Alabama 1990

Alabama 1990

A preacher prepares a young woman for a Christian baptism in a rural Calhoun County, Ala. stream while members of the church choir add to the intensity of the ritual. I had only been working at The Anniston Star a few days when the paper’s ace photographer Ken Elkins asked me to join him on an assignment on a Sunday morning in June. “River baptism,” he said, something I had never seen as I was new to the South. Over the next five years Ken and I occasionally would wander along the backroads of Calhoun County and beyond seeking interesting characters. They were plentiful. Ken’s skill as a photographer was matched by his instinct for a great story. Comically, he sometimes served as my interpreter as rural southern slang was a new language to this Midwesterner. Although I always was the reporter and he the shooter, on this day I happened to have my camera as well. So, I had a baptism of sorts myself as I waded into the stream to take this picture.

Alabama 1990

Alabama 1990

A preacher prepares a young woman for a Christian baptism in a rural Calhoun County, Ala. stream while members of the church choir add to the intensity of the ritual. I had only been working at The Anniston Star a few days when the paper’s ace photographer Ken Elkins asked me to join him on an assignment on a Sunday morning in June. “River baptism,” he said, something I had never seen as I was new to the South. Over the next five years Ken and I occasionally would wander along the backroads of Calhoun County and beyond seeking interesting characters. They were plentiful. Ken’s skill as a photographer was matched by his instinct for a great story. Comically, he sometimes served as my interpreter as rural southern slang was a new language to this Midwesterner. Although I always was the reporter and he the shooter, on this day I happened to have my camera as well. So, I had a baptism of sorts myself as I waded into the stream to take this picture.