She’s a Wildflower // Madison Class of 2017

She’s a Wildflower // Madison Class of 2017

Madison sent me an email back in October after seeing my photos of her friend’s wedding, and we connected over our mutual love for Jesus and the outdoors. She has the brightest smile and the most free spirited fashion sense. Her senior photoshoot in the Texas wildflowers was so full of beauty and grace.

 

Flashback to Ethiopia 2016

Flashback to Ethiopia 2016

Almost exactly a year ago today, I was standing in the airport in Addis Ababa Ethiopia with so many bittersweet feelings of heading back to the states after 9 days of filming with local missionaries and hearing some of the most amazing stories. Looking back on all my memories, I feel like I have such a different perspective than I did then. As I look back through the photographs, the moments I value the most are different than the ones I blogged last year.

Perfect postcards wannabe shots are nice, but I find so much more joy in the authentic, flawed, and story filled moments. That trip was a catalyst for many mindset and priority changes in my own life, propelling me on a journey in fearless living and daily mission that I am only beginning to explore. Commemorating the wonderful memories by sharing some re-edited snapshots from last year’s trip.

So many smiling faces. Every child I met was such a wonderful miracle, the subject of such a hard but wonder filled story. Emblems of beauty and grace in a messy world. Symbols that the power of God is still moving. I miss you Ethiopia. See you again one day.

Elizabeth & John // Winter Wedding in Fredericksburg TX

Elizabeth & John // Winter Wedding in Fredericksburg TX

I don’t have any words that would match up with the beauty of John and Elizabeth’s winter wedding day in December 2016. The simplicity, the love, the purity, the honor given to Christ and his hand in the writing of these two stories intertwined into one. Get ready for an overshare of simple, authentic imagery capturing the wonder of that day. From the song he wrote and performed for her right before she walked down the aisle, to the hand lettered signs and cold brew coffee at the reception. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

Reflecting on 2016

Reflecting on 2016

I started my blog in 2014, the year I graduated high school. I was excited to create and have a place to share my work with the world. Eager to have a voice and yet also afraid of being heard. I started out by publishing crafts, poetry, tutorials, anything that came to mind. I had no idea who I wanted to be or what my niche or style were, so I let my blog shape me as I walked through the adventure of life. And when I started shooting for others, it became a place to publish my portfolio.

God has truly rocked my world these past two and a half years in so many amazing and unexpected ways. I’ve told stories that deeply matter to me, and a few just to pay the bills. I’ve traveled to several new countries, shot short films, commercials, and music videos. I’ve photographed families, engagements, and handful of weddings. I’ve run two half marathons, attended conferences across the country, and so much more in between. I’ve been through more artistic growth, personal struggle, and connection to God than my tiny mind could have planned. He is so faithful.

 

 

And yet, in the hustle and the grind, I’ve lost sight of some of the things that inspire and excite me the most. I rarely create just to create anymore. I rarely photograph the world around me simply because it is beautiful, or cuddle up with a cup of tea and a book simply to be inspired. I want to get back to the wonder. The initial thrill of beauty in ordinary things that got me into photography in the first place.

And then something happened December of 2016. My blog crashed and the files were all deleted. A lot of hard work that is taking time to recover, but what a chance for fresh beginnings.

 

 

God is nurturing the new seeds he’s planted in my heart. Taking the puzzle pieces of my dreams and slowly, patiently, placing them together with his masterful, artisan hand in a way that I can see, touch, and almost taste. I don’t know what’s in store but I’m excited for the journey.

No one is defined by their story. We are the definition of the story before us. Living, breathing, created people. Placed on this planet for the purpose of finding and giving light.  May Christ shine through each of us as he etches these threads of hope and light into the lives of those we touch.

 

 

As I reflect back on 2016, I am so grateful for all that God has done. But I also see areas where I need to grow, mature, and focus. I want to spend less time scrolling through social media and more time living presently, no matter where I find myself.  I want to travel more, simply for the sake of traveling, and be intentional about budget and scheduling in order to make that happen. I want to nurture the relationships I’ve built over the past several years, and not let them dwindle like I am so prone to do. Most importantly I want to focus more on who God is and what he has done, and less on who I am not, or what I have yet to do.

So here’s to 2017. Here’s to new beginnings. Chapter one of a blog filled with stories of hope, light, and love. Here’s to more detours. More moments well-lived. More beautiful, tiny, ordinary memories captured.

Here’s to a new page of the Brightness Project.