I had to share this beautiful article about Jennifer Barry’s Crush MS Calendar Project from examiner.com

Fans of former American Idol contestant David Archuleta will be scrambling to get a copy of his new calendar. The calendar is the brainchild of one of his biggest fans photographer Jennifer Barry,  who lives in  Portland Oregon, with her husband Christian, and 4 year old son Sean.

Says Barry “ My husband is amazing and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him by my side. He is my best friend.”

Crooner David Archuleta first caught Leigh’s attention when he sang John Lennon’s ballad “Imagine”. SaidBarry “After his performance, I was stunned and the first word I said was “beautiful”. I was mesmerized by his performance.” Since then she began investigating the man behind the music, and found that he is “A remarkable and inspirational person He is genuine and truly wants to help people.” She cites one example of this as his recent travels to Guatemala and Honduras through “Mentors International”, and recent song for Haiti relief.

The singer has many fan clubs and sites which Barry says she visits often. She has been lucky enough to meet Archuleta on eight occasions and see him in concert 9 times. The first time she saw him live was on July 11, 2008 when he performed in Portland for the American Idol Concert . He appeared along with other Idol contestants from that season.

David Archuleta and Jennifer Barry ( FILE)

Barry: “He, along with the other idols, came out to the buses in the afternoon before the concert to meet with fans. I was truly blown away by his willingness to chat with the fans and sign autographs. He was the last idol to leave the area.  You could tell that while all this was new, he really enjoyed talking to everyone and it was genuine and very sincere.”

She recounts that she felt “blessed” that she was able to go to the American Idol Concert in Tulsa Oklahoma, and the VIP after party when it was over. Said Barry “ I finally had an opportunity to talk to him in Tulsa. I was amazed that he recognized me from a photo. Another amazing quality of David is that he remembers his fans, and he truly listens to what you say to him. He takes a genuine interest in what his fans  say to him or want to show him.  David makes you feel important.”

Her next behind the scenes experience with Archuleta will make any fan drool with envy. Barry purchased a “VIP Meet and Greet” pass which allowed her to get her photo and chat with David. Then they were escorted to the arena where they were able to watch him perform his sound check before the concert. “The VIP experience was truly amazing, memorable and so worth it. David makes each VIP special, unique and unforgettable”, said Leigh.
Said Barry “I have never traveled to see an artist perform before. But she has traveled many times to see Archuleta saying she thinks it is because “every concert he performs is so unique”. Meeting all the other fans has also become a important part of her Archuleta experience says Barry “Seeing all the fans is just as exciting because they make this experience so much more special, fun and one of a kind.”

In 2009 she had a chance to see his “Christmas From The Heart” tour in Salt Lake City. “It is very hard to describe the feelings seeing him perform in his hometown to songs that mean a lot to him,” said Barry
“The concert was phenomenal and awe inspiring. David’s voice soared, lifted and filled the venue and he took you on a special journey into something he holds very dear to him. I felt honored he shared something so special with his fans, “ said Barry .

Watching David perform “rekindled” her love of photography says Barry “I never realized that taking photos of David could make such an impact in my life.” The self taught photographer started shooting photos at age 10. She bought her first SLR Canon 40D, 6 years ago, and says that “After meeting David my photography took on a whole new perspective. If it wasn’t for the amazing support of David’s fans, I am not sure where my photography would be today. David has the best fans, period!”

Her “photo philosophy” : “I believe photography allows you to capture a moment in time that you can cherish forever. A photo can capture a moment that 10 years from now, a person can look at it and remember the feelings they had or memories they had simply by looking at a photo.” Her favorite shots are candid shots because as she says they “allow you to really capture someone. I love to capture who someone truly is in a photo.” She also enjoys shooting landscapes, flowers, horses, aviation, and sports.

She is inspired by the work of photographer Barbara Livingston who takes photos of horses. Said Barry “She takes amazing photographs of horses. She truly captures the beauty of a horse. Her photograph can tell a story by simply looking at it, which is what I hope to achieve in my photography.” Another photographer she admires is photographer Matthew McDermott, who captured the shot of a young boy being rescued 8 days after being buried in rubble in Haiti. “I checked out his photos and he captures the moment, whether harsh to look at or not, he captures the feelings”, said Barry

She says she has been able to get her amazing shots of David by being “lucky to get great seats”. Other times she says “ I had to wait patiently to see if better seats open up…the closer the better to take pictures. But it isn’t easy because camera polices vary from every venue you go to see a concert.”

She had been planning the calendar since her last one in 2009. The 2010 charity calendar “Be The Change, Be The Difference” David Archuleta Calendar so that all proceeds can go to support CRUSH MS. Said Barry “I created it in hopes of raising money and awareness to support Crush MS which is an important charity to David because so many people close to him like Brett Hales have been diagnosed with it. After being diagnosed with MS he (Brett Hales) has such an amazing spirit and outlook that impresses me and I am very inspired by him, which is why I wanted to try and “do a little” for MS” said Barry .

You can do your part to fight MS by purchasing the calendar at :