A New Chapter

Seeing how my grammer’s Alzheimer’s has progressed over the last year and a half, more specifically the last few months; I’ve been wondering if I’d even know when I should make the conscience decision that I couldn’t care for her anymore. I’m not one to ask for help and it’s rare when I do; mainly because of my pride but also, I don’t want to be seen as a failure. I’m not at the stage anymore where I worry about what others think of me but how I see myself. That constant thought in the back of my head of “you can always do something more for them that can make a difference” seems to be the driven factor behind that. I don’t know if it stems from when I lost my mama when I was a kid or not but I seem to think it does.

Tuesday a few weeks back started off a very hectic week and it kind of snowballed to something I didn’t want to face but at the same time it was a blessing. After much prayer and meditation along with a seemingly never ending source of tears while talking with my ‘adopted’ mothers; I’ve made the decision to relocate back to Livingston, Texas and the ones that know me well will tell you that this wasn’t an easy decision to make and one I know I’ll be questioning for quite some time.

I’ve finally learned that I need to do something for myself and actually take care of me. I’ve been taking care of family most of my life (and I know it sounds like I’m trying to talk myself up though that’s not my intentions) and put them before myself even if that meant leaving everything I knew behind. I don’t regret those decisions because those are what make me who I am today and they have taught me many life lessons and given me many precious memories I’ll cherish forever.

It breaks my heart knowing that I’m going to be leaving my brover out here because we are so close, though I’m still trying to get him to move back out that way with me. It’s a small town so there isn’t much out there for a teenager from the city and does that boy love the city… I also don’t want to leave my grammers just to be placed in a home because she’s done so much for my brothers and I; taking care of her when she needs it is the least I could do. It’s been a hard decision to make and I believe that I’ve done all that I can do without hurting myself anymore in the process.

So, come November I’ll be moving once again where I believe I’m supposed to be. I plan on coming back at least once a year to visit California, especially to go back up to camp but my home and heart is in Texas and it always has been and it feels good to be able to finally go home. I don’t know what awaits me on this new journey of mine and I’m not a big fan of the unknown most of the time; though I am learning to trust God with my life more; I’m still excited and nervous for this new chapter to begin. I want to thank everyone who I’ve met and worked with on this journey of mine, yall are amazingly wonderful and may God bless you.


Brandis Allison | Interview

I had the privilege  to interview Ohio based photographer Brandis Allison; and I must say she is one of the sweetest girls I’ve met. Ok, so I haven’t actually met her yet…but we’ve talked a few times here and there online and I would love to meet her one of these days.

Meet Brandis:

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, what you do, and where you’re from:
Brandis Allison
: I am a mommy of two babies that are 16 months apart in age.  I am a professional wedding photographer.  I am an artist, who loves to free-hand draw, write and create things from scratch. I love to travel and to experience new things.  I’m extremely passionate in my personal and professional life.  I love…LOVE [as cliche as that is!].  I’m not your average, every day photographer.  My website and my blog are located under one place and I blog 3x a day, in hopes of inspiring myself and others.  O, and I am originally from Arizona :)

Where are you located?
Brandis Allison
: I am in Columbus Ohio. Home of The Buckeyes!

What do you specialize in?
Brandis Allison
: I specialize in wedding photography and writing.  I draw too! I am actually in the process of creating, writing, illustrating and self-publish a children’s abc book and other amazing products.  I originally started this project for my babies, but people are starting to convince me that I should offer it to the public too! haha

When did you get into photography? How?
Brandis Allison
: I picked up a dSLR camera for the first time in April of 2009. My son just turned one and I was pregnant with my daughter.  I don’t know why I never thought of pursuing photography earlier in my life. The moment the camera touched the palm of my hand, I was hooked.  I’m 100% self taught and am very pleased with my skill and talent as of today.  I still have a lot to learn and I’m having an amazing time on my journey.

How would you describe your style?
Brandis Allison
: I have a timeless concept to my style.  And romantic too!  I only shoot weddings if I fall in love with a couple’s love story and if the bride and I totally hit it off the first time we meet.  It’s important to me to establish a friendship with my Brides.  It’s important to me, to document that love story. Capture the essence of who those two individuals are as a couple.  And I’m always shedding a tear or two and get goosebumps as they say their vows.  My photographs are filled with emotion. They are real. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s your favorite part about being a photographer?
Brandis Allison
: The constant challenge.  I have a true artist’s brain and I’m always looking for a challenge.  I never want to find myself bored. Photography is an amazing outlet for me.  It lets my personality shine through my images and to be able to capture an image of what I’m feeling or seeing – truly inspiring and it keeps me moving forward.

