Getting Back To What I Love

Remember when Instagram first came out? Sharing pictures of whatever, whenever. My first picture is of a cup of tea or something like that… Then creatives started posting more of their photography and art, and I started following them. It was so inspiring for me. I can account a lot of my growth as a photographer to Instagram. Praise God for it. 

However, overtime, things became a comparison game. Why is this guy getting a lot of likes? My picture is better… Why does this girl have so many followers? Oh man. How sad... When did my validation come in the number of likes? Or number of followers?

Comparison will steal your joy the Lord has for you. I know it has done it for me. But that time is over. I’m getting back to the joy of doing what I love. For me. For my benefit. It’s not selfish, it’s taking care of self. How am I going to grow into the person God made me to be if I’m spending all my time wishing I was in the place of so-and-so? And how is my mind going to be free to love, if I can’t even present what I’m doing in love? 

In getting back to that, I took a couple hours to go over to Salemtown Board Co. in north Nashville. If you get a chance, stop by and talk to Will, the owner. He’s an incredible person with the goal of building a diverse community within the body of Christ. STBC held a skate competition a few weeks ago. I low-key love skateboarding and the culture that comes along with it. I grabbed my camera, step out of my comfort zone, and went. It felt so good to get back to my passion. There were no rules. No one's pressure to get the right shot. Just me and my camera. 

And now, instead of comparing, I learn. What hashtags work? What exposure is better in this lighting? Changing my perspective has increased my knowledge.

I encourage you to get back to what you love, and do it because you love it. Not for the money. Not for the notoriety. But strictly because it brings you joy. The Lord gave you that passion, so enjoy it! Use it for His glory.

2015: Year In Review

This year...  it's one for the books. This year is where I found myself. I became completely ok with who the Lord made me and created me to be. "Fearfully and wonderfully made" has true meaning now. I am His. He made me for His purpose. If that doesn't fit into any stereotypical box, I'm cool with that... because He created me this way.

The word for the year for me was dedication... and it's paid off. I haven't gotten to where I want to be exactly, but getting there. I've worked with incredible artists. I'm now full time at my dream job. I've travelled. I have the most amazing boyfriend. I've grown in photography. Sounds pretty cool, right?

The thing about life and this social media driven world, is that everything can look perfect from posts and pics... but it doesn't give you the full picture. That dream job? Took it for a major pay cut in order to have it. My boyfriend is awesome... but he lives 800 miles away in Philadelphia. Photography has been amazing, but comparison has driven me to the point that I haven't posted as much content as I would like to, due to fear.

All that to say, the Lord has worked in each of these areas in tremendous ways. I'm learning to lean on him through EVERYTHING. He has blessed and provided. Being stretched financially, within relationships, and within talents has shown me 1) He is the ultimate provider and 2) He wants to work in my life, I just need to let Him work. If I had everything I ever wanted and how I wanted, it would be so difficult to see Him. I'm thankful for what He has done so far. I'm blessed.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake." - Psalm 23: 1-3

He makes me lie down... He leads me... He restores... As 2016 begins, I want to let Him do, and me follow. I encourage you to do the same, and let's see how the Lord works this next year.

Below are my favorite pics of 2015! Happy New Year!!!!!!

 

Jon Foreman

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive...

Jon Foreman's lyrics have always pulled at my soul. He's the lead singer of the bands Switchfoot and Fiction Family, and he also does music independently. Switchfoot's Beautiful Letdown literally changed my life. i can remember sitting in my room, listening to "24" and thinking, "i'm not 100% sure what these lyrics mean, but they really move me." i would go through the album booklet, reading and re-reading lyrics until i thought i fully grasped what Jon was saying. years later, these songs still make me think deeply, and pull me closer to my Creator.

Jon is my best friend's favorite artist, and it was a joy to watch her interact with his music. she knows every word to every song. isn't it amazing how one person's heart, put on paper and tied to a melody can change someone's world? that's my favorite aspect of music. no matter where i am in life, there's a song that fits it. i'm thankful for artists like Jon that are not afraid to be vulnerable with their craft. 

my favorite part about last night's show was Jon inviting a fan on stage to sing with him. how cool is that? and homegirl blew us all away... what an amazing opportunity! i'm sure this is a night she'll never forget, and neither will i. going to this show has made me fall in love with music all over again. Jon knows how to capture the essence of sound and lyrics, and present it to you in a way that's inviting and familiar. check out more pics below, and if you're interested in Jon's music, start off by listening to  "Your Love Is Strong". you can follow Jon online: @jonforeman

Nashville Photographer Meetup

last week, I shared a blog post from Matthew Simmons, on how to become a better artist by finding your passion and doing away with self doubt. you can find the article here: http://bit.ly/1hZ4l3O. no more than 3 minutes later, Emily, a photography friend, messaged me about a meetup she and Matthew were hosting. i'm glad she hit me up because it was definitely the fuel to the fire that i needed. 

when you're able to hang out with people that have the same passion as you, good things happen. the meetup was held at Westlife Studios, and it was my first time in photography studio (hashtag praise). the vibes were incredible, but the people were even better. check out the pics below! looking forward to hanging out with this crew again.



well, here we go.

a photography site? really? this is something i've dreamed of, and it's finally here. is it perfect? nope. could i keep waiting and waiting to release it until it is? yep... but actually, that would never happen. could i keep comparing myself to others, waiting until i'm just as good as them? sure, but who wants to keep playing the comparison game? so here i am, leaping out on faith and making it public for all of you to gaze and critique. and that's been the fear. people looking. people having an opinion. and maybe they won't like it...

the enemy is so quick to discourage.

however, it's time. time to stop worrying about what people will and won't like. time for failures. time for successes. i love photography. and i'm going to share it. i've got mistakes to make and room for growth will come from making them.

it's an exciting time of life, y'all. join me?