While in Utah, I had the pleasure of spending a later afternoon with these two talented creatives! From Photography to Fashion Makeup, these two are one remarkable duo. One of my all time favorite things is sharing what I’ve learned and experienced, generally through trial and error. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I am more than willing to share what I have learned over the past 10 + years spent behind a camera + computer. I am still learning and hope to continue to learn until my final breath.
If I could go back and have a talk with my 14 year old self holding a Pentax Plus. If I could only utter one word it would be “believe.” This one word has changed my life. The problem was I didn’t believe … I could do it. While at the time, I didn’t know what IT was, I know I wanted to do IT and I wanted to be the best! Fear prevented me from chasing my dreams. And excuses kept me from believing, but faith, no matter how small, has the power to transform us.
I still don’t believe that I can do it, at least not alone.
How can we take credit for anything as if we did it all on our own? All we have, all we are, and all we ever will have is a gift. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 None of it is earned or deserved. Our life is not our own, we were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Therefore I must honor God with all I have! This doesn’t stop because I own a business or because I am a photographer. Photography is the platform that God has given me to further showcase how remarkable HE is, not how great I am. I am but a lump of clay that I pray God is using for his special purpose. We’re called to live quite humble lives, but at the same time proclaim the GOOD NEWS!
So what does any of this have to do with photography? Great question. I am still figuring it out, by God’s grace.
I want to speak your love
Not just another noise
I want to be your light
I want to be your voice
Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I do not want to say a word
Unless it points the world back to you
Hawk Nelson: Words
This is my WHY! I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
If only I had believed the truth; the truth that caused every ounce of my being to surrender – to give up what I wanted, to stop writing my own journey. TO STOP WORRING. I wanted all the pieces to fit together PERFECTLY. Instead of trusting the words of Jeremiah 29:1, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I tried to make plans that didn’t include Him or his word.
Moving forward, I now know Jesus as the author and perfecter of faith, who said “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” I was once a lost sheep and I expect that I will continue to stray from the path that God has planned from me, but patiently he calls me home.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
This is one of my favorite verses in the bible. It depicts such a remarkable moment of compassion and grace between a father and son. As a broken man, I long to love my sons (& daughters) this way; forgiving, compassionate, and patient. God has been so incredibly patient with me. I am learning to expect less and give more. I pray for the heart of a servant (and the mind and body of a superhuman.) I’m still waiting for the superhuman part, but coffee works for now.
I am not perfect. My photographs are not perfect. Nothing about me is perfect, but God is and he has given me everything good for doing his will. I have great comfort in knowing that I have everything I need to live out my purpose on this earth. So to those who are searching, whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, all the while giving credit to the one who gives you the very air within your lungs and the light that passes through your lens. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” This is the best advice I could give to anyone.
I had the honor of photographing the talented staff of the newly constructed Bella Zenn Salon Spa and Boutique here in Medford, Wisconsin this past week. These Commercial Portraits were done in their salon using only natural light. Here is a little about each of the girls:
Meet Chelsea…owner/stylist and lead esthetician of the Bella Zenn Salon Spa & Eco-Boutique! A naturalist from the beginning of her career & realizing the healthful benefits in her personal life, it was always Chelsea’s dream to live & work in a peaceful atmosphere surrounded with organic aromas & like-minded beauty “care” & wellness professionals. After a few years of experience in a traditional salon it quickly became a necessity to get back to the basics & get away from the harsher toxic products that had become the industry norm. That dream became reality in 2011 when the Bella Zenn Salon Spa was born & 18 short months later her husband, Jeremy co-owner of Doyle’s Inc, helped build Bella’s brand new home on 7th Street!! When Chelsea can peel herself away from the salon and it’s duties, she most enjoys spending time with Jeremy, their families, camping, running, connecting with their church family and friends, learning new healthful recipes and fitness tips and just pretending to be an interior designer at home of for others!
Meet Erin…multi-talented stylist & Bella’s dancing diva, except Erin is the furthest thing from a diva! When she’s not beautifying her faithful clients or spending time with her adorable daughter and husband (Eve & Vince) she is busy running a business of her own and living out another passion of hers, DANCE! Erin is the owner of the Feet-N-Motion Dance studio teaching all styles of dance to people ages 3 to 40 as well as coaching the high school dance team club. With her dedication to dance and fitness, it’s only natural that Erin enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle in her professional beauty career as well and is always inspiring and exchanging healthy recipes with the rest of us. Her always positive attitude only makes everyone want to be around her more!
Meet Vanessa…stylist & Bella’s lead massage therapist! Vanessa also happens to be Chelsea’s older sister and a huge reason she went into the beauty & wellness industry! Vanessa established a career as a successful massage therapist in Madison, WI working in eco-friendly salons and chiropractic clinics where her natural passion for serving others through a healing touch was matched with the concept of overall wellness through organic products and sources. She later decided to build on that concept by expanding her skills into cosmetology with a natural approach to beauty. She spends much of her time dreaming, creating & crafting ideas for Bella’s educational classes & writing the monthly wellness blog. When she isn’t volunteering time to the family business, she too has a Stampin’ Up career to release her creativeness! Besides that, Vanessa’s first and most desired role is being a mom to her two children, Ezra and Raina, and a loving wife to her husband Ryan spending a lot of time going to the library, sledding, taking walks and building their own garden!