Words of Wisdom provides insight to long, happy marriage

“I want everyone to understand just how important and treasured this album will be to your family and close friends, not just now, but decades from now,”

Jodi Sware

Greg and Donna Buchanan are one of 102 couples featured in Wisdom of Marriage.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Want some hints on what it takes to enjoy a long and happy marriage?


High Prairie resident Jodi Sware may have an answer for you, thanks to local couples who have shared their experiences.
Called Wisdom of Marriage, it is the culmination of years of work by High Prairie award-winning photographer and author Jodi Sware. She combines her talents to produce a book to be treasured by many. Wisdom of Marriage is a hardcover coffee table album featuring portraits and wisdom from couples married between 34-72 years.


“For over three years, I have been working on a project that comes from my heart,” says Sware.
“While photographing 102 couples, I asked them to share their wisdom and their secrets to maintaining a long-lasting marriage. They honoured me with honest, funny, heart-warming responses.”


Their responses are compiled into a beautiful, hardcover 12″ x 9.25″ heirloom album.


“Photos of these amazing couples, accompanied by their meaningful words, will be the perfect gift for anyone searching for direction on how to navigate life or who simply wants to appreciate the many faces of love,” says Sware.

Allen and Jean Imrie are one of 102 couples featured in Wisdom of Marriage.


While compiling the book it was Sware’s hope to honour each and every couple who put in the hard work to maintain a long-lasting marriage.
“Without exception, every couple told me it was not easy, but worth the effort to sustain a lifelong love story,” says Sware.

But you have to buy the book to find out.


“I hope that you, too, will feel the love captured in these portraits and be inspired by their wisdom,”

Jodi Sware


For her part, Sware says it was an honour to speak to each couple.


“It was such a gift and an honour to spend time with all of these couples while I captured their portraits and learned about their lives and marriages,” she says.

“I hope that you, too, will feel the love captured in these portraits and be inspired by their wisdom,” she adds.
Sware agrees it is not easy to enjoy a long and happy marriage.

Alan and Wanda Bloom are one of 102 couples featured in Wisdom of Marriage.


“Having been married for 28 years myself, I know it’s not easy, but spending time with all of these couples renewed my faith in marriage and helped me remember that love is worth the hard work. My wish is that flipping through these pages will help you remember that, too!”


Sware has started a Kickstarter Campaign to help pay for the books.
“My goal with this Kickstarter Campaign is to cover the cost of editing, designing, and printing these books,” she says.
“All portrait sessions of the couples featured were complementary and done by me as a personal project over the last three years,” she adds.


In order to get a book published, the artist is responsible for raising and/or making a substantial financial contribution towards the project. Typically, artists rely on grants, crowd-funding, and contributions from collectors and other supporters. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. If you like the project, you can pledge funds to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its goal, all backers are charged when the time expires [in this case, 30 days from the launch].


“Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so if the project fails to reach its goal, no one is charged,” explains Sware.
“All funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will go towards the costs of publishing this book.”


There are different contribution levels to pick the level that works best for everyone’s budget. Call Sware at [780] 523-7939 if you need help or any of the options explained.

High Prairie award-winning photographer and author Jodi Sware has written Wisdom of Marriage.


“The way this printer works, I will probably not place another order after this one, so if you think you’d like books please try to order through the kickstarted campaign,” she says.


“I will be ordering some extra books, but not a lot so if family members will ever want a book, this month is the time to order them.”


The campaign closes Nov. 26. Effective Nov. 17, 115 backers have provided $28,677 of the $35,550 goal.

“A huge thank you to everyone who already purchased copies of the book,” says Sware.

Hemlock is printing the book. They are one of the largest and most recognized printing companies in North America, operating carbon neutral from their 80,000-square-foot facility in Burnaby, B.C.

Li Eng-Lodge from Electra Design Group is helping design the cover and page layouts.

“I want everyone to understand just how important and treasured this album will be to your family and close friends, not just now, but decades from now,” says Sware.

