“What most people see is a shy girl who might be a little reserved, but bursting with beauty. When I look at her I see a woman enamored with life – both the beauty of it and the trappings – that her smile communicates more than her laughter, it speaks to the future of happiness. The endless possibilities of choosing joy.” -My dear friend Nancy wrote this…about ME.
Nancy is the kind of friend who has a personalized game at her own birthday party that revolves around her sharing what she loves about each of her guests. This woman uses her gifts and talents to love people so well, and when she did this, with tears filling in my eyes, it reminded me why I love photography so much. I am what some have defined as an “extroverted introvert.” I LOVE people, but I enjoy my alone time…crave silence…refuel from peaceful moments…and find joy in observing and internalizing. Photography has become the most perfect balance and opportunity for my sometimes odd personality, as it enables me to interact with others in a way that is healthy and healing for me…in a way that offers boundaries, time to reflect and truly focus in on those around me. This hobby-turned-business has taken my love of people to an entirely new level. I have always loved authentic stories and getting to know wonderful humans, so being able to do that every day is a true blessing to me.
My life changed radically when I allowed others to know the “real me” and realized that they loved that girl more than the perfectionist. Nancy saw more in me when I didn’t see it in myself. Being perceptive means being able to see beyond…see the greater purpose and meaning that often hides deep within a physical body. She saw more than my insecurities and facades. THIS is what I want to do for others. This is why I am a photographer. Each and every one of us is built with incredible depth…complexity that is difficult to capture in a mere instagram post. While I am not able to completely understand and know everything about the human beings I have the honor of working with, I am able to do my best to feature the radiant authenticity they allow me to expose. There is something beautifully vulnerable about portrait photography…being willing to stand in front of a camera and say, “Here I am. I am enough.”
The photos featured in today’s post are from my latest portrait session with the absolutely lovely Emily Lavengood. She has graced me with the opportunity to do three shoots with her so far, and I can’t wait for our next photo adventure. Have an inspired day, and never forget that unveiling the real, raw you doesn’t have to be frightening. It is the most significant journey, and I am in awe that I have the honor of capturing a tiny piece of these journeys for you all…to uncover the beauty and the trappings in all of us.