Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Look Back Through My 2014

     2014. Gosh what a year it has been. I'm not going to lie but every time I begin to write this end of the year post I think... what interesting things have happened this year? And then I begin to pour through the photographs and am just in absolute awe of how much we can grow within a year. Looking back I honestly can't believe how much has happened... and how much each experience has molded and defined me. 
     I had the absolute pleasure of working with so many couples and seniors this year... and I photographed two weddings! I am beyond grateful for all of these opportunities, but mostly for all of the amazing people in my life that constantly support my dreams and keep me going... even when I feel like I can't.
     I got to travel to Italy and see my family and even visited Sorrento for the first time. I also attended my first workshop and met so many talented photographers... it made me realize how much there is always more to learn and I'm so eager to soak up as much as I can!
     You know that old saying "It doesn't happen overnight"? Well it doesn't but... it does happen over many nights if you keep learning, practicing, and keeping faith that you are on your right path. How about if there are many twists, and SURPRISE!! THISWASN'TSUPPOSEDTOHAPPENNOW along the way? Well... I realize that even though you sometimes may go astray, the "mistakes" or other paths may essentially open up another door you were supposed to end up on anyway! I know I know, it's so much to really understand, but trust me I'm a firm believer everything happens for a reason. 
     Finally, while looking through all of my work and growth that I have done throughout the year.... it wouldn't feel right without saying all of the credit and glory goes to a God that's so great... that he shares a piece of His heart with me. For every single photograph I capture, every idea that comes to my mind... is His light that shines through me. I am simply photographing what He already made beautiful.  
     To my 2014 Clients: Thank you thank you thank you for trusting in me.... I owe you my heart for allowing me to use my passion for capturing the precious moments in your life. I urge everyone to look back through their year and see just how much you've accomplished... it may surprise you. I can't wait to see what 2015 brings!!! 


Thanks to Jamie for capturing this behind the scenes shot at my first wedding.... you get the best 2nd shooter award! 
 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide for Photographers

It's that time of year again! Believe it or not, we only have about two weeks left until Christmas! I know crazy right?! If you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet and have a photographer friend, I put together a few gifts that they would love. I'm warning you though... you may be tempted to buy them for yourself ;) Happy Shopping!

Instax 90 Neo Classic Instant Camera
I haven't purchased this camera yet, but it has been on my list for a long time!
Rifle Paper Co. Phone Cases
These phone covers are the prettiest... I just purchased myself one and some are now on sale for a limited time!
ZGallerie Ceramic Flash Camera
These pretty ceramic cameras would look great in any office or room.
Shooting with Soul book by Alexandra Cave
I'm always on the lookout for books to learn new techniques and ideas... this one seems informative and fun!  
The Power Wallet from PhotoJojo
This little wallet is super cool! It doubles as a battery charger and wallet!
The Bowery bag by ONA
If you feel like splurging on a friend (or yourself!), this bag is definitely worth it. I finally purchased it before my trip this year...and it's beautiful! Both stylish and comfortable to carry your camera and favorite lens around.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dear Barbara

I often imagine what God would write to me if he could send us letters. We would probably want Him to tell us exactly what we need, the answers to our one million questions, the solution to our problems... the reason as to why we are going through a terrible situation. Many times I just want God to show me what it is I am supposed to do... what does He want me to do? And so though I don't know what exactly he would say to me and cannot speak for God, I do imagine it could sound something like this...

Dear Barbara, 

     My beloved child. I hear your thoughts and I know your heart. I know at times you may think that I am not present in your life and your prayers go unanswered, but I want you to know that I was there beside you before you were even born. I held you and kept you safe and I have never left. For your dreams are my dreams, your joys are my joys, and your tears are my tears. 
     Though you cannot see me, I see you. When you laughed from happiness, I leaped for joy right by you. When you were scared, I was there to keep you away from harm, and when you cried...I wept right beside you. You are never alone. Do not worry. I know everything may seem impossible right now, but trust in Me. That's all you need to do. Just trust in Me. Smile, I will take care of the rest. 