An expert’s opinion on Sware, Wisdom of Marriage

Comments from Dave Brosha

I’m a photographer who knows a lot of photographers.


As a working creative professional, I’ve had the opportunity in my 20-year career to meet extremely talented photographers from across the spectrum of the art form. Brilliant landscape photographers, photojournalists, wedding and newborn and maternity photographers. Hobbyists and advanced amateurs and professionals who have made the simple but very nuanced act of pressing a shutter and rendering an impression of light and time and tones into something that potentially makes an emotional impact on those who view the output. I’ve met photographers who love photographing wildlife, and photographers who love trying to capture the perfect drop of dew in morning light. I’ve crossed paths with image makers who are fascinated by lines and geometry, and other image makers who are fascinated by capturing the range of human expression. Portrait takers, and memory purveyors.


Individual images in this book speak to photographic mastery of subject—a subject quite evidently near and dear to Jodi’s heart—and within these pages you’ll find some photographs that will make you smile, some that will hit you “in the feels”, and some that will leave you with just a renewed appreciation for the human spirit and the power of union.

Dave Brosha


Knowing so many photographers, and having such a multitude of talent in your orbit, means you—in a sense—can become numb to the beauty that’s offered up daily by the masses of creatives. We, as humans, are subjected to millions upon millions of images in our lifetimes, entering our stream of consciousness through social media, print publications, billboards, television, and a variety of other mediums. I, for one, find myself occasionally numb to the constant stream of creativity and talent that is presented to me daily. Scroll, nice image, scroll, pretty picture. Scroll, what a sunset. Scroll, image, scroll, image, scroll. It’s fantastic…but it’s also overwhelming.


In this endless scroll, the downside to so much beauty and talent and a constant offering of “nice” across the spectrum of photographic genres, is that it has become very tough for a photographer to stand out; to lift themselves above the plethora of pretty. I find, for me, it takes an exceptional image, idea, or project to stop me in my tracks; that’s not to say the images I’m seeing aren’t wonderful—so many of them are—but just that it’s becoming harder and harder to catch people’s attention. It’s becoming harder to make someone go “wow” or to reach, in my mind, the “holy grail” of image making: making images that are memorable…making images that people actually remember the day after seeing them, let alone a week, a month, or for years.


I first had the opportunity to view Jodi Sware’s Wisdom of Marriage photographs as a judge in a contest themed around a collection of black and white images. Over 100 of Canada’s most talented photographers submitted, and the talent presented across the entries was staggering. Jodi’s work not only took my breath away, it took away the breath of the other judges as well. It was storytelling at its finest, it was well-thought out, it was, simply, memorable. It was unique, different, and touching. It was endearing. Jodi won that contest, and out of that I invited her to speak at a conference all around creativity. Once again, Jodi’s work and words had incredible impact, and she brought many of the participants to tears. There’s something different in this work; the impact is immediate, and its long-lasting [as so many of the subjects within].


Jodi, in her tender collection, Wisdom Of Marriage, has achieved something that is rare and beautiful in the photographic world: she has created an offering of images, crafted with extraordinary heart and talent, that truly rises above and stands out. This is a collection of images built around an idea—
capturing images of couples who have stood strongly together over time, mixed with words and wisdom gained during those partnerships—and through hard work on Jodi’s part [three years in the making, an extraordinary 102 couples captured], presents as a rare collection of soul and emotion that will stand the test of time as a photographic body of work. It’s an offering that will stop you in your tracks.


Individual images in this book speak to photographic mastery of subject—a subject quite evidently near and dear to Jodi’s heart—and within these pages you’ll find some photographs that will make you smile, some that will hit you “in the feels”, and some that will leave you with just a renewed appreciation for the human spirit and the power of union.
Soak in this collection, and take the time to appreciate all the individual treasures within; the real treasure Jodi has given us, however, is a reminder of what is beautiful and meaningful in this world. She has captured the power of connection in one of its most beautiful forms. Allow your breath to be taken away.

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