What’s in your camera bag?
Brandis Allison
: I don’t have a camera bag! Can you believe that?  I am getting a shootsac soon though!  I use my purse. How totally ridiculous is that? haha.  I shoot with a Nikon d700. I own a 50mm 1.4 and several film lenses.  I love putting a film lens on my full frame camera.  It’s quite a challenge! I rent lenses from Borrow Lenses, whenever I shoot weddings. Because I’m just a year and a half into my business, it’s important that I do not accumulate any debt.  Renting solves that problem!  For every wedding, I rent a 70-200mm, 85mm 1.4, 105mm macro and a 24mm lens.

What is your favorite go-to lens?
Brandis Allison
: I adore my 50mm 1.4 for portraits.  It’s sharp, quick and is amazing in low-light situations.

Do you have any advice about purchasing a lens?
Brandis Allison
: YES!  Please rent first. I made the mistake early on in my career, to just purchase a lens because everyone else had one and they loved it.  All of the lenses I purchased without trying on my camera first, were all wrong for me.  I lost a lot of money doing that.  Rent, rent, rent.  Fall in love. Then buy.

What is your all time favorite image? Why?
Brandis Allison
: I stylized an engagement shoot a year ago, with a fun-loving couple, who wanted to model for me.  The “look” I was going for was vintage.  I wanted something different and totally fun.  This particular couple had a blast with me and me with them!  As I was setting up for my next shot, I noticed them being lovey-dovey. He was whispering in her ear.  I totally live for those moments – the in-between moments, when you think no one is looking.  The emotion in this photo is overwhelming.  I’m so so so in love with it!

What was your first paid shoot like?
Brandis Allison
: It was nerve-wracking.  The bride contacted me 3 days before the wedding, which was only 5 weeks after I brought my daughter into this world.  I knew that I wanted to see if photographing weddings was for me and I blindly said YES.  I had NO idea what I was doing.  This was also my 3rd month with my camera, from that first time I put it in my hand. Um.YEAH. I told the couple that I was new to photography and they didn’t care. They loved the 3 shoots I had done previously and paid me $500 to shoot their wedding.  The day came and I tried to capture everything I could think of.  All of the details, etc.  I know that I missed some key images, but I also know that I captured some amazing moments.  After all was said and done, I did a really great job documenting this couple’s love, on the biggest day of their life. They loved the images and I fell in love with photographing weddings.

What’s your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot?
Brandis Allison
: The funniest – well I tend to trip over something silly at EVERY shoot.  Totally hilarious.

The scariest – photographing that first wedding!

The most bizarre – I decided it would be a good idea to shoot anything and everything to gain experience and to see what types of photography fit me best.  I was shooting a glamour photo and I had the client walk into the street.  This creepy guy starts taking photos of her on his cell and crosses the street to talk to us.  I was like, please go away pervert. Eeww.

Most Touching – is one of my candids.  I walked into my children’s bedroom to find them both reading a book, quietly.  That is, hands down, my favorite personal image and makes me cry happy tears, every time I see it!

What does photography mean to you?
randis Allison: It is so much more than taking a picture.  It is all about capturing an emotion. It is about documenting a true story.  It is abut finding beauty in the world and sharing it with as many people as possible.

What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
Brandis Allison
: I don’t think I am in the position to judge anyone as being good or “not good” haha! It’s totally a personal preference.  Just be sure to find yourself, your passions and build on your skill level.  Stay true to yourself and your beliefs and everything shall fall into place.

If you could photography anyone, who would it be and why?
Brandis Allison
: I would do ANYTHING to see my mother once more and to photograph her.  I’d want to show her, just how beautiful I think she is.  I want to show her, how much I admire her.  I miss her deeply.

What motivates you to do what you do?
Brandis Allison
: My children.  They are my whole world.  Having them and experiencing something new as a mommy every day, is such a blessing to me.  They are such a blessing to me.  Since they came into my life, I started seeing beauty in everything.  I strive daily, to capture it. Beauty. It is in everything and everyone.

What goals have you set for yourself as a photographer?
Brandis Allison
: O, sooo many! I started my new site and have a passion for making it work.  For it and my photographs to be a daily inspiration for someone and for myself. I recently became a boutique wedding photographer and am starting to really personalize everything I offer to my clients.  I am currently searching for the perfect studio space – something to capture my personality and a place that feels like my home away from home.  I hope to have my grand opening Spring 2011. I have 3 weddings booked for 2011 and waiting for a 4th.  2 are in Ohio, 1 is located on the other side of the U.S. in California and the 4th will most likey be in a different country.  I hope to book 6-10 more weddings in 2011.  And looking at the bigger picture, I hope to be photographing destination weddings on a regular basis.  That is truly my dream.

