Friends, I am not a writer. I know people who are. I love them for their ability to paint a picture with words, the way they make you feel like you lived the moment that’s written on the page. But me, a writer? No way! So how did I get here writing a blog post?! Let me tell you, it’s been a journey. And not a “let’s just get on the highway and drive straight for 300 miles” type of journey. No, this has been more of a twisty, turn-y, rambling sort of adventure…
I am a Type A sort of person. Just ask Caleb, or my parents, or anyone else who’s ever had to live with me. I make plans. At any given moment there’s probably five to-do lists running through my head. So last summer, when I offered to quit my job as an ultrasound technician, become a stay-at-home mom, and nanny my friend’s daughter, it was
insane, ridiculous, irresponsible out of character to say the least! For the first time in my life I didn’t have a plan.
At the time I felt like I was going on instinct, but looking back I can clearly see the hand of God acting upon my life. I was in uncharted waters. Somewhere new. A world where alarm clocks and schedules didn’t rule my life. And there was time. Endless amounts of time. Ask any mother of a toddler and they will tell you how busy their child is. I mean, you’re constantly chasing them from room to room, activity to activity, toy to toy. However, there is one time of day when that all is put on pause: Nap Time. Suddenly I was faced with 3-5 hours (my daughter and the little girl I nanny are amazing sleepers) of unscheduled, quiet, alone time. Sounds like heaven, right? Not quite. You see, it doesn’t take much time to clean a 1300 sq ft. house. It doesn’t take that much time to do the dishes (even without a dishwasher!). It might take that much time to do three loads of laundry, but I digress. The point is I was, for lack of a better word, bored.
I’m not gonna lie, it hurts me a little to write that. I know that staying home with my daughter is a privilege that many women don’t have. I know that, and I am thankful. But friend, if I am being honest with you, during those long nap-time hours I felt like my brain was turning off. I was not being challenged. I was restless for action, for mental stimulation, for a new endeavor that would allow me to fill those hours with something meaningful. I started looking for a project.
When my daughter was born I decided to take monthly photos of her to document her first year. I loved posing her and editing, and started to learn more about light and composition. After doing this for a few months, I had the opportunity to do two actual photo sessions. Real photos of people who weren’t related to me! The first was a maternity session for my best friend, Caitlyn. The second was for our good friends, the Owen family and their eight foster and adopted children. Let me tell you, looking back on the images from those shoots, there are so many things I wish I had done differently. Timing of the session, exposure setting, posing, gear (did I mention these were done before I bought my DSLR?!)… There was still so much I didn’t know. But I did know this: capturing moments for those families gave me incredible joy. And do you know what? It blessed them! For the first time in a while, I was using my spare time in a way that impacted other people and I knew that it was something I couldn’t let go!
Well, time has passed since those first sessions. I’ve continued to grow and learn, I’ve bought new gear and learned how to use it, I’ve attended more online conferences and webinars than I can count, and I’ve started blogging. It has been an exhausting journey, but a worthwhile one. A year ago, I didn’t know what God was up to – I just knew that I hadn’t reached where I was going. Now, I’m still not sure where this journey will lead me, but I have a better understanding of the direction I’m headed. And I absolutely am loving every minute of it!
Here are some images from those very first few months of shooting!
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