Hopping in to this month’s 10 on 10 to share a few personal shots from our fall including some holiday goodness with family at Thanksgiving, making homemade apple pies and picking out our Christmas tree. I LOVE this time of year. I hope your family is enjoying this season together and celebrating God’s goodness. Blessings friends and Merry Christmas! Follow on around the blog circle by visiting my friend Kayla’s post here.
This session I’m sharing tonight is really special for a couple of reasons. Number one being that Tracie Ancelet is a gem. She’s a local photographer here in Knoxville that I met for dinner one evening last year that sparked an incredibly beautiful friendship. She’s one of those rare gifts in life, a friend that pursues the hearts of others with her whole heart. You feel completely validated in her presence. I could go on and on but if you know her, you know this about her already. She feels special to me for all those reasons mostly but also because she was my first real local photography friend. And if you are in this business, you know what a priceless gift it is to have a local friend to share thoughts and ideas with. It’s HUGE, and rare, and wonderful, and she’s all that to me.
This session is also special to me because it’s my first ALL film session. I’ve been shooting mostly with film for my personal work for a while now and while I’m still unsure where it’s place is with my clients, it was incredibly refreshing to focus on a client session with this medium. Being with my clients is always my favorite part of the process and shooting film allows me to focus more on my time with them. So, thanks so much for letting me stretch my creative wings a bit and share a bit of working through the process. No matter what, I’m learning even more about this art form that I love so much, and that’s worth it all to me. Enjoy.
“Dear Old World, she murmured, you are very lovely and I’m glad to be alive in you.” -Anne of Green Gables- L.M. Montgomery
I had the best time reconnecting with these old friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth on a gorgeous summer morning, while they did what they do best, love one another. Enjoy these sweet photos of our time together.
On our way home from Michigan this summer we stopped by Indianapolis for a family session with the Murphy family. No doubt this is one of the most loving families I’ve ever met. It had been a long time since their family had been in front of a camera and when this beautiful mama and I spoke on the phone she told me it had been too long and that they were in just such a sweet spot in life and she wanted to remember this, no more excuses. I’m so glad we captured this time of them together. No matter the season, it deserves to be remembered. Enjoy this little glimpse of the Murphy family. Blessings.
It's been a long while since I've hopped in on the 10 on 10 monthly blogpost so I wanted to get in this month and share some film images from our recent trip to Michigan. I'm breaking all the rules though by sharing way more than 10. Woops! By the way, Michigan is just amazing! We started on the coast of Lake Michigan then made our way up to the Upper Peninsula to stay on Lake Superior. I've never seen anything like it. Clear, clean lakes, incredible weather, and so much fun in the great outdoors.
After you've made your way through my post be sure to check out my friend Colie's post out in Colorado and make your way around the circle. Enjoy!
I think every time I shoot a fresh 48 session, I think to myself about how it's one of my favorites. It's just because these sessions hit all the feels for me. I'm so glad I was able to photograph the Bailes family as they welcomed their new little one on Mother's Day this year. Congrats guys!
"As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful." -Laura Ingalls Wilder
I couldn't possibly love shooting clients in their homes more than I do. It's where I feel the most freedom and creativity in my work. Shooting this gorgeous family in their space was no exception. Home is where you are uniquely you, and it just doesn't get any better than that folks. <3
"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very exciting happens, but those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” -L.M. Montgomery
Spending the morning with this precious family was just like that. Simple little pleasures. It was such an honor to document this sweet time in the life of the Robinson family. Enjoy. <3
It's been several months since I've participated in our monthly 10 on 10 blog post and I decided that's way too long. I've honestly not been shooting my kids digitally very much lately. I've mostly been shooting them on film and today was scan day so I thought it would be perfect to jump in with my talented friends to share a bit of personal work. Head on around the circle and visit my friend Kristi and her precious family. You can see her post here
"It is lovely when you find someone's work who is doing exactly what they dreamed they should be doing, who's work is an expression of their inner gift. And in witnessing to that gift and bringing it out they actually provide an incredible service to us all. And I think you can see that the gifts that are given to us as individuals are not for us alone and for our own self improvement but they're actually for the community and to be offerered." John O'Donohue
Several weeks ago I got to spend the weekend filming my dear friend Joy at her wildflowers workshop. I attended her workshop 2 years ago and it transformed me as an artist. It encouraged me, challenged me, strengthened me and truly set a fire in me to create from my heart and in the way God created me to. For her, I will always be grateful. So to attend again and watch her, through my lens, use her giftings to pour herself out with this group of women was really something special. I put together a little film from our weekend. If you're interested in Joy's workshop you should do whatever it takes to get there. You can find info on that here.
I met Justyna on IG a couple of years ago, and in February we got to meet in real life at Clickaway conference. If you can believe it, she's an even more lovely person in real life. I had the honor of photographing her beautiful family who came to the conference with her from Canada. They are a family that I could watch all day. The way she and her husband love their children is so beautiful and intentional. I am so grateful that I got to photograph this powerful love.
