Monday, October 2, 2017

and now its summer here

While the majority of my friends and family are gearing up for sweater weather, I'm over here in Northern Cali sweating it off in shorts and tank tops.
Yep, fall time here is summer time.

It's weird, to say the least. 
And I really miss being cold and watching the world around me change into winter.

That being said, life is really good here.
It has its ups and downs, the "summer" has been full of adventures.
I've met so many amazing people through photography this year, it's truly been a blessing, even if I often loose sight of the good.

Getting to adventure with friends is my favorite thing.
I love just walking around talking, laughing, taking pictures and just experiencing life with each other. Sounds cheesy, but it's good for the soul and it helps me cope with being so far away from home. 

God has put so many beautiful people in to my life here. And considering I'm the worlds worst at putting in effort to even make friends in a new place (thank you, social anxiety), it's really quite shocking that I even have friends here! I'm excited to keep on meeting other creatives, making connections and having more opportunities to love on people. Life is so short, and when I think about last night's shooting it makes me want to double my efforts to cultivate kindness and love towards everyone in my life.

Even in the face of these hard times and heart breaking current events, I thank God everyday for His faithfulness. I know that many families are hurting so deeply today because of the tragic shooting, and I feel so fortunate and blessed to be able to say that several of my family members who were there last night are safe. My prayers are going towards those hurting and devastated families, I pray they find Jesus in the midst of this pain.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

it makes no sense

I will be the first to admit that I am flawed. I have a temper, I can be unkind, I can be mean and self centered. I am human, I am imperfect. 
I have hated more than I have loved. 
I do not pretend to be anything.

But this I do know. 
Jesus is not done with me yet. 
That is what makes all the nasty stuff melt away because I know that no matter how cruel people are, how hurt I may get, or how bad I behave, He is always there. He is always willing to give me the second chance I don't deserve. 
And because He does this for me, I want to do the same for every person I come into contact with in my life. This doesn't mean that I actually have extended that grace towards them all, but I am trying. 

The world is full of broke, cruel, flawed people.
And sometimes you don't realize you're one of them until you're hurting.
And that's when it should click.
We are all broken people.

As one broken human to another, lets stop wasting time being selfish.
Lets let go of the grudges, the offenses.
Stop thinking the world, and everyone in it, is out to get you.
There is no competition.
Let's stop pretending like everyone else but ourselves is to blame.
Because I think once we realize that we are broken, that's when grace can extend it's healing hand 
and wash away our dust.


Monday, July 24, 2017

when I was little

When I was little, and by little I mean around 10yrs ago, I began my love affair with photography.
It actually may have started before then, but I do know that it was very real at the age of 13.

I don't remember what camera I had then, probably a little kodak, but I can remember taking pictures of everything, especially people. Back then, my motivation wasn't hindered by social media.
I simply wanted to create. 
It's what I'd always done.
I've always been creating something.

I remember this one photo I took, of a little boy holding up a giant bull frog, and it was perfectly framed...just the bullfrog and the boys eyes in focus.
To this day I'm still somewhat shocked that 13yr old me took that photo, it's not too shabby. I think I even won first place with it in an art show.

A few years and a few cameras later, I can remember painting my face and taking some really strange self portraits. I edited them to look unearthly, ghostly and weird.
The feedback I got back from them (because by then I was that obnoxious 15yr old posting on facebook waaayyy too often) was less than positive. 
I mean, you can say "woah that's creepy" in a positive way, but I didn't get that.
Thankfully, 15yr old me really didn't care. I knew that I loved what I had made, and that was enough.

Things continued on in this manner for quite some time. 
Just me, my camera, and my tripod.
Some of the photos are pretty embarrassing to look at now, but hey, my future kids will enjoy seeing awkward teenager me someday.

My point of all this is, I wanna get back to where I was then.
Obviously, I want to my skills to keep getting better, but I miss the mindset I had then.
I didn't create images with the sole purpose of posting on social media.
I created images, both photographed, drawn and painted, because it's what I loved to do.
Opinions didn't matter to me. The number count was non existent. 

But now as I type this I'm checking my insta to see how many likes I've gotten on my recent post.

It's pathetic.

On the flip side, social media is a wonderful tool. I mean, I've met some of my best artist friends though Instagram. I've made connections with people I have and someday will collaborate with, and I know that number of people will keep growing. I've been inspired and encouraged by other artists.
I've grown a lot with it.

But there has to be balance.

So maybe that's what I'm trying to figure out these days.
The delicate balance of how to use social media to its fullest extent, without falling into its life sucking and soul zapping trap.

Any tips?