I’ll be sharing more soon about JOY portraits…I’m so excited!
As a small business owner, it can sometimes seem impossible to take a break- like a real break for more than a few days. Who will respond to e-mails and phone calls and facebook messages? What if someone inquires about a potential job or wedding and I miss it and they move on? I’m really good at telling others that they need to take time off – to rest – to sabbath. Yet when it comes to myself, I tend to make excuses for why I can’t or shouldn’t take a break. And please don’t be turned off by the word “Sabbath”. I know for some it can create ideas of strict religious demands but the truth is, the sabbath was created for us. I believe God desires us to rest in Him… to not be controlled or stressed out by the frenzied society we live in. I think that the sabbath was born out of a desire for us, (we are His delight), to be renewed by resting, and trusting…by allowing our creativity and joy to be renewed, not by working harder and working non-stop, but being renewed by Him, through rest. Isaiah 58 says this;
“…The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob…”
Why is it so easy to speak truth into other’s lives and not take it to heart in our own lives? I’m guilty of this, and so I’m challenging myself to take a break from photoshoots and correspondence for almost two weeks. I’m going on a trip with my husband and some family and friends (which for me…exploration and being in a new place can be really restful and rejuvenating). I may clean out ‘my studio’ which has become one big closet for all the stuff I have no where to put otherwise. I’ll be reading some books! And I’ll also take some time to dream about what I want for my business in 2014. I’ll catch up with some friends and maybe write a few letters to loved ones. I’ll go snowboarding and take in the fresh mountain air and do yoga because when I’m busy the first things to go are the things that help me be healthier and more balanced…
So for those of you out there who are business owners….will you take some time for yourself and your family this Christmas season? Will you take time to let go and trust that your business will not fall apart if you take a week or two away from your e-mail and telephone and facebook? I would challenge you, too, to take time to be refreshed! To do the things you put off on a regular basis because you’re too busy with running a business.
I’m hoping to do a little more intentional resting so I can be better equipped and more creatively-fueled to do the best job possible for those I get to work for and with. I’m so, so grateful.
It was a whirlwind of a trip, and it’s been a whirlwind since I got back from Adventure Always in Long Beach.
But I just have to share….
As it is with most beautifully challenging and impactful experiences, I find it hard to put into words the three days that made up Adventure Always.
After my first Beloved Collective conference, I quickly learned that these are ‘my kind of people’. It may sound strange but it seems that the people that are drawn to Beloved are the kind of artists I could spend lots and lots of time with. Nearly everyone I’ve met within this community are authentic and passionate, kind-hearted and compassionate. Many are doing so much more than making portraits, or “doing photography”. Some are literally changing the world with the stories they’re sharing, and the dreams they have to leave an impact on other’s lives. This year, the Beloved Collective conference turned opened up to more than photographers, but artists of other mediums as well. We heard from Brian Andreas, who brought me (and I think many others) to tears with his stories and words. We watched an incredible video (once it is released to the public I will share it!) made by my friend Calvina, who has poured her heart into developing her photography in a way that will impact other’s lives forever…and even work to end slavery and oppression in our world.
Ash and Jeremy Parsons blew me away with their raw stories of brokenness and their challenge to live life as it is- A GIFT. I don’t believe there was a dry eye in the crowd after they shared. I highly recommend checking out their “never give up” stories of heart-ache, hope, and deep deep love. The conversation they ignited the evening they spoke was one that I believe had the capacity to change people’s lives in a big way. I’m so grateful for that hour with them. We also got to hear from my friend Liz Arcus, who always inspires me to reach for big dreams…and especially the kind of dreams that have the ability to impact other’s lives. We also heard from Jonas Petersen, Ryan Muirhead, and some awesome instagrammers like @thuglifforevs, @seacannon, @carmynjoy and others!
(here are a few iphone photos from the trip…)
My friends that I shared a room with on the Queen Mary also made this trip important for me. Melissa, Scott, and my new friend Sarah. Melissa took the risk in the beginning during our Beloved Collective morning and shared her heart, her fears, and encouraged us to go towards what makes us weak in the knees. :) She braved the fear of speaking in public and inspired lots of people, including me!
