Monday, September 25, 2023

Year 12

Twelve years ago today, I published my first post on this blog. With only a few words and no photograph to accompany it, it was a start. I can still remember sitting on my bedroom floor, after a good cry and thinking of something inspirational to type up. I was 22 years old and just graduated college with no idea what to do next. 

Would I find a job and do what I had studied all these years to do? Was that it? I was searching for something more. 

"God, will you please give me something to do? Something that I could be good at and love?"

I remember pleading with God with this desire. What's funny is that I also remember casually asking God this question when I was in the 6th grade, looking for "potential careers" as I grew up. Nothing stood out to me. But for fun, I continued to set up photo shoots of my siblings and cousins and write up newsletters for our family that would read them.

I smile as I look back now. God really does work in mysterious ways.

This little online home became my creative journal to dream and document what I was learning and falling in love with—a creative space that I could use to escape life's mundane hustle.

But it became so much more. What I didn't realize was that every new post, project, and writing piece gave me a little more courage to grow. 

All to say that more often than not, good things take time. But what's important is that we don't give up when we can't see anything just yet.

Perseverance builds character. Continue on until God leads you to where He needs you to be. It might start out with one idea—or fifty—but you never know what He has in store for you unless you keep trying.

Remember, it's not how you begin, but rather looking back and seeing how far God's taken you and knowing that He has the best yet to come for those that trust in Him.

As more years pass by, the more I come to know this truth: It doesn't matter what you do, but why and who you do it for

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31

There's been so many times I said, "What's the point? No one cares anyway..." and almost quit altogether. But I'm so grateful that I didn't. Our work and words on this earth matter because God is still working.

If my work encouraged only one person and led them to know God's goodness... I'd say I was successful. 

If you've read this far, thank you. You might be the one person God wants to reach and let know how much He loves. 

Thank you to all of my wonderful clients who continue to entrust me with their memories. 

I'm so excited for the new dreams God has placed on my heart and to see where He'll take me!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Kamila & Greg | Liberty State Park Engagement

   I had so much fun exploring Liberty State Park and photographing these two for their engagement session. We had a little bit of everything... architecture, trees, city views. The sun's warm glow was just perfect on this beautiful September day that ended in the most spectacular sunset with the glistening New York City skyline in the backdrop. Here are my favorites!


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Are you being fruitful?

Reading through one of my devotional books the other day, it led me to the story of when Jesus was walking into the city near Bethany one morning, and he was hungry as He approached a fig tree. As He went near it to take some fruit to eat, He finds only the leaves but no fruit, because it wasn't time yet. Jesus then curses it and says,

Let no fruit grow henceforward for ever. -Matthew 21:18-22 

The fig tree then withered away and completely dried up from the roots. The same account of this story is also found in Mark 11:11-14, and 20-26. This time, Jesus says: No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

That's pretty harsh right? I didn't understand how Jesus could curse the fig tree forever for not having any fruit at the time He hungered.  

But the thing is Jesus wasn't opposed to the fig tree. He was opposed to any aspect of creation not fulfilling its intended purpose.  

The lack of fruit on the fig tree meant that it was not fulfilling its purpose as a tree... to bear fruit. It was dead on the inside. And because Jesus always had a purpose to everything He did to teach us, He likened the lack of productivity of the fig tree to the lack of true spiritual growth and life in those who claimed they knew the Lord, but their lives bore no fruit to show it. In this case He was speaking about the nation of Israel.

The Lord gave a great example to the disciples that day, that one

He had the power to completely cut someone or something off if He truly wanted to, and He saw there was no fruit there, and 

two: we are created for God's glory and if we say we follow Him and believe in His word... fruit should naturally come from our lives so that others could come to see and know who this God is that we worship.

Israel had become religious with all of the beautiful temples, the sacrifices, the fancy robes that the educated Pharisees and scribes wore... it all looked quite put together on the outside. But on the inside they were spiritually dead and far from the Lord. 

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. -Matthew 23:27

Hmm, this sounds very similar to what we see going on today... organized religion. The grand churches stun people with their beautiful architecture and grandiosity... but they are dead on the inside. There is no real faith, it appears beautiful on the outside, but is full of dead men's bones on the inside. Just like Jesus said. 

Thankfully the Lord is full of mercy and grace and doesn't just cut us off like He did to the fig tree. He warns us through His word and other believers, so that all have the opportunity to know the truth. 

So, are we being fruitful? God summarizes the purpose of man's life in these few words:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. -Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

We were all created with this mighty purpose... now let's go out there and use everything God gave us for His glory.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Luke Michael | At-Home Portrait Session

I love photographing growing families and all of the joy and excitement as a little one comes into the world. This beautiful family welcomed little Luke and there is so much love already... here are my favorites from their at-home session.