Ya'll. This is worth your time. This is my very best friend. We have lived a lot of life together. We've been through good and bad, ups and downs and all the in betweens. She's been a constant source of encouragement in my journey through motherhood. A few months ago we met up at a park to let our children play and I was sharing with her about how overwhelmed I felt during this season, and how dry I felt spiritually. She offered up these words to me as the Lord had been revealing this to her heart during a similar season. It ministered to me so much that I asked her to write it down so that I could share it with some images I've taken of her family this past year. I hope it encourages your heart today to "press in" even in seasons that are filled with trials, sleepless nights, overwhelming joy and tears. I'm praying for you mama's that in these times, we press in to Him.
Some girls dream of the day they get to marry the man of their dreams and immediately start having babies. The first part was true for me. And while I knew I would become a mother someday, the latter was nowhere on my radar. I probably took 15 pregnancy tests the first few years of our marriage because I was TERRIFIED of getting pregnant. Alas, a few years went by, and God was drawing out a very intense desire in me to be a mom. When we welcomed our first son, Shepherd, I was hooked. So in love. I just knew God had called me to be a mom and raise my kids. So since He called me to do this, it was going to be easy right??
Our family has grown to a party of 6 these days. And while I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to tailoring these 4 sweet souls, God has been so good and gentle in giving me wisdom. This season of raising children is a tad bit hard at the moment. Okay, it’s really hard. God took me out of the yuckiest, joyless mud pit several years ago, when He was guiding me through scripture about JOY. JOY was my banner raised high for years. Oh how my heart changed! Last summer, I could tell the Holy Spirit was leading my sail into a new season and some uncertain waters.
Life is hard. Period. We are not promised an easy life. We aren’t used to having to get dirty in the trenches. So what do we do when we feel the storms are too big or trials unbearable.
We PRESS IN.
The Lord put those two words on my heart and I immediately went digging into scripture. He lead me to Mark 5: 24-29
24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
My eyes would draw back to those words “came in the press behind.”
Why did she come up BEHIND him? Why was there such a huge crowd around Jesus? How hard was it for her to get to Jesus?
So let me set the stage for you. Jesus was doing miracle after miracle. He had just healed a man that had been possessed by a legion of demons. Before that he had calmed a raging storm just by saying the words “Peace! Be still!”
Mark 4:41 “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Jesus steps off the boat and was surrounded by a crowd and immediately a ruler of the synagogue falls at His feet, begging Him to come to his home and heal his daughter who is sick to the point of death.
The original Greek definition for crowd here means “troops of people gathered together without order.” I imagine total chaos. It’s like a huge celebrity of our time in the midst of a crowd with NO body guards.
Also, the Greek definition for thronged means “to compress, to press hard upon all sides.”
Jesus not only is surrounded by this large, out of order crowd. They are pressing in on him. Hard! On every side of Him. No doubt everyone was trying to touch him and tell him what miracle they needed him to perform. I can’t imagine the desperation of this synagogue ruler as he was leading, almost dragging and pulling on Jesus in the direction of his home.
So then enters this “woman with a discharge of blood for 12 years”...
I gave a lot of thought about her. God had put her on my mind for days. Scripture tells us she had heard the reports about Jesus. Did she travel to see him? How far? We know she had to do some type of travel since she had been ostracized from the community to an area where ceremonially and socially “unclean” people were.
In Levitus 15 it tells us that when it was a “woman’s time of the month” per se, she was considered ceremonially unclean. You could not be touched by anyone during your uncleanliness for 7 days! Yikes! All your clothes, linens and everything you had sat on had to be washed. If anyone, DID touch you, even on accident, they were considered unclean for an entire day and had to wash all thier clothes and go take a bath. Which, for those days, was a big deal to have to do all that. No washer and dryers!
There were also “extra man made laws” that society had made her do. She had to be divorced from her husband, she couldn’t live in her home, and she was shunned from all her friends and family. TWELVE years of this no less. The sad part, it wasn’t anything she could help. And God knows she tried over and over and over to find a cure.
Mark 5: 26
“and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”
Breaks my heart.
NO HUMAN TOUCH FOR 12 YEARS. I can’t imagine the hopelessness and loneliness she must have felt.
I see her waking up and getting out of her “unclean” bed and putting on her “unclean” clothes and walking out of her “unclean” community, and thinking, “maybe, just maybe this Jesus guy will heal me and I won’t have to come back here EVER.” Off she went, head and face covered.
I wish I had a picture of her seeing Jesus for the first time. She saw Him and instantly knew He was worth the risk. Risking the possibility of death. She knew she would have to TOUCH all those people in the crowd to get to Him. “What if they see me? What if they find out I am ceremonially unclean and realize all they have to do to be considered clean again? They’ll kill me!” Times were much different in those days. The crowd could have very well taken matters into their own hands.
But she risked it all to get to Jesus.
Verse 27 tells us she came in “from behind.” I meditated on this part of the verse for a while. I’m sure she thought,” I can’t let Him see me. I’ll just touch the bottom of his robe and be on my way.” We don’t know how she got through the crowd. But I had such a vivid picture of her taking a deep breath, covering herself and head up really good one last time, and getting on the dirty ground and crawling her way through the crowd.