Some important things I took away and I know will continue to impact me in some way :
Kristen Kalp talked about how to love your life by creating “a business that lights you up”. She asks “What would be the most fun right now?” She also shared these tips that I believe she lives by and encourages others to do the same: * dwell in impossibility * delight yourself * know what you’re not * fight perfection * embrace fear * out-do yourself *
My friend Josh Solar shared about gratitude and making a life of thanksgiving. He encouraged us to write letters, to notice the gifts we have in our lives, and to not take those for granted. If you haven’t heard of 1000 Gifts or Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience, gratitude is all over it! He shared some great quotes including this : “The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life: giving thanks for everything.” -Albert Schweitzer
Of course Jesh always has words upon words of wisdom, and I usually find myself either frantically trying to write waht he’s saying or just sitting and soaking it all in. One of my scribbles in my notes from the goodness he shared over the course of the week: “to be an artist is to be a maker of history” is something that could change the course of our work if we really believed and took this seriously. He also asked the question; “What drives you Wild?” He pushes others to a place of dreaming big, of going beyond what they may think are their limits into a space where magic can happen. I love that.
It was such a joy and a gift to be at the first annual Adventure Always! I’m so so grateful to each of the people who shared their hearts…that really is the most important thing in what we do. It’s not about the money. It’s not about being the best photographer in our city or state, etc…
It’s about love, connection, authenticity, and making history by making the world a better place.
Danielle and Russ had a romantic and intimate backyard wedding this summer in Upper Arlington, Ohio (my hometown!)
It was such a joy, such an honor to be there. Danielle is one of my friends from high school (some good ol’ days!) And she and Russ are so beautiful together. I hope you can feel the love and true joy from these photographs… I know for me, when I see them, I feel something. And that’s the kind of work I always want to do. I cried going through these images (a few times!) and I’m so grateful Danielle and Russ loved them, too.
This is the kind of wedding I absolutely love to be a part of. Thank you, friends. May you always have this affection and love for one another as you journey together through life!
Are you ready for an experience with your love that has the power to bring you to a deeper, more beautiful place?
It thrills me to be able to offer Beloved sessions to couples who are ready to play, explore, laugh, and connect.
I have a few travel dates this summer and would be so happy to book a session with you while I’m out and about!
Dates and locations :
Columbus, Ohio // August 30- 31
Baltimore, Maryland // Oct 17- 19
Los Angeles, California // Oct 20 – 24
Colorado (Breckenridge/Boulder/Denver/anywhere!) // It’s where I live, so most dates :)
I would love to connect with you and share in the experience of creating beautiful reminders of what matters most.
Please contact me as soon as possible to schedule a date!
email@example.com // 719.510.4995
My first wedding of the season was a fun and beautiful wedding in middle-America.
The week leading up to the day had been sunny and warm in Nebraska; perfect early summer weather. The morning of, we worried about clouds rolling in and heavy winds. Although the weather did limit us a bit from getting as many photographs as we wanted to outside, we made it work! The town of Genoa is small and Ashley’s family probably knew everyone that lived there, including the man who had the keys to “The Indian School”. In 1884 the school was opened up and eventually ended up serving Native American children from ten states and over 20 tribes until the government closed it down during the Great Depression. Now the school is a museum and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
…just a little wind…
….and a little wedding party…
…and a party bus with plenty to celebrate…
…an even bigger party to follow…
If you’ve never been welcomed by a big community of Nebraskans in a small town, you’re missing out :)
Thanks so much for having me, Ashley and Brent. May you be blessed in your life together!!
I met Dee Anna earlier this year and we became instant friends. She’s bubbly and kind, and has lots of ideas of how to make our community and city even better. She began an organization which raises support and money for a scholariship to one woman in our community who is a local small-business owner. See more about this great community of people at Women with Hatitudes. She is passionate about what she does, and she’s passionate about Travis. And as you may see in these photographs, he’s pretty happy about being with her, too :)
I’m so looking forward to photographing (and celebrating!) their wedding day later this summer!
“I was first attracted to his innocence and sweet nature. Travis doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and to me, that is sexy!”
“Travis and I are still spontaneous and love adventure! We enjoy all of the same things and go out of our comfort zone for each other. I ride scary dirt bikes and he goes to my events. We complete each other…but not in a corny way! I can be myself around him”.
“She’s always there to support me in whatever I venture into”.