Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Portraits | Katelynn :: Wilmington, NC Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

Katelynn was an Azalea Belle during Wilmington's Azalea Fest and she asked me to take a few pictures of her in her dress. We were at Airlie Gardens which I've never been to before, but is absolutely gorgeous. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fort Fisher Senior Pictures

During spring break family friends of ours came up from Alabama to spend the week with us. I grew up with them (friends for 11 years!) so they're just like family. There were thirteen people in our house that week so it was a little crazy but a lot of fun :). While they were here Lauren and I went with Shelley and Davey (the oldest two) to Fort Fisher to get some senior pictures of me. Shelley and Davey took them and did a great job! It was our first time at Fort Fisher and I loved it. From the interesting trees to the gorgeous beach and the rocks in between, it was absolutely gorgeous. I'm determined to schedule a session there sometime if I have any takers ;).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Why You Should Believe You're Beautiful

Oh, I know. You hear it over and over and over and over again: It's what's inside that counts.

It's such a popular statement that it almost becomes sickening and somehow the repeat of it wears down its truth so much that it no longer makes a difference. But we long to know that we're beautiful.

When God created the world, He made everything good. He spoke the world to be, but you and me? He formed us out of dust and breathed life into us, creating us differently than He had the rest of creation. We are special, made in His image. God planned you before the world began; Satan couldn't change who He created you to be. Your purpose hasn't changed, but the world tries to create its own definition of who you should be. This is why we shouldn't worry about how we look. Beauty itself doesn't change, people do. We are fickle human beings who can't make up our minds on what we think beauty should look like. The centuries have proven this: corsets, bustles, porcelain skin, tan skin, curvy, lanky, shoulder pads, big eyes, small eyes, make-up, no make-up, push-up bras, short hair, long hair, freckles, no freckles, tall, short, skinny, large, curly hair, straight hair...

It's exhausting the number of times the definition of beauty has changed. Just try reading the list aloud.

And I know you're better than that. You wouldn't follow every single fashion choice, hair cut, or makeup routine declared beautiful... so why let society define you at all?

God says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He created the stars, the mountains, the oceans...why have they always been found to be beautiful? Because they always have been since the beginning of creation. No one changed the definition of the beauty of stars because people only compare themselves to other people. Comparison, insecurities, pride...they've all affected the way people define beauty of people. Sin has caused us to put a definition on beauty, which is why we should listen to God.

To our Maker who knew us before sin, and after sin still tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. This is why you should believe that you are beautiful. 

Do not let this world bring you down. Rise above it and be victorious, declaring that you know you are beautiful whether you have porcelain skin, tan skin, big eyes, small eyes, curvy, lanky, make-up, no make-up, short hair, long hair, freckles, no freckles, tall, short, skinny, large, curly hair, straight hair...

The world's definition will change tomorrow, but your beauty never will. Neither will God's thoughts of you. And He loves you more than anyone.

Today choose God's thoughts. Rip off society's label, whatever it may be, placed on you and rest in His love.

Live confident, knowing that you were created in the image of the Creator of beauty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Couple Portraits | Travis and Katelynn :: Wilmington, NC Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

On Katelynn's senior session (see the pictures here) we decided to get some pictures of her and Travis, her boyfriend, as well. I'm so glad we did because I absolutely love the way they turned out and hope you will too :)

View more by clicking here :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

When Peace and Joy and Hope all Fade

When peace and joy and hope all fade...

Give thanks.

I've had friends these past months discuss hard situations with me where it's been difficult for them to climb out of and eventually I no longer know how to encourage them. It's hard feeling like you're stuck in grief or lacking peace and faith, yet trying so hard with no results. You try to focus on other things, try to trust God and try to believe in His will, but it's as if nothing changes and you're still burnt out lacking the peace, joy, and hope you so desperately crave.

Pain is hard. It's hard because we often feel we have the right to it, and some of the time we do. It's hard because it hurts and we want to get out, but at the same time we desperately need the time to feel it in order to get through it.

But finally, we're ready. Or almost ready, to crawl out of our hole and notice the sun shining again. So we try to make our way through the dark, reading the Bible every day, praying consistently, turning on positive music, pushing the painful thoughts from our minds...and nothing changes. The hurt is maybe a little better, but still hurts all the same.

One of my friends was feeling this way recently. I encouraged her in every way I knew how and learned she was covering all the bases that I could possibly think of, so the question hung in the air still: why?

Honestly, I have no answer that is going to automatically relieve you of your hurt. But I encourage you to do this: in the midst of your pain, give thanks. I basically wrote what I'm trying to say now in a post a few weeks ago (click here to read). When we give God thanks, it reminds us of who He is. When we thank Him for dying on the cross for us, it reminds us of His love for us, even when we're going through a time of hurt and we're struggling to trust Him. Thankfulness gives us reasons to rejoice! Lifting up praises to God turns us from our grief into a moment of joy. And sometimes it takes time to heal from hurt, but God will bring us joy. He is our Hope, and He is our Peace.

Thank Him for it. Besides, often times the reason we walk through the hurt for so long is because God is seeking to bring us ever closer to Him. And that's the best gift we could ever ask for.

So lift up your praises to Your Comforter, Hope, Peace, and Joy.

"So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you...I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world."
John 16: 22, 33

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Senior Portraits | Katelynn :: Wilmington, NC Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

It's been so much fun getting to know Katelynn this past year. She's sweet and funny and I love her heart for Jesus. Thankfully she's planning on staying in Wilmington for at least a couple more years so we can add to our list of adventures :)