Whitten: ONE!

In honor of this kiddo's first birthday, we did an all-film session at his house.  

Note: film? like a movie? Haha, no, like a film camera like your parents used when you were a kid and your grandparents probably still use now.  Why?  Color quality, grain > pixilation, the sound of the film winding entertains kids, etc.  But most of all, the limited number of photos I get in a film session make me change my perspective:  instead of taking 250 digital photos and throwing out any with flaws so I end up with 50-70 great, "perfect" photos to share, I take several rolls of 36 exposure film and pray they ALL turn out.  Then, when I look through them, I choose to ignore a LOT of flaws and instead, spend my time looking for what I do love about the photos.  Let's talk about how healthy that perspective shift is for me in general.

Anyways, back to sweet Whitten.  From the outside, this kid is an adorably chubby redhead with a quick crawl and ever-more-confident walk.  But to those of us who get to be around him and his family more regularly, there's also an air of confidence and love that surrounds Whitten and his big sis.  These kiddos know they are cherished.  I don't know what more they could ask for, you know?

Additional side note:  I keep telling his mom and dad that they could get an HGTV gig--her taste and his work, y'all!  All of these photos were taken in either their home (stripped to studs and rebuilt by them) or their playhouse (designed and built by them).  If anyone wants their contact info so you can hire them for your projects, let me know!  I mean, I'm completely offering that without their permission, so no promises, but shoot your shot, right?!

Kendall: Senior

Kendall's mom, Ashley, had a stroke of genius when she asked if we could use a little of Kendall's senior portrait time to also get some (rare!) family photos.  First of all, yes of course, second of all, SERIOUSLY that's genius.  We made sure to prioritize Kendall's time, but then while she was changing took advantage of the lull and got other important shots of her family members, and when she was in the outfit that coordinated best with the rest of the crew, we rocked a few group shots.  I bet she donated a total of maybe ten minutes of her senior portrait time.  I'm all about saving those dollars, folks!

ALSO.  How special is it to have your A-team join you for your senior pics?  Like, hey, look what I've done and look where I'm going, but also look who has surrounded me, supported me, made me brave, helped me do my best.  I love the underlying message of these photos: go Kendall, and also we're coming with you.

Anyways, on to Kendall!  She's a (gorgeous!  Irrelevant but true!) senior at Melissa High School and is currently wrapping up her last couple days on campus.  In January, she'll join her big sis at Texas A&M in College Station and start working out with the soccer team!  How cool is that?  For all the hard work (and resources!) this family has put in over the years, they have two girls suiting out for TAMU, and even a year and a half of that together.  Talk about special!  She's had an incredible high school experience, as a varsity soccer player and RYLA scholarship winner (and way more activities and accolades than I can list here), and I know she's planning on making the next four years just as special.

Sam and Isaac: Seniors

Can good looks kill?  Because I am slaaaayed and yes that was corny but stick with me because these guys are so stinkin' cute.  Also, their sweet momma not only drove their older sister all the way across north Texas for her senior photos two and a half years ago, but hit another home run out of my heart by doing it again with these two.

Sam and Isaac did not grow up in my hometown, but they were born here, and I bet I'm not the only person who sees their birth and infancy as a distinctive and shaping time period in the life of our local church.  Their dad was our youth pastor and when these two guys snuck (and shocked) their way into the world a couple months early, whether or not their big sister and parents wanted it, we were ALL OVER IT with all the help (both actual help and "help," I am sure) we could muster.  Luckily the family survived our fire hydrant style of love and I think they still like all of us, though many years and miles are now between us and those times.

So when I say "ohmygosh I can't believe these guys are so grown up," I mean it, because my strongest memories of them are as tiny (tiny, tiny) infants with a lot of very specific instructions.  And now here they are and there's a girlfriend and there's graduation gowns and I'm just done.  But they're so handsome and ALSO PSA TO ALL THE OTHER TEENAGED GUYS I now know just how cooperative eighteen year old fellas can be so be forewarned, my standards have gone WAY up.  <3

Jewels: one year old

Dear Jewels,

Since you probably won't remember much about what life is like in the days surrounding your first birthday, let me tell you a little bit about it.  You're my favorite twelve-month-old in the whole world, and next month, you'll be my favorite thirteen-month-old.  You're smart, so I'm sure you can pick up on that trend.

When we took these photos, I never had to ask your parents to kiss you, hug you, tell you how much they love you, or to "get closer!"  They're making you tough--they let you cry a bit in your crib before they pick you up, they don't coddle you when you have minor falls or crashes--but girlfriend, they're obsessed with you.  Your quiet home is filled with more love than one baby can hold.  Your grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and dozens and dozens of friends pile even more affection on top of all of that--so good luck absorbing all of it.  I'm thinking it'll be enough to share, and I can't even imagine the blessing you'll be to your classmates and friends as you get bigger and bigger.  

We love you a bunch, sweet girl.  Thank you for turning my big brother into a sticky pile of lovey-mush.  It's a really good look for him.

Light: A Collaboration

I'll just jump right into it:  Caysi Bolin is my sister's childhood (and beyond) best friend, and is therefore like another sister to me.  Her husband is in vocational ministry, and in addition to supporting him, she's a full-time mom to two boys, plus the bonus daughter they've had the honor of parenting for the almost-year she's been placed in her home (through the foster care system).  What an adventure, am I right?  Highs and lows, just like all of us, but they persevere and daily see that light overwhelms darkness.  

She's also a very talented creative, most especially in the area of hand lettering.  She doesn't have time to create her own business at this point (duuuuh amirite mamas?), though her skills are competitive with the best out there, and instead uses her talents for projects at church, gifts for friends and family, and her own journaling.

A month or two ago, I asked her if she would collaborate with me on a project that we could product before Christmas (helllloooo gift shopping!!).  She sent me beautiful samples, and we moved forward with the idea you see below.  My photos are from a retreat to the mountains, a girls trip that was full of light, that pushed out the darkness.  She chose Genesis 1:1-5, to remind us that from literally the beginning, the has been darkness and light, and the light is what God has claimed as good, and that has not and will not change.

WHAT A MESSAGE.  We can say that confidently because we're just messengers, not the Author.  

So, here's what we have.  Both pieces have identical ingredients: two photos taken on a 35mm camera of the Rocky Mountain sky, developed and scanned by a professional lab, and one gorgeous hand lettered print of Genesis 1:1-5, plus a modern, minimalistic frame.  The large pieces is one of a kind and is made up of three 8x12 prints.  Price: $250.  We're creating ten of the smaller pieces (though several are already spoken for!), which hold three 4x6 prints.  Price: $75.

light cast iron photography

All can be found on our products page.

HERE'S THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE THING.  100% of the profit from this project is going to Caysi and her family.  She doesn't like that but I'm bossy so I win.  She and Danny, her husband, fight for light every day and if that's the message she wants the world to hear, I think we ought to listen.  This isn't about fiances so much as it is about confidence and encouragement and voting for families who do things like bring Texas kiddos into their homes.  THAT'S why this is a big deal.  If you know you're called to care for the widows and orphans but don't feel a peace about opening your front door--consider supporting a door that's already open. 

cast iron photos light

Please let me know if you have any questions!  Originally, these were only going to be for sale through Wednesday the 22nd of November, but due to the nature of the response we've been getting (!!), we've decided to make them available through Tuesday the 28th.  But, once they're gone, they're gone--so don't hesitate for too long.  ;)