Mormons through a new lens

When renowned photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange ventured into the southern Utah towns of St. George, Gunlock and Toquerville to produce the photo essay "Three Mormon Towns" for LIFE magazine in 1954, the joint project started with a bang. It ended in something of a whimper with limited exposure.

When Provo-based photographer Mark Hedengren picked up the same trail more than 50 years later, by contrast, he couldn't stop taking pictures.

"It was so much fun I just never stopped," said Hedengren, a 29-year-old graduate of Brigham Young University.

Although widely traveled, and armed with an MFA degree from the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, the professional photographer has made Mormon communities worldwide something of a specialty. Both his exhibition work, and assignments with French news syndicate Sipa Press, for whom he works, reflect a deep fascination with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members.

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