments in time, and human interaction, that share hope and God's love in the world, through my Catholic Faith.

Frank J Casella Photographs Website



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