North Central Wisconsin Senior & Portrait Photographers James & Katie Stokes Located in Medford, Wisconsin // Desert
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.
Utah Portrait Photographer