Yep, that's me. A girl whose father put a camera in her hands at a young age and awakened a dream. The above images were taken at a time in my life when I realized this love I have for photography isn’t just a silly childhood fantasy but that it is a desire intentionally placed on my heart by God - one that He has always intended to fill.
Kinda a big deal, ESPECIALLY when thoughts of less than, not enough, someday but not now are swirling around. Needless to say, I was overjoyed that day and was certain it must be documented. My selfie thoughts went about like this: "Smile!" "I feel stupid." "Yaaaas I got this." "God, seriously, you’re the BEST. Keep the surprises coming."
Keep the surprises coming. This is exactly what I have been praying for since that time when my oncologist thought I might be sick again and another PET scan was in order. I would like to say I was heroic and saintly but truth be told, I nearly lost myself. The fear swooped in with a vengeance and my doubt in the goodness of the Father was all too real for me.
See, I've had a deep love for my Catholic faith and a strong devotion to St. Therese since childhood (thanks Mama!) but I have surely had it tested. I have fallen short, picked myself back up, and then believed that since I've been through childhood trauma, cancer, shingles, and multiple miscarriages, I should be all set. We're good now God, right? The rest is smooth sailing from here, no?
When my test results came back, they read "unremarkable." Now technically that’s good news. That’s what we all want it to say!
It means you’re healthy. The funny thing is, I was playfully offended by that. Unremarkable?! How dare these results say I'm unremarkable!
It was there, on my knees, tears streaming down my face, that I gave the Lord my “Fiat.” Let it be done according to Your will. Not mine. I begged the Lord to help me live anything but an unremarkable life. And for the first time, I shared with Him the deepest desires of my heart: to be more present with my family, to continue teaching Theology of the Body to high schoolers, and to integrate my love of photography.
I then rested, listened, and kept showing up for the Lord. In doing that, He showed up for me in ways I never could have imagined. God really does care about the little things. He wants to hear about our scraped knees, our fears, and our childhood desires to hold a camera in our hands. I never thought to entrust that in prayer before, but once I did, there was no turning back.
It was then that I realized: Everything is grace - a gift from God - and photography has the power to remind us of that. You never know when God will use an image to connect you to Him, to help you see what He sees. It is because of this that I want to photograph YOU and your loved ones.
I want to show you the hidden beauty in the life you are already living, right now, just as it is: the graham cracker crumbs, the crying, the awkward spouse, the diagnosis, the job change, the journey of healing from old wounds - it's all a gift. This is where the story lies: in seeing the beauty among the wildflowers, in the little things that make our stories so unique.
I believe your family matters and your story is a gift. I believe your relationships have the power to change the world when you choose to live in love. And where there is love, there is life. So let the truth of your life be documented. Allow me to show you the beauty of your story, the uniqueness of you, and the grace amidst everything else. You are anything but “unremarkable.”
So God, keep the surprises coming because that's exactly how I feel behind the camera, and in my life, and I LOVE it.