Photos by Anne Marie Shumate

Ten Thousand Words

This article appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Texoma Living!.

In 1921 Fred R. Barnard in the advertising journal Printer’s Ink first coined the phrase “One Look is Worth A Thousand Words.” He later rephrased the ad headline to read, “One Picture is Worth Ten Thousand Words,” and credited it to an ancient Chinese proverb. The only thing ancient about the line was that he had made it up six years earlier. Regardless, I get his meaning.

Anne-Marie Shumate is one of those artists who can easily stuff ten thousand words of meaning into one of her photographs. What is amazing is that she is a natural talent, with some help from genetics.

Shumate’s father, a world traveler, Olympic team member and diplomat, has been a serious amateur photographer since the 1930’s with his first Leica camera. Several members of her family are award-winning landscape photographers. “It was just a matter of time before it was my turn,” says Shumate.

Crossing Paths

During the development of our very first issue and after becoming frustrated with finding a “cover” photographer, our mutual friend Carol Davis introduced me to Anne-Marie at dinner. Sparks began to fly over my pecan-encrusted salmon.

Anne-Marie is a powerhouse of ideas and endless energy. Most importantly, unlike some of the other local photographers who saw the magazine as just another money gig, Shumate got it immediately.

It is not an overstatement to say that Shumate is in no small way responsible for our success.

Like my relationship with editor Edward Southerland, Shumate and I are on the same page—about almost everything— when it comes to the magazine.

It is not an overstatement to say that Shumate is in no small way responsible for our success. Her insightful and revealing cover images set the pace for more of the same inside each issue.

“I believe in the power of an image to move you and transport you to another time and place; whether it be a holiday of long ago with your family, or to the center of an event anywhere in the world,” says Shumate. “That I am able to preserve a moment in the history of a family is one of my greatest joys.”

Pushing Boundaries

In this issue, you will see many of Anne-Marie’s photos. With each issue we lean on her a little more. As I tell most of our collaborators, “It’s up to you to squeal if I put too much on you.”

In our photo essay “The Bikers Next Door,” local motorcycle aficionados were recorded by Shumate with their most beloved machines in the mechanics’ shop area at Texoma Harley-Davidson in Sherman. Taking liberty with the strong images of man (woman) and machine Shumate pushed them into the realm of art.

Meanwhile back in the studio, serial restaurateur Sue Conrad posed with pies for the cover of this issue.

Shumate is just one of the talented artists we have attracted to Texoma Living! But my heart belongs to Anne-Marie because from the very beginning—over that plate of salmon—we held a jam session that resulted in this great partnership. She just gets it.