There are several words I could use to describe this shoot, but I think the one that stands out the most is therapeutic. In the midst of a really tough week, it provided a safe place. A place to create, even though my mind was not at full capacity to create. A place of no judgement. A place with friends + inspiration. I am so thankful for the few hours where I could escape reality and remember why I love what I do, why I am passionate about it, and why I have the best support system in the world.
As a borderline control freak/ obsessive planner, this week has rocked my world + shown me there are just some things that are out of our control. As a human being with an infinite amount of feelings, this week has devastated me. I am keeping this a little vague because I believe in a little bit of mystery, BUT what I am not going to hide is my love for my community. My love for the people who have rallied and brought me joy in a time where it seems a bit limited. My routine and life was changed in an instant recently and my heart was broken, BUT, one truth I can cling to (although it takes a lot of daily reminding) is that God is good + He is FOR my good.
This shoot was a concept dreamt up by my close friend, Travis Hallmark and I, a few weeks ago (before the above mentioned incident) and I am so thankful that we followed through with it. I am so thankful for a creative friend that lifts me up, challenges me, and really took creative control of most of this shoot, while I was not in the mental capacity to do so. He was ok with me just showing up and going from there. Travis is a talented food +lifestyle photographer + I am a fashion photographer - we wanted to come up with a concept that meshed the two worlds together. We both love coffee and neutral color palettes. We started a Pinterest board and the rest is history. Travis picked up fruit, coffee, + croissants the day of the shoot and we went to town. He styled the food and I gave as much direction as I could from my distracted mind. I am so inspired by the photos that were taken, but this shoot will always mean more than just pretty pictures. It is a sign of progress; a sign of not surrendering to desires to stay hidden when things get tough; A sign that there are people who will always have your back and want whats best for you; A sign that even in the midst of heart ache, you are stronger than you think.
While my 'routine' is going to look a little different from now on, I am still the same person. I still have the same passions: showing people how wonderful they are through photography, loving others, building community, playing soccer, traveling and many other things. One event doesn't define you, right? It's how you rally. Its your actions that follow. I am so honored to be surrounded by people who help me to go + do, even when my bed is calling my name (because trust me, some days, leaving my bed seems impossible). When I look back at this situation, I want the way I handle it to be described by one word, graceful. Because if the God of the whole universe can show grace to me, why should I be incapable of showing it?
I am absolutely not looking for pity - I believe in the power of sharing and sometimes it helps to know others are going through stuff, too. You aren't alone. I hope all of these words made some sort of sense. and if you got to the end of this, props to ya! If you haven't gotten anything out of it, keep scrolling - hopefully the pictures make up for it!