Getting stepped on. Getting hurt. Getting dirty.
Then…she stretches her arm and fingers out as painful as it would have been, and HE ANSWERED. She risked all. She fought. She believed. She PRESSED IN.
So here I am, sometimes feeling like I’m blindly navigating my way through mothering. Homeschooling. Wife-ing. But God is teaching me that if I PRESS IN, He will answer. He heals my soul of despair. He calms my anxious heart. Listen Mama. There will be times God will call you to do something that seems totally impossible. It will LOOK impossible. You might get dirty. It will take RISK. I’m not sure what that is for you. For me, its raising my children in HIM and continuing to serve others, my husband, and handle the trials and storms that come sweeping in from time to time. So this is me. This is where I am. Feeling the need to PRESS IN to Him, no matter what it takes. Sometimes it won't be easy. Sometimes it's messy, and painful and exhausting, but keep reaching out to Him. Take heart mamas, PRESS IN to our sweet Jesus and He will ANSWER and He will give you rest.
I have to start this off by saying that I don't shoot births anymore, haha! But I've had the privilege of photographing all of this family's previous births so it was an honor.
And oh wow, how this birth made me miss being able to shoot more of these. It's truly a sacred space and unlike anything else I've ever photographed. The anticipation and excitement grows all day long and the love grows thicker and thicker in the room. Seeing a husband support and encourage his wife is just as beautiful as seeing her fall in love with him all over again as she watches him hold their new baby girl. It is the best. But, I'll stop talking now and let you get to the video. ;) Enjoy!
This family is so special to me, because they've been with me from the very beginning of my journey back when their oldest was in her mama's tummy. They were one of my very first clients. So to get to see them every year and watch them grow and see their love expand, well, it just feels like a gift to me.
"In all the world there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world there is no love for you like mine." Maya Angelou
This family is bursting with life and I love spending time with them each time I photograph them. Sharing a few favorites with you from our session this fall. <3
No one has impacted my photographic journey more than this woman. No one. Besides the fact that her work stirs me and inspires me like none other, I have been impacted by her on an even deeper level and for that I am forever grateful.
About 2 years ago I met Joy at her wildflowers workshop and she taught me to examine my work like I never had before. Her mentorship made me want to create art that makes me feel deeply and for it to be used to encourage families in every season, no matter what. She encouraged me in my giftings, helped me to become more observant, to be more vulnerable in my work and to see that each persons version of beauty is different. So, needless to say, when she asked me to photograph her family, I went outside on my front porch and screamed for probably a solid 10 minutes. haha! Because to be able to photograph her was truly, such an incredible honor. It felt like a gift to me. Thank you Joy for pouring into me and so many others. You are something else mama. <3
It's been way too long since I participated in our 10 on 10 lifestyle blog circle. The past couple months have been a little crazy around here with busy season and some traveling for our family. So I was determined to get in on things this month! I have been shooting lots of film for my personal work. Mostly because it's so beautiful and has really given me a creative push this year but also because NO EDITING. woohoo! So here's a little mix of some digital and some film favorites from the past month. Be sure to follow around the circle and visit my friend Colie's blog here.
I am so excited to share this beautiful family session from this summer with you tonight. Excited to share these with you because this is genuinely one of the sweetest families I've ever met but also because this entire session is included in my ClickinMoms breakout, Perfectly Imperfect, which comes out next week December 5th! yay! For the past few months I have been pouring my heart into this project and I can't wait to share it with you. This breakout is an e-learning experience that covers my approach to family photography. Included is a huge pdf with information on how I use light to communicate my vision, creative exercises, how I prepare clients for sessions, what I look for in locations, how to foster genuine connections at sessions and embracing the beautiful imperfections in family photography. There are also 2 behind the scenes shooting videos. One of which is this entire session. You can see and hear me directing this family and it also includes the resulting images including my settings. I have also included a video of me culling this session where I'll tell you why I choose certain images for galleries. Plus editing videos. There are a few bonuses thrown in there for you too!
The live run of my breakout starts next week and runs December 5-20. During that time you have access to a private forum where you can ask me questions for additional learning. I would love to have you! The forum and materials will be available next Tuesday December 5th but you can go ahead and pre-order your copy at this link here. Please let me know if you have any questions at all and I look forward to seeing you in the forum!
My heart. This session is what my heart longs for more of. It was the most special of days getting to be at the hospital during the first 24 hrs after this sweet 4th babe was born and getting to witness her family meeting her. Congratulations Cromer family!
I immediately clicked with this sweet family when I photographed them last month. Maybe it was the size and ages of their children, maybe it was the chat that mama and I had about this season of life and how we've had to learn to have so much grace for other mothers, because all these babies in, we've realized we don't have this thing figured out and we definitely need grace ourselves! Either way, I had the best time with their gang.
Mama contacted me wanting to document this sweet spot in their family of 5 before they welcomed their 4th babe and I am so glad I got to spend the evening hanging with them. I wanted to share this before I share their fresh 48 session later this week. Definitely an all time favorite session for me so stay tuned for that...Enjoy!