What advice can you give to new photographers starting out?
Brandis Allison
: Where to start?!  I honestly made so many mistakes starting out and wish I would have known another photographer to ask questions and their opinion on my thoughts.  My biggest mistake came to pricing myself.  I often see other new photographers doing the same.  Do not price yourself to your market. Price yourself according to the type of client you desire.  Price yourself to make a profit.  Price yourself to what you feel you are worth.  What is your time worth? What are you giving up, by photographing a client?  People do not realize the impact of pricing yourself too low. Price yourself high and offer a portfolio building discount.  Raise your prices, the more experience you obtain. Your client will respect you and their investment much more this way, you won’t have to explain why you’ve raised your prices all of a sudden.  Trust me, please, please, please!  And for those new photographers that want someone to talk to, I now offer phone consults via skype.  Because I never want to see anyone go through what I went through!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Brandis Allison
: On a beach, in Maui.  :) Ok, f’real – I see myself running a successful boutique photography studio. And quite honestly, I know it will happen.  I’m driven and I have the know-how to succeed. I won’t accept anything less.

If you could spend one day with anyone, who would it be and why?
Brandis Allison
: That’s easy, my mother. But if you’re talking about someone not residing in Heaven, I’d love to spend a day with Elizabeth Messina.  I love love love her photography. There’s just something so incredibly magical about it.  She was an inspiration for my now wedding blog posts.  I love her simple and beautiful approach to her entries.  I’m all about keeping it real and keeping it simple. Okay, and beautiful too!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Brandis Allison
: Spare time?  What’s that?!  I don’t see much of it.  When I am not a wife, mommy, blogger, writer and photographer – you can find me sitting on a bench people-watching.  I’ll have a book in one hand and my camera in the other.  And if I’m being even more honest, some of my spare time goes to reality tv.  I love that stuff!  I totally want to be on Big Brother some day! Don’t judge.

What quote do you live by?
Brandis Allison
: It’s more of a saying that a quote.
[Life is about becoming who you are and all that you were meant to be.
It’s about growing, dreaming and taking chances.
It’s about loving courageously and never holding back.
It’s about finding a brighter, better way- not just today, but every day.
There will never be another YOU.
You owe it to yourself and to the world to make the most out of all that is in you.
Don’t just go through life – grow through life.
Keep blooming into your incredibly, gloriously, brilliantly, beautiful self.
The possibilities? Endless]
– Unknown author

Who/what is your inspiration?
Brandis Allison
: So many things.  My family.  My friends.  My photography colleagues.  Artists all over the world.  Stepping outside and just looking around.  I get inspired pretty easily ;)

What can’t you live without?
Brandis Allison
: Cupcakes!  And I’m so excited to have found a healthy cupcake recipe. Hollllla! For real though, I cannot live without my drive to succeed in life – both personally and professionally. I have such a strong-will and determination in me.  If I ever lost that, I’d be a “lost-cause” for sure.

What’s your favorite word to use?
Brandis Allison
: Hmmm. I tend to say “Word” a lot.  I like it. I have no idea why! My husband said something funny the other day and I replied back with a slang version of “WORD!”  His face was priceless and just laughed at me.  Not with me, but at me.  I seriously cannot help it.  I’m wired to be totally silly, most of the time!

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you want to be? Why?
Brandis Allison
: If I didn’t love photography and personal writing so much, I would own a B&B on an island.  Someplace where it was warm and beautiful year round.  I’d always be my own boss.  I did the mortgage/financial planning thing when I was younger. I love numbers but hate working for others.  I’m too independent and driven to be stuck behind a desk all day, every day.

What’s your favorite movie?
Brandis Allison
: The most favoritist (o yes I’m good at making up random words) is Sixteen Candles.  I fell in love the moment I saw it. My life has never been the same since.

Favorite musical genre? Artist?
Brandis Allison
: I love anything and everything that has a good beat.  I can’t deal with whiney music.  My favorite band is Lifehouse. Jason Wade has the most amazing voice. He totally rocks my world.  Wait — do people say that anymore???

What would you say your weakness is?
Brandis Allison
: I have a hard time saying NO.  If I could help everyone I would.  But there’s just not enough time in the day.

