Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Brenna & I at Prom in 2010 (I pretended to chaperone)

Once in a blue moon, your passions can combine...   and there is much rejoicing!  

I have been leading a Bible study with some local high school students for almost 3 years now. We started meeting when they were 15, and now they are about to graduate! We have walked through so much the past few years(as you can imagine), and I have seen them become a real community to each other. I feel so honored to have been able to be an innocent bystander, getting to watch all the growth and discomfort and growing pains and beauty. I love these girls! One of them had this hair-brained idea to take a mission trip together after they graduated... and now here we are... making it happen :)

I smile from ear to ear thinking about the possibility of this, about how much fun we're going to have raising money and making plans and learning a new culture together. Doors opened up for us to go to Kenya, and we are just bursting with fruit flavor about that. I have been wanting to go to Africa ever since I saw the film Invisible Children in 2006, so this has been a long time coming!  I can't think of anyone I'd rather experience this with.

But on to the part where the dreams come together...  We need money! We need plane tickets and immunizations and passports and lodging and lots of other things I may have not thought of yet! So, I thought about a friend I have in Nashville who does these PhotoFunDays and how much fun she seems to have with them. The idea is that you just set up photo shop for one whole day and book appointments all day long in 20-30 minute increments. It's a flat rate for the sitting fee + disc of 5-12 photos, and it's a great deal for the photographer and the client! What better way to combine my favorite things than a PhotoPalooza of my very own?!?  :)  So, it's happening. November 19th from 10-5. The photo below should give a good idea of what to expect and how to sign up, but you can email Hannah at photopalooza13@gmail.com for more info as well. Here's to the best of both worlds!

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Me & Andrea – she is the main reason we were able to start this bible study 3 years ago!

Being their crazy selves...  :)

my favorite picture of Lynnae. You gotta lift up holy hands for Journey!

Winter Retreat last year

Thursday, October 06, 2011


What a wonderful solution to having to take photos at wedding receptions of people putting food in their mouths or dancing uncomfortably!  I'm so glad I gave the photo booth a chance because I had a TON of fun with it, and it gave me a chance to actually interact with guests (which can be difficult to find time for, usually)!  I loved it. I just got some new lighting that I desperately needed– Elinchrom BRX for those who care about that kinda thing– and it worked like a dream. A dream, I tell ya. I will most definitely be offering this service in the future because it is a heap of laughter, creativity, and a very unique way to remember who was at your wedding!

And before I forget, I need YOUR HELP!  That's right. You there, with the face. Can you help me? It's pretty important to come up with some clever name for my lil' photo booth. I used the name Stellar Booth at Seth + Mackensie's wedding, but I'm really open to suggestions!  Please comment with any ideas you may have. (note: "The Cockpit" has already been ruled out)  :)

**The entire album of "Stellar Booth" shots can be seen here (click here). Seth + Mackensie wanted these photos to be a gift to you, so you are free to download and use these on facebook and such.

LOVE these 2!

This was probably the most clever one I saw all night.

This guy was pretty much a professional photo booth model.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Do you Havasupai?

Words fail me often. There are so many experiences in life that are just beyond explanation because of their magnitude and meaning to me that I can never do justice in describing them. Good thing I'm a photographer and not a writer  :)  So, instead of blabbering on and trying to make beautiful words about this trip I was able to take to the Grand Canyon recently (my FIRST TIME!), I'll just include an excerpt from a letter a wrote to the friend who went with me:

I went to church this morning, and until the worship started, I don't think I had stopped yet to really think about all that our little trip meant to me. But once that music began and I was able to pause and think of all the reasons I had to praise God this morning, I started crying uncontrollably. That trip, and especially that time with you, was an absolute gift, Claire. The more time I spend thinking about it, the less I'm able to put into words what it meant to me. I'm starting to think there just aren't words for that kinda thing. Words to describe the raw beauty, the gift of an oasis in the desert, the redemption of Arizona, the rescue of a Perfect Father, the joy of prayer with a sweet friend, the freedom of skinnydipping in water that's clear blue, the purity of baptism under a waterfall, the satisfaction of trudging through a desert to arrive in paradise, the peace of knowing that the very God who made that canyon cares deeply for us and has our best interest in mind, the euphoria of swimming in waterfalls and sleeping under stars, and most of all... the joy it is to share all of this with a friend, especially a friend who has come to mean so much to me over the years. 

Oh, and of course I'm including photos to capture the journey (since I'm better at that anyways!): 

My 1st time on Route 66!

Ain't she lovely?

They are the only place that still use the Pony Express! No joke!

Entering the Reservation: Hooray for Maize :)

SUCH beautiful water down there

Claire in Mooney Falls

Easily one of the BEST swims we've ever had

Ha. Don't we look so cool?

Last picture I took before we left the canyon

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