Something I was reminded of today during our lesson back in kids’ service that really hit home with me.
I’ve tried explaining it before to my husband and I’m never able to. That stupid grin on my face when I come home from a session and start looking through the pictures on my computer. That look of glee when I just booked another client. The way my eyes light up as I stare at the back of my camera at a shot that just gave me goosebumps. The shouts of joy and “Ohmygosh, that is just PERFECT” when my clients get in just the right light and I catch that perfect moment that fully captures who they are. How I lose track of time when I’m shooting and editing, the way I come alive when I’m mentoring other photographers and talking about what I love so much. All of this just can’t be explained in a few words to those who aren’t in the same shoes.
At 20 years old, I’ve been so beyond blessed to have not only found my calling many years ago, but to be living it out each and every day at such a young age. To be able to not just survive, but fully thrive while doing what I love. There is no feeling quite like it.
Then today, it finally hit me- the overwhelming joy that squeezes my chest and explodes out of me every time I’m doing what I love isn’t just because I love what I’m doing, it’s because God loves what I’m doing. He looks down at me and sees that I’m living out my purpose and rejoices with me. Whenever I pick up my camera, or meet with a client, or sit down to mentor someone, or open my computer to edit a session, I’m worshiping him by doing exactly what he’s made me for.
I’m up late tonight because yes, I did stop at Dutch bros with my senior after our session tonight and I’m hopped up on caffeine, but also because I am too overwhelmed with gratitude to fall asleep right now. I’m thinking back on this last year, the people I’ve met and the business opportunities that have come my way, and I am absolutely floored at how lucky I am.
I’ve gone to numerous workshops and met dozens of new creatives from around the world. From Canada to Santorini, I know there are photographers in all corners of the earth I can meet up with whenever I’m in their neck of the woods. I’ve made connections with local artists and business owners who have blessed me so much, who have been people I can talk to and grow with and not only be inspired by, but also call close friends. I’ve learned so much from some of the top business owners and photographers in the world, and then been able to take that knowledge and mentor others who are trying to get their business off the ground too. I’ve been able to witness and document the most sacred moments, from the first few days of a babe’s life to the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time walking towards him. My clients are some of the most beautiful people I know. I’ve been able to sit at dozens and dozens of lunches and coffee dates as I met my clients for the first time. I’ve been fed homemade spaghetti, salmon tacos, pizza, cookies, been treated to dinner and brunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and the Cheesecake factory, gone shopping with clients for their wardrobes, been invited to private ranches and family cabins in the mountains, all because my clients not only let me take their pictures, but invite me into their lives.
My heart is close to exploding tonight as I think on the experiences I’ve had this past year and the ones that are still yet to come. How can it be that I get to live this life? That I get to experience such joy and fulfillment? I’m not sure why God chose me when he did, but I’m just so thankful that he did and that he’s brought me to where I’m at right now.
For all that have been apart of this journey and that will be in the future, I just want to say thank you. I hope you know that I wake up each day with you in mind, that I work my absolute hardest to make sure that your life is documented and preserved in the best way possible. I could not be where I am today without you, and for that I am truly thankful.