Living in Utah, it’s difficult to ignore the incredible structures, the architectural feats, that are the temples of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. They can be seen throughout the state, and the world for that matter. Regardless of one's religious affiliation, or lack thereof, many can acknowledge and appreciate the beauty and grandeur of the places of worship.
As a photographer, I am constantly on the hunt for projects or concepts to keep my creativity going. And as a member of the LDS Church, I’ve been looking to capture the temple in a unique way that had not been done before. Hence, the idea came to shoot all of the Utah temples in each season for one large project.
I have had the idea for this project for around five years, though it wasn't until 2012 that I really got serious about it. Originally I intended to go out and photograph all the temples of Utah, and put them into a small book or possibly an extended calendar.
As I continued to think about this project, however, I knew I wanted something that would be completely different from anything done in regards to photographing or even depicting the temples in an artful way.
I decided the only real way to share the beauty of the temples was to showcase them each in all four seasons.
As I’ve found, each season brings to light different moods and reflections on these magnificent and holy structures. Of course, an idea is easy. Actually following though is another thing.
At the time I started this project, there were 13 open temples in Utah; Ogden was under a re-construction, and the other three, Payson, Provo City Center, and Cedar City, were announced and being worked on. So, I sat out to photograph them; some were in close proximity to me, others not so much.
By the time I’m finished, I’ll have traveled to each temple at least four times, and in some cases when conditions weren't right, I had to make a few more trips.
All in all, it’s taken me over 12,000 miles to complete, not to mention time taken off work and away from family. There were many times I felt like giving up, or perhaps making this a "life -long" type goal, where I would slowly accomplish the final project.
I kept on, however, and am happy I made up my mind to push through the doubt and finish this offering.
I started a love of photography around 2008 after I graduated college and went on a three-week trip to Europe with my first DSLR camera. After that, I was hooked. I was introduced to the wonders of my own backyard, the desert Southwest, and have enjoyed many photography adventures there since. I love to travel, and have found that photography allows me to capture, remember and share memories with myself, friends and family. I hope you enjoy browsing through my images that I have worked hard to capture, and find inspiration and meaning in them. View Phill Monson's portfolio.