I love you more than you know,

Jesus

     This letter can really be written to anyone. At times life can get quite hazy between things that happen, and just not knowing whether you are on the right path. It takes time to grow in your faith, and at times you just feel broken and empty. But I'm learning that God takes your brokenness and with time makes it into something beautiful. It's not easy, I am coming to understand. But for God nothing is impossible. Just because you don't have what you want now... doesn't mean you never will. It just means the time hasn't come...yet. Or maybe God has something better planned. 
     It's so much easier to see something and say "Yes it is possible...I've seen it!", but the real test is can you still have faith if you can't see anything? The good news is this: though we can only see until the end of the road...God can see the entire map, over the hills and through the thick forest. Isn't that a relief? What we may want may not always be what's best for us sometimes... but I trust that God has it all figured out and is way better than what I can imagine for myself. 
     If this post reaches you and you are going through a tough time...remember don't give up. Just because you can't see past the road.... God can! He has it all under control. Smile, He loves you more than you know. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured: Senior Style Guide's Hot 100 Magazine

I was so incredibly excited/honored/ahhhhh!!!...... when I found out my photograph of Laura was chosen to be part of Senior Style Guide's Hot 100 issue and I would be featured as part of 100 of the best Senior photographers of 2014. When I finally received the magazine in the mail...it was a surreal moment. I mean seeing my photograph there among so many amazing photographers...was just beyond anything I had ever dreamed. Running my fingers through those pages I teared up knowing that with practice, patience, and whole lot of faith.... anything truly is possible. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blog Design + Recent Work

I had been thinking about redesigning my blog for quite some time now and so when I finally found Brittany from Pearl & Anchor, I knew she would be perfect to bring my ideas to life. I loved the outcome of my blog... the colors, layout, and overall was exactly what I had envisioned! So stay a while and explore.... I'm so excited about it sometimes I forget it's my own blog! I also finally updated my website to match my blog (yay!), it all feels like it's starting to come together. Here are a few recent photographs I've shot... Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Light will Always Shine through the Darkness

     This past weekend I attended a ladies retreat with some of the ladies in my church along with my sister and cousin. It was held at America's Keswick, and I was able to participate in many of the fun planned events as well as the scheduled sermons. Among many of the speakers, one that truly inspired me was Valerie Bell. She spoke of God's love for us in such a way, that it almost stopped you in your tracks and dared you not to listen. 
    She posed a question to us during one of her sermons, and it stuck on me and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. She asked, "If all of your dreams came true... would the world be a better place?" Ouch. That hurt....like as if someone had literally smacked me in the face. It dawned on me from that moment, that all of my dreams, though important to me...were essentially all about ME. I never thought much about this, I'm sure all of us have a list of things that we want in our lives...but will they make a difference? Not necessarily to the whole world, but how about to someone close that you love? 
     What I came to find during my stay is that life is difficult...for everyone. Some of us may have more trouble or different trouble than others...but in the end we all have our own race to run. I realized that though there is pain, suffering, and darkness in the world... God sent His own son Jesus to us... HERE to be in that darkness and guess what? He overcame it. Because I know that no matter how hard I try, no matter how much I want to be that perfect person, with a perfect life, perfect clothes, perfect car... I'm not perfect. No one is. And we don't have to be...because He is. 
     What kind of God would stoop so low as to come among imperfect people like us? I came to understand that our love, human love will never come close to the amount love that God has. His love is absolutely eternal and endless. Valerie explained it like going to an ice cream shop and paying for an ice cream sundae. You get an ice cream sundae, right? Well yea that's what you paid for. God on the other hand, would hand you a cup overflowing with ice cream, hot fudge, whip cream, cherries, more ice cream...so much that it overflows out of the cup onto the table all over the floor! God's love has no limits. Wow.
     I want to live in such a way that I won't miss out on life, because of my circumstances. I want to focus on the light, because no matter how small and dim a light maybe in a room full of darkness... that light will shine and break the darkness. I want my dreams to reach past this life, because this life is quickly fading. To love more, without boundaries because in the end isn't love what matters most? 
     I'm the type of person that keeps most feelings and thoughts inside. I learned that fear is something that all of us have to help us survive on instant...which is good. Anxiety on the other hand is what we think might happen. That's my big one. But these thoughts were on my heart, and I felt the need to write. My heart opened up so much more this weekend, and helped me realize that the life we were given is so incredibly precious. And that most of all, me, you, that little bird that fell to the ground struggling to fly... matter to Him. Can you imagine...I mean God who must have an amazing life, so many grand things to do... cares and loves us? It's pretty incredible. 
     Though we are all struggling and will have trouble, I have faith more than ever that it will be okay. More than okay, absolutely amazing. Because with Jesus, you don't need to settle. And beyond anything else...know that He is always only a prayer away. Woah this was a long post...have a beautiful week!

“The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Love | Christina & Kosta

     I had the sweet pleasure of photographing Christina and her fiancĂ©e Kosta this past weekend. About one year ago I photographed Christina's adorable son Jayden, and so I was super excited to see him again. I love when clients come back, and I get to capture their family and how much they've grown through the years! Here are my favorites from their fun shoot...Happy Friday!