I’m counting down my last few paid sessions of this business I poured my blood sweat and tears into. Today I shot this sweet little 18 month old. Still with all her glorious baby pudge and the familiar dark eyes with the killer eye lashes I last saw about a year ago. She’s just a little taller with a bigger vocabulary, like the all important “no” and “all done.”
As I did the first run through of the images when I got home, I choked up a little. When I got emails and facebook notes from my families who will miss me, I choked up a little. The validation I get when friends of the family comment on the images … even so much as “like” them … it’s incredibly validating. Satisfaction washes over me. I brought joy to someone’s day. I captured childhood moments. Family connections. Innocence. A short season of youth for their loving families. People. I love capturing the hearts of people. This work has been so fulfilling.
Letting it go one session at a time makes me cry a little on the inside. It’s so hard. I’ve made a lot of new friendships in my families. Outside of capturing their passing years, I know my connections with them will be limited. Sweet words have been said to me as I let this thing called small-business-ownership go. My person-hood has spoken to many. What I stand for and value has been received, inspired, embraced and understood. That feels so good. And by making this hard decision, I know that I am just solidifying all that I profess to believe in. True authenticity. Family first. Being intentional. Pursuing this adventure of life without regrets. All of it wrapped in prayer and a desire to follow whatever path God puts before me.
This is what I want to be about. As I write. As I continue to photograph on my own. As I share from my heart the things that speak to me. I want to be passionately exposing the love of God that flows through me to the people in my circles. Because, honestly, I believe that’s what people are seeing. It’s not me. It’s Jesus. It must be. Because the real me is afraid, and vulnerable, and sensitive. I am also confident, a fighter, and usually right. When I’m stretched thin, I yell. I tend to be about 5 minutes late wherever I go, and I can’t seem to fold the laundry. Ever. So whatever good anyone sees in me. It’s not me. It’s Jesus in me. That’s all I’ve got. It’s what I lean on. It’s not a crutch. It’s beautiful. It’s a part of me that cannot be separated from who I have become.
I believe there is a lot of beautiful in the world. When I click on the shutter – my heart is seeing beauty … I always am shooting from my heart. Families, nature, light. All from the heart. My written words are also rooted in my heart and yet, what I write is from a very ordinary life. Ordinary because my reader can relate, but I think I may have a perspective on life that makes it extraordinarily beautiful in my eyes. That is what I want to communicate in my writing … I think. I want to be in the ministry of exposing the ordinary as beautiful … speaking and writing heart to heart. Still the same business … just a different method of capturing the hearts of people.