I was so excited to photograph this home session for Jonathan and Morgan. Two years ago they tied the knot and now have their own home! They’ve made it so cozy, welcoming, and personal. Their crisp and clean white accents mixed with modern touches of decor were put together perfectly. Everywhere I looked I saw their personal touches hanging on the walls with pictures from their wedding or engagement session (which I LOVED to see, because I took them!) As always, these two were so comfortable in front of the camera and had fun with the session as we moved around their house!
I’m pretty sure I’ve pondered this picture over the last three years more than any other picture I’ve taken! I shared this picture in a personal blog post three years ago (Life Around Here) and afterward I overheard someone say, “Even her laundry looks good!”
What?!? My laundry looks good??
That comment has made me process the social media frenzied society we live in. We are allowed to peek into each others lives, but most of the time it’s just the “Highlight Reels!” We get to see the pictures of the perfect meals, or the date nights, or vacations, but life is not always a highlight reel! The day to day grind of life doesn’t always get a “like” and we can’t always live Pinterest perfect lives! Life has its highs (thank you, Lord!), but it can also be tiring, emotional, confusing, frustrating, broken, you name it! Life can be kind of like laundry…it gets dirty!
Why did I make this picture black and white when I shared it? Because quite honestly, it wouldn’t have been as eye catching in color. You would have seen all of the different colors of clothing all mixed together and it wouldn’t have been as pretty…LIFE!
But I’m here to tell you…your life is unique and has a purpose! There is grace and hope available for you!
Did you know that even when you’re doing the everyday tasks of life that can tend to feel mundane (like laundry!) God delights in the details of your life?
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23
Did you know that even before the world began His grace was available to you?
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 1:9
Today you may be wiping noses or changing diapers…maybe your staring at a computer for hours on end, or filing papers, or teaching students that don’t seem to be listening! Maybe your laundry is dirty and it doesn’t look very pretty and you’re just experiencing “normal” life! No matter what you are doing today, remember God is walking beside you, He sees you, He loves you, and He delights in you!
“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” 2 Samuel 22:20
A personal blog post and behind the scenes look
If someone would have told me starting a business is hard work…
If someone would have told me I’d spend hours in front of a computer screen editing pictures…
If someone would have told me I’d wrestle with guilt in maintaining the balance of being a mom and having a business…
If someone would have told me I’d need to learn about marketing, blogging, branding, updating a website, and what “my style” is…
If someone would have told me that I’d continually be taken out of my comfort zone and placed in front of others to be judged…
If someone would have told me I’d ponder and question what I should have done differently, because the Inbox with new clients is empty…
2016 marks five years since Jessica Photography was officially started. Five years…so often we say time flies, but in some ways those five years have seemed somewhat long. A lot has happened in those years and I’ve learned so much! I’ve learned so much about photography and about running a business, and for that matter I think I’ve learned more about myself.
Quite honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into five years ago! I didn’t know the hours of thought, energy and work ahead of me or how having two sons and being a stay-at-home mom was going to fit together with a business. I didn’t know all that I would learn about the art of photography, lighting, and cameras. Oh my, when I think back to some of my first session or weddings…yikes!! What was I thinking when I told my first bride/groom that I’d photograph their wedding??? I think sometimes God allows us to be naive to get us to try new things!
But really, aren’t the unknowns normal for life? God doesn’t promise to show us what’s going to happen years down the road, however, he has promised to be with us and guide us. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 I believe God shows us steps at a time…a light for our path.
If someone would have told me…would I have taken the plunge five years ago?
I guess I don’t know, but what I do know is that I have had a peace in God’s direction.
I know I’m grateful for the many lives I’ve been able to come in contact with that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I know that when the Inbox is slow…God knew I needed a break.
I know that my business doesn’t need to be my life.
I know that my identity doesn’t need to be my art.
I know that God knows what’s ahead!
Life…Joy and Pain
Why do we take pictures? To record a special moment, to track the growth of our children…to help us remember.
I don’t always take the time to ponder the importance of the pictures that take, but recently I gave thought to the photos that I took last fall of a baby’s birth and how since then the young father has been diagnosed with lymphoma. And as I sat at my desk editing a recent wedding, I looked at the groom’s portraits a bit differently realizing that he has a kidney disease, the same disease that shortened the life of his mother. But it’s not just these instances…life if precious. Each breath we take is a gift from God. Eternity is so much closer than we allow ourselves to think about.
