Ali and I have been friends since kindergarten. She is beautiful, inspiring and more like a sister than a friend. We also happen to share the same sense of humor, and peeing of the pants has become a regular occasion when we’re together. She is the reason I started blogging, and someday we hope to collaborate on a blog together! Check out her wonderful site here. I had the opportunity this week to take some photos of Ali and her dashing man, Lee! Hope you enjoy the sneak peek, and have a very happy New Year!
Merry Christmas everyone! I am finally home from College and thoroughly enjoying my break from the chaos of school:) I hope that you are finding joy and peace this Holiday season. Here’s what has been on my mind lately…
Giving is one of my favorite things to do. I love to watch my friends and family open their presents that I have often times hand crafted or meticulously picked out. My problem with giving is that I often feel entitled to something in return. It’s not that I expect a lavish gift: the basis of my entitlement is grounded in appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, especially when you go out of your way to do something kind for a friend. When your gift or act of kindness goes unnoticed, it can be easy to question why you even gave in the first place. But what God has really been showing me this week is that it doesn’t matter if our gifts are noticed, because HE knows our heart. I want to bless the socks off my friends and family without feeling like I deserve anything in return. I would rather have God bless me over anyone on earth anyways, and I know for a fact that He honors us when we step out boldly in love and bless His people.
I encourage you to reflect on the sometimes hard-to-swallow fact that it’s not about us. Not the Christmas season, or even this life for that matter. We are called to something so much greater. As Christmas quickly approaches, my desire is to stop worrying about what I need and start focusing on how I can love. Showing the love of Jesus to people is the greatest honor we have on this Earth. After all, He gave the most perfect gift ever, and we can never out-give him. Remember the reason for the season!
Loving yourself: Sometimes it is easier said than done. This world that we live in has a way of altering our perceptions. We’re never pretty enough, thin enough, or content with what God has given us. I’ve struggled with this my whole life and I finally feel the grips of insecurity loosening their hold. We are wonderfully and fearfully made. What does that mean? God doesn’t make mistakes… we are exactly who He wanted us to be. Have complete confidence in the fact that you couldn’t be more loved by your heavenly father. He has a mighty plan and a purpose for your life.
Sometimes the road before us can seem overwhelming. I am a planner, and the fact that I don’t know exactly what I want to do when I grow up can be really scary sometimes. Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse that I often cling to, but I’ve recently come to to the conclusion that fully believing in what that verse proclaims means that I need to let go and have faith. Why should I worry about what my future career looks like when the God of the universe not only has control, but he also knows the desires of my heart. My job is to be in constant pursuit of Him. Only then will I find fulfillment and meaning.
Check out this awesome article from N.E.E.T Magazine:
So don’t worry about what your future holds… You are a beautifully crafted and loved. And boy does God have a plan for you :)
Keep seeking Him!
Even if you just have a point-and-shoot camera, I think we all can agree that some added wow-factor in our Christmas photos would be awesome. One way you can do that is through Bokeh! (what the heck is Bokeh?) I’ll explain…
Bokeh (pronounced: “boke-uh”) is the out of focus or blurry areas of a photograph. It reminds me of sparkly sequins, and I try to incorporate it into a photo whenever I can! Bokeh is obtained through aperture. (The depth of field that you see in pictures.) When the subject in a photo is in focus and the background is blurry, that means that there is a shallow depth of field. This happens by adjusting the aperture setting on your camera and it’s made even easier through certain lenses. The picture below was taken with mylens, and you can snag it for around $100 bucks!
Here are the steps to take a picture with Bokeh:
(the darker the background the better)
1) Set your camera dial to Manual – “M” or “AP” (Aperture priority)
2) Adjust your aperture to the lowest setting. Mine goes down to 1.8
3) Crank up your ISO to 400 or more. (Skip this step if on AP)
4) Set your shutter speed to around 1/50- any slower and it will be too blurry
5) Turn Manual Focus on and put one object in front of a light source and focus (The vase is in front of a Christmas tree in the example)
6) Make sure to turn the flash off… and snap away! You should come up with something like this:
Don’t you just love when you get a package in the mail? It’s pretty much one of my favorite things in the whole world. Today, my long awaited Theit bag arrived! Normally I’m not one to advocate for a particular brand, but I just have to with this one. I have searched high and low for a functional yet fashionable DSLR camera bag, and I finally found one; and boy is it pwetty! It comes in 3 awesome colors and has tons of functional space and slots for my lenses and camera body! This would make a great Christmas present for a fashionable photographer on you list. Now I just need to pick up this lacy dress and scarf to go with my bag and I’ll be set! :) Happy Shopping!