Unpaved Roads


     Life has a way of pulling you along her twisted roads. Sometimes giving you road signs to guide you and other times throwing you onto unforeseen dirt paths. The transition can be jarring as you may encounter pot holes, loose rocks, and sharp edges along these unpaved treks. But I’ve found the key to any transition is a good soundtrack, sweet companions and eyes that are always looking towards the horizon. 

     When you can’t be sure where you are, it helps to have eyes that look towards where you’re going. Hope can make any dirt road a glorious adventure.

   Miss. J found her self on one such unexpected dirt road. Saying goodbye to one season of life and attempting to rediscover life in this new one. She came to me looking to uncover bits of herself that may have been forgotten along the way.

   She chose a cozy location, one full of character and history, and as the day went on it was quite clear that this new road she was on was going to be a good one. 
Mrs. J,   I had so much fun shooting you. From the unique location to your unique heart, this shoot was just what I needed to recharge my artistic heart and I hope it was everything you were looking for too. I hope this next season is better than the last: full of fairy tale love and constant reminders that you are beautiful and your heart is worth fighting for. Till our next shoot ;p. - Michelle


Bonding and Baby Bumps.


     There is a special bond when you are in the military. An understanding and camaraderie that is hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it. It’s not just that our spouses are constantly on the move, removed and shuffled in and out of our lives like the decks in a Las Vegas casino. Never mind their jobs also put their lives on the line so you are not only battling for “normal” family life but constantly having to check your heart to see if it is in an anxious state of worry.
Add to this the lifestyle of a vagabond: constantly moving, uprooting and adventuring to wherever the Air Force decides to send us and you have a vague idea of my “normal”.
  It is one crazy life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
 Now, catch me after we get new orders to…Oh, I dunno…the middle of nowhere and I may respond with a statement quite opposite of this (I may have shed some tears and pitched a fit for a few weeks). But it never fails that wherever and whenever we move, the special bonds of military spouses seems to be a constant comfort.
    Janelle was one such bond and I cannot tell you how precious this girl is to my heart.
My first impressions left me thinking Janelle was just soft and gentle but after a few coffee dates I quickly came to love the strength and feistiness that runs so vibrantly through her veins.  She’s the type of friend who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it and probably ask if you wanted it ironed. Our friendship bloomed with ridiculous late night snap chats and daily gym work outs. It was clear from the beginning though that her depth and caring spirit were just what my sad heart needed to help this new place feel like home.
   When she asked if I would capture this special life growing season of theirs I couldn’t have been happier.
Meet Janelle, Brandon and baby Payson. 
     They are are one fun loving family and if you can’t tell by the pictures that baby Payson was born to two parents who love each other and him in abundance then you might want to get your eye-sight looked at.
P.S. Baby Payson was born and he is as adorable as his parents. (Maybe even a little more but don't tell them I said that ;p).


My Current Camp Fire


   To fall in love with something is easy. A flit of passion, a single spark, a lighting bolt of inspiration is all it takes to capture the attention of the heart. It can strike any moment and if you’re like me-with passion seemingly thread into your DNA-this falling can happen often and vibrantly in any season. 
The flames come easy but the consistent burn...
That is where the struggle lies.
Living fire takes work.
You have to feed it.
Stir it up.
Foster the present embers in order to bring forth the heat that will chase away all cold.
But what do you do if the fire burns out?
When you feel like you’ve lost that flame and not even a spark remains?
This fading fire seems to be campfire I am huddled close to.

Uninspired by my work, frustrated that what I create is not what my mind imagines and generally in the all to common “rut” I think most artists come to on their journey.
How do I return to the familiar place I knew and loved?
The place where art sang to my heart and just the thought of it brought joy to my soul?
Writing this down I believe I have named my block.

The struggle has been to “get back”.
I have been cricking my neck trying to catch a glimpse of past peaks instead of facing forward.
Forward is ugly.
Ahead of me lies the sludge of resistance. 
Questions of worth, constant onslaughts of doubt and uncertainty, compose the mush that marks the trail I need to tread. The one that marks the trail I must traverse.
Twisting my gaze towards my ash ridden fire pit I can only make the decision to press.
To clean out the left-overs and forge anew. Build something new. Maybe some of the old will remain and intertwine with the new. 
Maybe some will be rekindled and my phoenix will arise. 
However that looks I know this path is the one I must walk.
I start with the same tools I began with.
A camera on my shoulder, a trusty lens in my hand.
Letting doubt and worry fall aside to shoot just for me.
Not just to remember but to once again feel the joy of art.
Shooting in the purity that flows freely when you love something without agenda.
Without the need to prove or defend the finished product.

Oh, keep me in this place Lord. A place of peace and purity for the callings and gifting on my life.That all I do would be for love and freely given to the world around me.