If you've ever found yourself reading through my blog before, it will come as no surprise to you that I was pretty excited when Melinda reached out to me for some family photos! We connected through her sister, Jenna, whose wedding I had the honor of capturing just a few weeks ago (be on the lookout for a blog post very soon!). In the short time that I spent with Nate, Melinda, and (future model) Jude, I grew to love them. I mean that - and it's challenged me to be a little extra honest with you, my reader (Realistically, "you" are probably my mom and/or dad ... and a few close friends who are AWESOME and support me always. Thanks guys!) ....so here's something personal:
Life is really precious. We all know it, we've experienced its fragility in one way or another and have been reminded in loss and in plenty that every moment we have is a treasure not to be taken lightly. And I also think we all know how easy it is for those truths to get lost in the shuffle and busy-ness of everyday life. Over the past few weeks, I've had the honor of meeting so many beautiful families, all at different stages in life. And I want to share something kind of embarrassing with you: I cried as I went through every set of photos. This is 100% true - just ask my husband, he loves it! ...jk, I think it's somewhat traumatizing for him to come home to me weeping in front of my computer screen almost every day. But the reason that I'm sharing this with you is because it's been a reminder of how thankful I am for life - and how thankful I am that people actually choose me to capture pieces of theirs.
I also want to tell you that when I spend time with you, I'm not just thinking about taking your photos and I'm definitely not thinking about what time it is or how long we have left in the session. So what am I thinking about? I'm thinking about how overjoyed I am that you trusted me to capture some of what makes YOUR life so very precious. I'm thinking about the importance of what I'm doing - that it's not just for sharing to social media or for Christmas cards, but for capturing a season of your life that might be filled with struggles, triumphs, pain, loss, joy and leaving you with something tangible to remember it by when you look back and reflect after years have passed and you may have forgotten all about it... I'm thinking about the honor it is to get to know you and your family. I'm thinking about God's hand in your life and how he has orchestrated every moment of your story.
I'm thinking about how God SEES you and at the same time, I am praying that he'll give me the eyes to see you the way that he does. And while I'm thinking about how much God LOVES you, I'm also praying that he will fill my heart with the love that he has for you. My friend, when you ask God to do something like this, HE DOES IT.
And finally, I want to tell you that no matter what you're in the midst of right now, your story - YOUR LIFE - is so valuable. God says so, so I know it to be true. Those moments, both ugly and beautiful, are valuable and they are worthy of capturing. When we share our stories, they can bring hope, encouragement, and even healing to those around us. Life is short, the memories swirl faster and faster as we get older. Take the pictures, treasure the moments - the generations of your family and loved ones who come after you will treasure them, too. And I promise you won't regret it.