Favorite sport(s)?
Brandis Allison
: To watch : FOOTBALL!  To play : Tennis

If you had the opportunity to meet anyone in the world who would it be? Why?
Brandis Allison
: I’d like to meet Reese Witherspoon and go shopping with her!  She seems like the most beautiful, down to earth person.  She is definitely my kinda people.  haha!

Favorite childhood memory?
Brandis Allison
: Every moment I got to spend with my mom.  She was my best friend and made growing up so much fun!

Do you collect anything?
Brandis Allison
: I do. I have more journals than I can even count!  I’m actually on a mission to find them all and take a photo!  I always have a journal nearby or in my purse.  I have one by my bed for when I wake up with an idea that I just cannot ignore.  I have one for every topic I find myself wanting to write about.  I have a journal for EVERYTHING. It’s an obsession fo’sho!

Where can we find you on the internet?
Brandis Allison
: If you visit my site before Sept 13, it’s a work in progress.  Please come back and see it ON September 13th (my official launch date and my birthday and a HUGE giveaway of many fabulous things!!!!).  You can find my twitter and facebook links there as well. Remember, I’ll be posting 3 blogs a day.  [Daily Inspiration] a [Confession] and something [Wedding] related.  I’d love to hear from you on a regular basis, so be sure to say hello!

Brandis, thank you so much for your time. You are truly amazing and I can’t wait to see what you’re up to next.

The Bark of Life

I am fooling only myself when I say my mother exists now only in the photograph on my bulletin board or in the outline of my hand or in the armful of memories I still hold tight. She lives on in everything I do. Her presence influenced who I was, and her absence influences who I am. Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those who stay. Loss is our legacy. Insight is our gift. Memory is our guide.
–Hope Edelman, Motherless Daughters

I love that quote and even though I knew what it was saying, I didn’t really understand what it was saying. Well, not until yesterday that is and the sad part is it took me a few years to finally get it.

I’m the caregiver for my grammers who was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few months back so between taking care of her and being the ‘guardian’ of my younger brother as well, I’ve been stressing to the point of overload where I didn’t even want to take my camera out which is something I love to do and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t wanting to anymore. I admit, I am the world’s worst when it comes to asking for help and knowing when to ask for it; that I know I get from my mama.

I was telling my uncle how my grammers is remembering her past more and blaming things that I know I didn’t do because, well I wasn’t born yet and as I was telling him about certain things all he could do was shake his head and laugh.  He ended up telling me that I remind the family of my mama because I look like her when she was my age and just how I am is how she was and no one ever told me that before and that’s when it finally clicked. My grammers sees my mom in me and when she starts to blame me for things (that I know are from the past), she’s upset at my mom because of what she said or did, so when those times pop up; instead of stressing over them like I have been, I can’t help but smile because I’m learning more about my mama when she was younger that I otherwise would know nothing about.

There has been so much going on that I needed to spend some time to myself reflecting over all the things that have happened in my life and how they all brought me to where I am today and usually when I start reflecting, I tend to notice those things that most people wouldn’t. After all the meditation, reflecting and spending one and one time with God; my day was brightened; so I took my camera out to the backyard to see what all I could find that I hadn’t already shot.  There’s this pine tree we have in the back that really isn’t that pretty looking if you look at it as a whole and the closer I got to it and really paid attention to the detail that’s in the bark, I realized that though it may look rough and ugly, it’s actually quite beautiful.

Life in a way is kind of like the bark. It can look ugly and rough but the more you look at it the more beautiful it becomes. It’s one of those small things that’s overlooked like many of the rough patches in life that are beautifully disguised as life lessons.

The Schramm Family

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to take some pictures of my wonderful friend Vicki’s grandchildren. It was an honor to be asked to take some for her and a bit nerve wrecking as well because she’s an artist so she knows a bit about composition and everything, okay she knows a lot; and any photog can tell you there is a difference between someone asking you to take their pictures and an artist, let alone another photog. I’ve known Vicki for about a year now through camp and have known one of her daughters, Wendy since I was an itty bitty camper; so of course it was a bit intimidating because her family are artists so they know what’s good and what isn’t up to par so to speak; and I didn’t want to let them down. It ended up being an awesome shoot and her grandchildren are absolutely adorable.

Arbolado ♥

A few weeks back I went up to Camp Arbolado and those of you that know me, you know it’s a must that I go up at least once during the summer because I love it that much. Most of you who have never been to camp before probably wouldn’t understand this love and it’s one of those things where you just have to experience it for yourself to get what I’m talking about.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better group of girls ever, they were that amazing. Lindsay (my co) and I had five girls that were all 10, three of which were from mainland China as well as a teacher that accompanied them; so as you can imagine the first few days were a bit difficult with the language barrier.

