Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Loren The Brave :: Inspiration Through Art Hero Session | Chattanooga Child Photographer

One day, I received a Facebook message from a woman who knew who I was through our kids' preschool. She asked me if I worked with an organization called "Inspiration Through Art".  I didn't, at the time, but she explained that her daughter has Type 1 diabetes and was chosen as a Hero to have her story told and to be celebrated for her strength and resilience, despite (or perhaps because of) the challenges she faces each day..

I checked out ITA and instantly knew I needed to be a part of such a wonderful project.  I was drawn to the countless heroes and heroines and their beautiful, strong families.  I am humbled by their perseverance and cheerful attitudes.  I am inspired and I wanted to use my art to showcase those amazing qualities. 

So I applied, was accepted, and scheduled a session with Loren's sweet mommy.  I had met Loren a handful of times at the preschool, but even that couldn't have prepared me for the amazing little ball of life that Loren really is.
As sweet as she is beautiful, Loren was open, talkative and bright - she converses like a person 20 years older than her 4 young years, and her sense of humor kept a smile on my face for far longer than our hour-long session.

Loren' insulin pump is a huge part of her life, but she doesn't let it hold her back at all.  She ran, jumped, laughed and climbed like any other child - showing me that she doesn't have a disability at all - rather, she has the ability to monitor her health more closely than other kids (or adults!) do.  She's more conscientious and more mature because of what she's had to learn in order to live with her diabetes.
I got the impression that there's really not a lot that intimidates Miss Loren... I am pretty sure there are not many things that would keep this child from going anywhere or doing anything she wants in life.

Her family calls her "Loren the Brave". 
...But "Loren the Beautiful" or "Loren the Strong" or "Loren the Funny" or "Loren the Sweet" would be just as apt.

Truly, this girl amazes me.  Her grace and poise and positivity should be models for ALL of us.  When I get overwhelmed, these days, with all that is on my plate, I think of Loren the Brave and her pink insulin pump and I hike up my big girl panties and tell myself that I can quit feeling sorry for myself - I can whine, or I can be inspired.
...and I choose to be inspired.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Carolyn and Levi :: Wedding | Chattanooga Wedding Photographer

I could write this blog post about how excited (and nervous!) I was about traveling to Colorado with my youngest daughter to be the photographer for my cousin's wedding recently. I could tell you what I learned about shooting weddings - what worked, what didn't, what I loved and disliked... But, when I look at the images in this post, I know that I can't write about any of that - there is no story but the love story between Carolyn, my dear cousin, and her husband, Levi. Their love is so palpable and they did such an incredible job planning their celebration to infuse the whole day with elements of their story that to talk about anything else would be irreverent to their magic. Their choice of kilts for the groom and groomsmen honored their cultural roots. Her cowboy boots were a nod to the story of them meeting at a country-music nightclub. Carolyn included a charm on her bouquet with a photo of our sweet grandparents, whose love, devotion and faith were so strong that, even in eternal rest, they serve as a beautiful example of the virtues of marriage. I could go on and on, but I'll let the photographs do the story-telling...

It was an amazing day.  Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. McKay! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your story!  Here's to a lifetime of ever-growing love....