"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Portrait #4—The Mini Grocer

Posted in 50 Portraits Project (2013), Photography, Portraits by matt on Saturday, January 26, 2013

The mini-grocer near my house.

Mini Grocer Near My House. Kurdistan, Iraq

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A year of 50 posed portraits with only one light; a project designed to improve my camera work while blessing the people I encounter. You can see older portraits here, read the rules of the project here, or leave a comment below with your feedback.

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Portrait #3—The Snack Seller

Posted in 50 Portraits Project (2013), Photography, Portraits by matt on Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kurdish nut and candy salesman in the bazaar

Snack Seller, Kurdish Bazaar, Iraq

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A year of 50 posed portraits with only one light; a project designed to improve my camera work while blessing the people I encounter. You can see older portraits here, read the rules of the project here, or leave a comment below with your feedback.

Newroz, Part دوو

Posted in Ambient, Friends, Portraits, Travel by matt on Friday, March 30, 2012

A photo of Kurds gathered in the streets for Newroz.

A Kurdish boy waving his flag for Newroz.We just finished celebrating our second Kurdish New Year—or Newroz—here in Iraqi Kurdistan, and it was a great time!

If you were around for last year’s Newroz, you may remember that we had just arrived and some big-time protests were happening. But this year was much less political (though still hectic), and it was cool to see many friendly faces in the crowd.

Over the past 12 months God has blessed us with some incredible new friends; Arabs, Kurds, devout Muslims, local Christians, and the list goes on.

This city is a lot more eclectic than I realized, and it’s been a major blessing to be a part of it.

Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” in Kurdistan

Posted in Day-To-Day, Travel, Videos, Videos By Others by matt on Monday, November 14, 2011


Last night, Cayla and I watched the No Reservations episode that took place in Kurdistan. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like here, or if you’re interested in visiting at some point, I’d highly recommend you watch this. It gives an accurate depiction of Kurdish culture and shows just how safe our little corner of the world actually is. Hope ya like it!

The Langa

Posted in Day-To-Day, Photography by matt on Monday, October 10, 2011
Two super-happy guys in The Langa

See how happy these guys are to be working in The Langa?!

If you walk past the big mosque, into a small produce section and then hang a sharp right before the sweetshop, you’ll find yourself in a truly magical place.

Cayla making ice cream!

Cayla making ice cream!

Cayla says it’s called “The Langa” which I think in Kurdish translates as: “magical-land-of-delight-where-unicorns-are-born.”

It’s a perennial garage sale minus all the stuff I hate about garage sales. No crowds of psychotic people pulling hair and calling “dibbs on that whole table” at 4am. No impossible-to-find residential locations. It’s always in the same, labyrinth-like maze deep within the bazaar, which gives it an insider feel. Like a super-hip club for old ladies.

Cayla has harvested numerous goodies from The Langa: a popcorn maker, all kinds of super-nice, name-brand clothing (most things cost just a dollar or two), and loads of other stuff. But the best thing she’s found to date was an ice cream maker. My crazy, cooking genius-of-a-wife has now whipped up 5 pints of homemade ice cream, and every pint is more incredible than the last!

For the first time (ever?), I actually look forward to shopping. I run out of steam after about 10 minutes, but that’s still 10 minutes more than ever before. I can’t wait to see what we’ll find next!