Meet the girls of Cabin 3

Our cabin just clicked with each other and if you’ve been a camp counselor before, you know what I’m talking about and that’s the best group to have. The language barrier didn’t last long once we found out that we didn’t have to speak each others languages to understand one another and it just all happened without even trying (if only this happened each session) and that in itself made this session that much more special to me.

Lindsay and I had gone shopping for cabin decorations about a week before and came across a turtle pinata and we fell in love with it and of course because this whole thing about me and turtles started a few sessions back, I just had to get it. The girls decided that it was going to be our mascot and we were going to be called the ‘oogways’ which is turtle in Chinese. We even changed Beyonce’s Single Ladies a bit to go with our cabin name so that was interesting to say the least.

Our  mascot and his partner in crime

The girls were able to try new activities such as the climbing wall which many hadn’t tried before and I was so proud of them because not one of them gave up until they reached the top which was quite an accomplishment for a few of them.

Callum helping Yuija with her harness. Talk about a spider monkey.

Once we were able to get across to our Chinese girls what ‘Dress Your Counselor’ meant, they had a blast! It was neat to see them go at it because they had never seen something like this happen before let alone seeing someone go out for others to see.

Only at camp do you let kids dress you up crazy

The boy counselors in a water chugging contest

My girls didn’t want Lindsay and I to be the only ones looking funny so they decided to dress up funky as well

We were able to learn basket weaving as the Native American’s did and it was a task learning how to do it. I’m just glad I wasn’t the only one that had problems learning :)  Yuija on the other hand seemed to be a natural at it so she helped the other girls out at the beginning.

Yuija and her basket

Every session I bring a big jar of peanut butter for my girls and I think this was the first session where they all loved it. The end of the week we ended up taking the jar with us around to our activities. I found it pretty funny seeing all these girls walking around camp with their spoonful of peanut butter but you sure knew who’s cabin they belonged to :)

My girls and their peanut butter. Notice Yuijia and Lijia’s big spoonfuls?

The Primitives out hike… And as my girls would put it, “Oh my lady gaga!”  It was the best hike I’ve been on. The best way to describe it would have to be ‘out of context.’ I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard all week until that night and I definitely won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. And of course Lijia pouring hot chocolate on Jacob’s head because he wouldn’t get off the girl’s sleeping bags…hilarious!

The gameboy that started it all…
Callum didn’t listen to us about suffering the consequences of kicking Jacori off his sleeping bag…
All the girls wanted Justin to do their lanyards and only him
The start of “Out of context”
Cherry after the hot chocolate incident
Lijia getting ready to head back up the hill

After the hike the girls were drained beyond belief. They had an amazing time at the dance and boy were they dancing machines!  Lijia was so tired after she fell asleep in her dress, talk about adorable.

Yuijia falling asleep at Native American the next day
Lijia wasn’t too far behind her
Ready to go polar bear swimming!
Tired counselors after polar bear swimming
Jenks Lake

This one week was unbelievable and one I don’t see myself forgetting about anytime soon. I love all my girls, including the ones I had years ago and each session I manage to keep my tears in because I knew I’d see them again. This time around though was different. There is a 99% chance that I won’t see my girls again this time around since they are from China and not being able to see what kind of young women they grow up to be was depressing and sure enough, when the last day arrived I was a mess. Waiting for our girls to be picked up though was the toughest because it wasn’t like they were going one by one as it usually happens, Yuijia, Lijia, and Xiao were all leaving at the same time and that hurt because we had grown so attached to them in that one week. Just as I got myself under control I noticed Yuijia trying to hide her tears as she’s leaning up against me and of course I started up again. I do hope the girls are able to come back for a visit again one day down the road but most of all, I hope they remember that one week of camp.

Last cabin group photo

The 2nd floor…

As I was sitting in the hallway on the second floor watching the elevator doors open and close as people came and went, I couldn’t help but wonder what it is that these people must be going through, especially to visit this floor. You see, this floor is mainly for oncology but you would never guess by looking at the people who come and go by the smile that many of them have and if it weren’t for their beanies and scarves covering their heads, you would never know.

