Chelsea

July 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

There are few things I find more inspiring than genuine generosity that flows from a heart to love others well.  This session was inspiring for that very reason.  A while ago my friend and past client reached out to me and wondered if she could buy a session for a friend of hers.  She told me that she had this beautiful friend Chelsea, and that she'd noticed such a change in her over the past year.  She wanted to celebrate the life and growth she had noticed in her.  I was delighted to be a part of Kelly's scheme to celebrate her friend, so we set up a date, and Kelly told Chelsea to dress up - they were going out for a surprise evening of fun. When she arrived that evening, Kelly filled her in and asked her if she would be open to stepping in front of the camera for a little photo session before they went out for the rest of the evening.  She said yes and gave Kelly a big hug, and off we went to photograph and celebrate this season of Chelsea's story.

Chelsea went off to college a few years back, and life slowly but surely wore her down until she'd reached a breaking point.  Sometimes all of our determination and will power isn't enough to keep us going, and our breaking point becomes the place where we are finally willing to To Be Rescued.   Being rescued is this humble and desperate place that doesn't feel particularly wonderful at the time, but it can become a gateway to the less scripted, Abundant Life that we were really meant for.  That's been part of her story.  Sometimes it all needs to fall apart for us to find our way.  And in the end, we are better off because of the breaking.

Chelsea is fun-loving and free-spirited and doing the hard work of learning how to be fully herself in the skin God gave her. She is all kinds of lovely, from her heart to her eyes to the way joy she gives joy expression.
Chelsea was a ballet dancer until she tore her ACL a few years back.  That's actually how her and Kelly met.  Kelly had torn her ACL as well and they met each other in therapy.  I love the way God surprises us with beautiful gifts in the midst of unpleasantness.  No one enjoys tearing their ACL, but running into someone who ends up becoming a good friend down the road is a gift that it's worth opening our hearts for when it would be easier to be frustrated that the unpleasantness happened in the first place.  Most of the battle is keeping our hearts open to receive His goodness.
Life is never going to give us perfect.  Knowing that becomes empowering when instead of letting difficulty harden our hearts, we learn to live with Hope.  Hope can keep us anchored when all hell is breaking loose.  It keeps us going when it would be so much easier to quit.  Hope keeps us in the game when all the odds aren't in our favor.  Hope is divine, really.  Hope is The Person of Jesus. Chelsea has found Hope and it shows.  Life isn't perfect.  She has bad days and sometimes they're all strung together to make a bad week, but Hope is this trump card that we get to pull on our bad week, and it means we always win. Here's to friends who keep us laughing, remind us our stories are beautiful on the hard days, and who surprise us with their generosity and the way they refuse to let the change in us go uncelebrated.

Thank you for stepping in front of my camera, Chelsea.  You are radiant.


 

If the concept for this session stirred your heart - the way one friend reached out to celebrate another - and you couldn't help but think of someone who you'd love to encourage and celebrate, I'd love to hear from you.  People's stories matter, and it's often in the middle that we lose sight of the beauty of our own stories.  Most people step in front of the camera at high points in their lives, and I get that.  Thing is, I think we most need celebrating and encouragement when our stories feel forgotten, when we're wondering if God hit the pause button on our life, walked away, and forgot to push play again.  When we most need to step into the light is when the baby weight is still clinging stubbornly to our midsections, when the breakup has us believing we aren't worthy of love, or when that dream job we thought we were getting fell through.  That's when we need reminding that our stories aren't over.

 

I believe photography is a tool God has put in my hands to remind people of how much He loves them and that their stories - broken, bent, or stalled on a lonely highway in some desert - are beautiful, significant, and not even close to finished yet.

 

I'd love to partner with you in blessing the socks off of your friend and celebrating them wherever they are in their journey.  I am committed to protecting their hearts above all.  Stepping in front of the camera is a vulnerable experience under any circumstances, but especially when life feels uncertain.  We will discuss each situation individually and determine how to best celebrate and encourage your friend in a way that feels safe and will be a positive experience for them.

 

Contact me here and tell me their story or just get more info about sponsored sessions.

Can't wait to hear from you!


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