CT cover assignments have always been full of surprises for photographer Bill Youngblood. For example, last year about this time, Bill was sent out to “shoot” a scientist busily at work in his biochemical laboratory. Unfortunately, that lab was “off limits,” and it was left to Bill’s creativity to devise an alternative setting that would convey high-tech drama.

Then came this issue’s mosque assignment. Finding a mosque that wasn’t simply a storefront was the first challenge. Getting over a nagging flu was the second.

Finally the day of the shoot came, and once again Bill was faced with a surprise or two. But this time around, they worked to Bill’s advantage. The mosque in the middle of suburban sprawl was exactly what the photographer ordered. And as an added bonus (irony, perhaps, is the better word), spelled out on the hill to the left of the minaret was the word J-E-S-U-S. What better way is there to say “the mosque next door”?

And what better way to say “religious pluralism”: there is also a Star of David tucked away on that same hill, something art director Joan Nickerson found only after closer inspection of the final print. Another surprise.

Pretty creative shooting, Bill. Now, for the next assignment, we’d like you to …

HAROLD B. SMITH, Managing Editor

Cover photo by Bill Youngblood.

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