Let’s talk originality: as a rule of thumb, being unique, especially in high school, can feel impossible at times. The status quo, the fear of judgement, and the subconscious need to “fit in” leads to hallways populated by conventional crowds mindlessly obeying the latest trend like lemmings off a cliff. It’s sad, really, to think that young women feel as though they will be rejected if they act or dress exclusively for themselves. Let’s be honest, high school ends. It ends and leaves many, many people shocked to find that the world does not have the same conformist mentality. People come out of their shells, others’ opinions fail to resonate. So, why don’t we start that mentality earlier in life? Rather than waiting for the confines of high school to disappear, we young women need to come into our own and embrace our true selves. Originality is a truly beautiful thing, and God made each and every one of us uniquely wonderful. So, be bold and be distinctly yourself. Do not be afraid to break the molds put into place by those with closed-minded motives. You are loved because of your differences, not in spite of them. There’s a verse that I think of whenever I’m faced with the judgement of others; Romans 8:31 states that “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”. How true are these words? In the hands of God, we are allowed to become who we are meant to be and we are shielded and protected from the judgement of those around us. Clothe yourself in a way that embraces your true self, break the mold, and be uniquely YOU.
EMILY: SUMMER 2018
Believe me when I say that I had been wanting to schedule a shoot with this girl for YEARS. Finally, only a week before she left for college, we took these beautiful shots!
Emily is beautiful inside and out; she’s smart, kind, and has the most beautiful singing voice. I know that she will go far in whatever path she decides to take!
ROWAN: SUMMER 2018
Sweet Rowan was only the beginning of my summer shoots. Her striking blue eyes and natural beauty made this shoot so easy and so much fun!
The foothills of North Georgia provides the most stunning background for any photo. I just wish that it looked like this in Texas. It is such a blessing to have family in the charming town of Dahlonega, GA that provides so many natural beauties such as the vibrant flowers and natural creeks that create such unique photo opportunities.
The motto, “Small town, big beach”, suits Gulf Shores, Alabama perfectly! The town is perfectly balanced in family friendly restaurants and adorable and colorful beach houses lining the shore, only about 50 feet from the Ocean. But if you’re looking for something a little more commercial there’s also plenty of things to do other than the beach!
If you’re looking for a fun place to spend time with your family and get an awesome meal, visit The Hangout! The surfer themed restaurant has a gigantic sand pit, live music, and an hourly foam party. There are plenty of photo opportunities and interactive experiences such as a “wish wall”, where you are able to write down a wish and place it into a slot on the wall, and a large collection of toys such as vintage PEZ machines and Rubber Duckies. I can assure you, it is a memorable experience for people of all ages. I was excited to jump into the gigantic pit of foam and have a blast with my family. Surprisingly, the fun doesn’t stop there! Visiting The Hangout is a dining experience! A DJ plays music while an MC encourages people to dance on the tables of the restaurant! When a storm blew in, the DJ was quick on his feet and began playing songs such as “It’s raining men” to lighten the mood. Overall, my experience at The Hangout was absolutely awesome, not to mention their adorable apparel in the gift shop! If you ever find yourself in Gulf Shores, Alabama, make sure to check out The Hangout!!
Gulf Shores is home to plenty of adventures such as parasailing and the adorable Dauphin Island, located about an hour away from Gulf Shores. Dauphin Island is home to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a museum/aquarium devoted to the preservation of sea life, and a military base from the Civil War. It takes a ferry ride to get to the island, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth it! It was definitely one of the hilights of my trip.
If you’re looking for a great beach trip that’s fun for the entire family, visit Gulf Shores, Alabama! From great restaurants to exciting activities to white sand beaches, Gulf Shores is a great place to be!
Over the past year and a half, photography has become an almost essential part of my life. I love to go out with friends and take photos of and with them. I don’t know where I’d be or what I would be doing if I did not have photography in my life.
While living in Montana, I earned an appreciation for the beauty of nature due to my close proximity to it. One of my best friends introduced me to photography the beginning of my sophomore year when she decided that we should go out one weekend and take “fall portraits” of each other. I agreed because I not only loved being in front of the camera, I wanted to know what it was like to take photos myself. My love of photography as well as a lifelong friendship developed the very first time I went out for those portraits. After that day, my friend and I went out every weekend we had free to take pictures. It was amazing—a golden era in my life, and a development of an exciting hobby.
Montana had immense opportunity for photography. A close proximity to Yellowstone National Park as well as unique rock formations, rivers, and colorful fields filled with flowers made photography easy and fun, whatever the subject happened to be.
When I moved away this past year, I thought that it would be difficult to continue the hobby in an area with not nearly as many interesting choices in scenery. Thankfully, I was wrong. God blessed me with friends who love to go out on the weekends to take photos, and areas close to home that make for gorgeous subjects. I am also beyond thankful that I am able to look at things in a new perspective to make a seemingly boring subject into something beautiful.
Finding the beauty in a seemingly ‘boring’ or unappealing subject is not only important in the eyes of a photographer, it is also crucial for everyday life. Looking at things in a new perspective can put a positive spin on almost anything. For example, if I had looked at moving from Montana as an adventure rather than a hardship, I would have saved myself so much grief and been in a much better mindset. I am so excited to be in this new chapter of life filled with joy and excitement.
Throughout your week, try to look at daily hardships in a new light. Capture the beauty of a moment in a happy thought. Stay joyful and live life fulfilling your passions while using the talents that God has given you.
Turn your Unappealing Hardships into a Beautiful Picture with a simple change in perspective.
The past nine days for me have been less than exciting. Though I enjoyed every minute of Thanksgiving with my loving family and getting an early start Thursday night in preparation for Black Friday shopping with my mom, my week was pleasantly relaxing.
Typically, my immediate family travels to Georgia to spend Thanksgiving with aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, and distant cousins twice removed whom I’ve never seen in my life. Thanksgiving dinner in Georgia is compelling in its own special way. It is, however, anything but mellow. Waking up at six in the morning to prepare enough food for a small army of starving relatives has its own hidden perks, such as spending quality time with my grandmother and learning little tricks around the kitchen while watching the Macy’s Day Parade. But, spending Thanksgiving at home was a nice change of pace.
This year, I slept entirely through the Macy’s Day Parade and did not have to worry about helping in the kitchen. This year, my family decided to go out to dinner for Thanksgiving in order to prevent a mass of dirty dishes and leftover food. It was spectacular. After an amazing dinner without any further cleanup, my mom and I went Black Friday Shopping at 9 PM on a Thursday. Though there weren’t any ‘out of this world’ deals, spending quality time with my mom made for an exciting outing.
My the days prior to Thanksgiving were spent taking photos and spending time with friends I love dearly. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with the people I do not typically see during this week of the year. I am so grateful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving at home this year, though I’m already ready for the manic Thanksgiving that Georgia has in store for next year!