There seem to be many more women that come and go on a daily basis and as I wait for my grammers to finish up her treatment, I can’t help but notice how beautiful these women are, and yes I’m speaking of the ones that I have lost their hair.  It wasn’t until today that I realized how much one’s hair takes away from the beauty of the face and it’s amazing how much we miss those features and can’t help but wonder, if we were to shave our heads; would anyone recognize us at first glance?

Yesterday morning there was a woman who I would guess to be in her early 30’s who brought in a lady who I can only assume to be her mother. She opened the door while trying to push her mother’s wheelchair through the opened door while carrying a large pink tote bag swung over her right shoulder towards the front of her chest that looked fairly heavy and you could tell that it was one of those days for her and it was taking every ounce of energy to not break down. She looks to be from out in the country somewhere by the way she dresses you can tell who works hard and seems to put off a strong persona though she’s about to crack; and you can see it in her eyes.  I’ve never seen this lady nor her mother before so I’m assuming her mother was just recently diagnosed. As I was sitting there listening to my music, this lady comes back towards the elevator alone and she looks like she’s fine but once those doors started to close I could hear her let out all her frustrations and a loud cry; and I wanted nothing more than to comfort her; and I’d only wished that I had noticed her sooner so I could have been that stranger that could turned her day around even if it was only a tiny  bit.

It is so easy to go on with our days and not say even a hello to someone, when that simple hello can brighten someone’s day. This past Wednesday I was told my dad was in the hospital and that they didn’t know if he was going to make it or not and all of a sudden, my world came crashing down; not only was there a possibility of loosing a parent but a possibility of loosing my only parent left and that is one of the worst feelings in the world. The next day as I was waiting for my bus home after visiting him, I was a wreck! I had barely composed myself when my aunt called and said those four words, “How are you doing?” Was she trying to upset me even more or what?  Sure enough the water works started up again and it didn’t help that I didn’t have anyone to talk to that I knew who would understand even a bit. As I’m trying to compose myself so I didn’t look like a complete fool, a man who was fairly hard looking as if he were to belong to a gang or something similar, spoke up and asked if everything was alright and what was wrong. I didn’t know this guy so obviously I wasn’t going to spill my heart out to him but left it vague by telling him my dad was sick and left it at that. I didn’t seem like I wanted to talk and I know darn well I was very stand-offish but there was also the part of me that wanted him to dig deeper and ask questions so that way I knew someone actually cared. As his bus came up he stayed behind to be the last one to board and waited til I looked up so I could see him leave and all he did was smile and nod his head like he understood what I was going through and I could see it in his eyes that he actually cared and that meant more to me than anything else at that moment. That simple gesture of kindness was all it took to turn my day around, just to know that there are still people out there who care even though we many not know each other.

As I was waiting in my usual spot for my grammers to finish up, a lady in this long blue and pink flower printed dress with a magenta flower print scarf on her head who seemed just there waiting for the elevator when I remembered that man by the bus stop. I asked the lady how she was doing and all of a sudden her face lit up and it was amazing how her face glowed. I complimented on her dress and she went on to tell me why she wears bright colors on her visits, and it was to brighten the moods of others in this usually dreary room where many sit and stare at one another while the are receiving their chemo in the hopes that it will cure what they have. I thought it was amazingly wonderful and caring of this woman to do her small part in trying to brighten someone’s day.

Father’s Day, another photographer I’ve been following, Rebekah Tillotson, had the opportunity to photograph a wonderful little girl named Cheyenne who has cancer and it was because of her, that my eyes were opened to see something that I’ve been so blind to these past few months; and I thank her for that.

As I was sitting there thinking about everything and trying for it to sink all in, I realized that I can do so much more with my photography; I can bring joy to someone and help them feel beautiful again when their life may seem worthless so to speak (I can’t think of a better word). I don’t believe that I would have ever be able to realize this had it not been for God, I truly believe that He’s pointing me in a direction that I would have never thought to go and I can’t wait to see where He leads me.

To pass the time some more this morning while my grammers was on the second floor once more, Taylyn and I decided to have an actual photo shoot we planned out this time and I must say, she did an amazing job! And we had a blast doing it, and yes she’s wearing my boots so they look much too huge on her :)


It’s been a few months since I’ve seen my niece Taylyn and boy have I missed that turkey! While her mama and grandma were up visiting my dad this afternoon, we decided to have a small photo shoot to pass the time.  It was awesome hanging out with her again and it was amazing how much she reminded me of myself when I was her age, she was so insecure about getting in trouble for taking pictures in a certain area and I couldn’t help but laugh because I couldn’t believe I was like that, but worse way back when. Either way, it was a blast and I can’t wait til later this week when we’ll have another one.