Thursday, June 25, 2015

Breathe {Denver Photographer and Storyteller}

What have you stopped doing, even though you know it brings you life?  Why have you stopped practicing that thing that feeds your soul?  I can come up with all sorts of excuses - time, a list of to-do's that is already too long, kids who need me, needing to put out fires in other areas of life.  However, the truth for me is that I've been both afraid and discouraged to do that thing I love. 

 See...writing fills my soul, but I've been afraid of the responses I might get to my thoughts.  We live in a time where everyone seems to react to every opinion out there...often with intense and strong language that further divides and doesn't lead to any sort of dialogue.  That has scared me.  It has also frightened me that I know there is always a part of a story I do not know, so any attempt to tell it always falls short of reality. 

But I've also been discouraged.  My internal dialogue is to say "who am I to do ___________?" and "There are so many other talented people already doing ___________."  Honestly, it's discouraged me in both photography and writing, forcing me to wrestle with some deep heart motives.  I think, if I were honest, I want to be original, but deep down know that I'm not.  Especially when I compare myself (or my photography or my writing) to others.  Then I find myself stuck.  Discouragement sets in and I don't even want to start.

Those things that feed our soul, however, do not die quietly.  They rise up in us at the strangest hour - usually awakening us in the dark, reminding us when our defenses are down what real life looks like .  I know I've needed to write and it's called to me, but I've felt paralyzed, locked and trapped,  not knowing how to start again.  Yesterday, some words blew into my heart, like fresh air to a person trapped in a box, caught in the staleness of her own exhalations.

I want to be original, but to chase originality means I will be chasing the wind.  And it means I will be chasing something other than what really feeds my soul. Telling a story  (in photographs and words) feeds me....if it ends up being original then great; if not, well...then I've still told a story - and my heart is glad.  All I need to do is "try to tell the truth".

So, what have you stopped doing, even though you know it brings you life?  Maybe this summer we could move out of those places of fear or discouragement or "wanting to be original" and move into the wide open spaces of practicing those things that feed our souls....simply for the sake of feeding our souls and nothing else.

(The picture above was taken in Bethlehem, Palestine at the Church of the Nativity.  It is now the wallpaper on my phone so I will read these words numerous times a day.)

Friday, June 12, 2015

One Big Family...Yours, Mine, Ours, Theirs {Denver Family Seattle}

I had the privilege of photographing this large family the other day when I was in the Seattle area.  Like so many families, there are connections of all different set of kids here, another here....but I love that they all came together to get some pictures taken (and eat some AWESOME ribs...which is not pictured, because you don't want to touch a camera with sauce all over your hands!)  They were loud, and fun, and playful, and full of love for one another!!

Ah...siblings!  Some things never change.  I wonder if mom has a picture similar to the top one when they were all young?!?!

Seriously??  Just look at that smile!!

I'd say she's outnumbered!!

Love these three above!!  We spent quite a few hours at volleyball tournaments together a few years back!

Technically, they only have one daughter, but they've added a couple more to the clan.  (I believe the question being asked is, "who in this bunch gets in the most trouble?")

A four generation picture.

Not only was it a good time for family pictures, but there were some graduates in our midst!  

(Awesomeness is their super power!!)

There are a ton more pictures, but I'll end with this one, because if you live in the Seattle area, you totally feel like the Seahawks are TOTALLY a part of your family!!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Marry Me: Lexie and Chris {Denver Wedding Seattle}

When the sun shines in Seattle, there is no place quite like it.  Trees, flowers and even people open up to let all that blue-sky goodness in.  When the sun comes out in Seattle, it calls for a celebration...and so it makes the perfect day for a wedding!  Lexie and Chris' day was not only sun-filled, but full of family, friends, and fun!  They got a little adventurous (heading to downtown Seattle on a sunny, busy, summer weekend!), a little traditional (married in a beautiful church), and a lot surrounded by the love of those who came to celebrate with them!!  (And did I mention that with sun in Seattle comes a beautiful sunset in Seattle??)

Congratulations, Lexie and Chris!  Thanks for inviting me to your big day!  May all your days be filled with love and celebration (and sunshine)!!