Looking forward to eternity and yet living life here on earth. How do we face the future? Some of my broken thoughts…savor the moment…yet this life is filled with so much pain…have joy in each day…but sometime we’re overcome with fear… Recently, I was blessed as I read the accounts of Jesus’ final moments here on earth. Jesus knew what was ahead…He KNEW pain and death were ahead of Him, but He still took the time to encourage His disciples with these words, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 As we live in this broken world we can walk through the pain AND the joy with Christ.
On another note, if you’re like me, I don’t get in many pictures with my boys. It’s easy to snap away behind the camera and miss out on being in a picture with them. So, I’ve decided to purposely take pictures with my little guys…maybe on a timer or as in the case below set the camera up and let them push the button! It’s just an attempt to help me remember and savor the moment!
While my passion and preference is to shoot outdoors with natural light, I made the decision this winter to pick up my camera and shoot life indoors to work on my creativity with angles and lighting.
When we pose for family portraits we try to look “just right”, but in real life you’ll find my boys wrestling or running laps around the house while they wait for warmer weather outside. And in real life we have to work, do laundry, go to meetings, make dinners…busyness…LIFE! Years ago I learned to have joy in each day–a lesson I need to be reminded of every once in a while. Despite the ho-hum of everyday life we can still see the beauty in it and have joy…joy in the Lord! Below you’ll get a tiny glimpse of our lives around here…not perfect, but blessed!
Happy spring to everyone! Enjoy what each day holds and find the beauty the Lord has placed in it…even if it seems like it will never get warm! (Oh, and yes, the laundry pic below was the pile I had yesterday that still needs to be folded!) 🙂
During the winter months I get a bit of extra time to edit pictures that I have taken for my family. Although these shots are a few months old, maybe we all need a little reminder that warmth and sun are just around the corner! 🙂
I love how my son arranged our manger scene. Had I been the one to arrange the figures, I would have neatly placed each shepherd and wise man so that you could see their faces, as if posed for a picture. My son, however, placed everyone (even the animals) so that they are facing and surrounding Jesus. To me his arrangement is a picture of adoration.
Isn’t that what Christmas is truly about? Focusing on Jesus. Adoring Jesus. So often in life I get caught up in everything else and don’t take the time to truly adore my Savior. I love the Christmas carol “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
“O come let us adore Him. O come let us adore Him. O come let us adore Him Christ the Lord.”
As we put the finishing touches on all our Christmas gifts and plans, may our focus and adoration be directed to Jesus Christ the Savior of the world! Merry Christmas!
This year we decided to advertise in the Columbus Bride magazine. The magazine is published two times a year and the photographers from the magazine may submit some of their wedding portraits to possibly be used in the next issue of the magazine. The Fall/Winter issue is scheduled to hit the stands next week, but yesterday I got my preview in the mail and was delighted to have a few of my shots featured from the weddings of Brian & Amanda Miller and Justin & Megan Alt!
The last year has been a year of changes…a year of learning…a year of growth. Honestly, it’s been a year that I look back on and am glad that I came through, but I don’t really ever want to replay it!
Let me back up a bit. A little over a year ago I started studying different camera and lighting techniques. Then I was challenged by the blog post of a photographer from Pennsylvania that I follow and think highly of, Char Newswanger. She shared a bit of her journey and how her choices and decisions led her places. That’s where I felt I was…I was either going to remain somewhat stuck where I was or I was going to work up the courage and “gutsy-ness” and take the plunge and go for it! So, I contacted Char about the possibility of shadowing her, loaded up the boys, and traveled to Pennsylvania to continue my process of learning.
Fast forward a bit and the changes continued. I decided to call my business Jessica Photography as opposed to A Moment to Remember, which I had formerly been using. I still plan to use A Moment to Remember as my tag line, just not business name. In addition to this I decided to get a website/blog, for which I thank Greg Hostetler for his work and design….Greg was super easy to work with! I also decided that I needed some “branding” so I called on my graphic designer, Eric Miller. Eric came up with a new logo for Jessica Photography—which I love! Weeks after I chose the logo I found out that it is truly a one-of-a-kind design, because it’s not a computer font it’s Eric’s handwriting!
What’s ahead?! Only God knows! I’m working on trusting Him for what’s ahead and the business that comes my way, and in the meantime I’ll try to continue to treasure my family, the savor the uniqueness of each day, and enjoy the ride the Lord has in store!