It’s always when I’m amongst dozens of strangers that I find God. It’s when I’m amongst the chaos of the every day living, when I’m able to just take a step back and observe everyone, that I find my faith. It’s stepping into the unknown, in full surrender, that I find my strength.
Over the last nearly decade, I’ve felt this calling to a place I had never heard of. As a raised West Coaster, I knew very little of the North East, outside of the obvious, but I came across this place. I didn’t know where it was, or how I would get there, but I knew this place was special. I knew that this place was where my soul would find peace some day, I just didn’t know when.
As many of you know, or have assumed based off my business name, I’ve always had a traveler’s heart. From the days of elementary school when I wanted to move to England to open a bakery, and some day maybe run into Ron Weasley and marry him… to the days of knowing I needed to visit Europe and Africa, I’ve always known of my nomadic heart.
When I was preparing for my college years, I knew I wasn’t going to stay in Arizona. I had such a calling to every other state. My acceptance letters for pre-med were from places as close as Oregon, to as far as New Hampshire. I couldn’t decide where I wanted to travel to for my schooling, but I knew that I needed to adventure to some place new. After going back and forth, I had decided to accept a private school in Iowa, and knew I would end up in this special place for med school. I knew I would end up in Portland, Maine.
After all of the application processes, I decided that Iowa wasn’t for me, that pre-med wasn’t for me. I was going to become a nurse, and my private school didn’t have a nursing degree, so I moved in with a church family of mine. Over the few months that passed after graduating high school, I had this feeling that I was going to be visiting Italy in the very near future. It was the hardest thing to put into words, but I just knew it was going to happen. It wasn’t my little hopes and dreams talking to me again, it was this overwhelming knowledge that something was going to happen.
I didn’t really consider myself to be a strong believer, but I knew when I would get these feelings that something was truly going to be happening. Well, when you fast forward a few months later, you find me joining the U.S. Army as a medic. I decided that I needed time to just figure out who I was, and what I wanted to do with my life, including what I wanted my future career to be. I would pray every day as I walked to that recruiting station that everything would happen as it was supposed to.
Low and behold, a year later I was finishing my military training and getting stationed in Germany. Italy was very much about to be a real thing for me. All of the dreams I had as a kid of traveling Europe were in my grasps, and I felt like I was living a dream. I would spend almost every month taking a few days to travel to some place new during my two years living in Germany. Some countries I ventured to with friends, others I went to on my own. I even made a sporadic trip to Hawaii while there! I knew that God was guiding me through all that I was doing, and that He was making my biggest dreams come true.
(Ignore the cheap camera quality, this was during my point and shoot camera days.)
Well, if we fast forward half a decade later, you’ll find me back in the States again. After a series of events, I had lived in four different states within a two year time frame. I was out of the military, but I was moving more than I was while being a service member. I became a photographer through that time, and accidentally fell in love with weddings, but I didn’t know it would bring me to where I am now.
In my two, almost three years of owning my business, I have lived in Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, and North Carolina again. I’m about to be coming back to Arizona once more too…
In my two and a half years of being a wedding photographer, I’ve photographed (or will be photographing) a real wedding in Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, and South Carolina. I can truly call myself a National Wedding Photographer because I’ve had the blessing of capturing love stories in all of these different states!
Never have I had such a passion for something in my life, and strived to become the best I can be at what I do like I have with photography. I’ve loved learning how to pose my clients to show their personalities and personal love stories. I’ve loved learning how to document the details of these intimate wedding days, and how to spruce up their details to truly tell the story of the day.
I’ve loved learning how to be a business owner, knowing that I have what it takes to strive in this industry. I love getting to work with all of the amazing couples and families that I’ve been so blessed to grow a friendship with. I love my future couples and families, and those that have been referred to me through my previous ones. I don’t plan to quit being a photographer, but with everything going on in my life right now, I’ve decided that my business needs a bit of a hiatus.
I went on a very spontaneous, very God planned, trip from North Carolina to Maine last week. I knew I had a lot on my mind, and a lot to sort out in my mind, and nothing helps me more than a good long road trip. I ended up stopping through NYC for one night, then spent the rest of the week at an ocean front Airbnb in Portland, Maine. I remember the butterflies, and just the absolute nervousness I had in going on this trip. I think deep down I knew that something huge was going to happen, something really important was going to be revealed to me… but I decided to go even with all of my fear.
I experienced the heart of NYC. The heart of random strangers being willing to make my son’s day by offering him a basketball to play with as we walked down the street with them towards their basketball courts. I experienced the love of friends I hadn’t seen or really spoken to in years through my stops. I chose to come up and talk to people just because I felt called to do so… and I experienced God’s presence the entire time.
There was this sense of peace amongst the chaos of people’s every day living. There was this realization of the goodness of hearts that a perfect stranger can share for someone. There was this openness and excitement for new adventures. This closeness and love that could be shared with perfect strangers.
(Some simple iPhone photos as we were strolling along NYC.)
While on my last day spent in Maine, I noticed this older couple just taking in all that they were seeing. We were in Cape Elizabeth at Kettle Cove, and I was just admiring their obvious admiration of God’s beauty. I felt as though I needed to go speak with them, to ask if I could grab a quick photo of them before they hit the road again. We exchanged emails, and captured a few incredibly sweet moments before going our separate ways, but before that, something magical happened.
The second I came up to this couple, I felt as though I was greeting a long known friend. We hugged deeply, as though it had been some time since seeing one another, and she just broke down into talks of how God is everything, and how beautiful and perfect He is. I, of course, completely agreed with her. She talked about how we have to take care of ourselves from time to time. How she was injured because she was so focused on everyone else’s health and well being and not her own, which I totally needed to hear. I noticed that she had an accent with broken up English, so I knew she wasn’t from America originally, and I had to ask her more. I came to discover that they were actually from Denmark, and that she had been to this very place 50 years before.
As we stood there talking, she spoke about my son, about how bright his future was. How he was going to be doing so many amazing things in the years to come. She looked at me and told me just how spiritual I was going to be becoming, how I had this amazing ora that just shined around me, how the energy that I brought into my circle was so warming and kind hearted.
We talked more about their travel, and what brought them here. She told me that my son was never a mistake, and how he would be doing something amazing in his 20s, but that she couldn’t tell me because I wouldn’t believe her anyway. I was so curious. I wanted to just ask and hear what she was saying, but something told me that it was okay to not find out. She told me that I had never made a mistake in my life, and that everything works in God’s way, even if it isn’t what we had intended. How God will make all things perfect for us.
I left our talk with just complete awe. I couldn’t believe what had just taken place… I knew I needed to be here to hear that from this lady, and to meet with her and her loving husband. You could just see the love and kind heartedness in their eyes and the way that they admired one another!
Through my trip back home, I realized that I needed to take some time for myself. I decided that I needed to refocus this business of mine. Not because I don’t love weddings or couples, they are my absolute thangggg! I just felt this calling to share something different for now. This feeling that right now isn’t the time for my business to be booming. I felt this calling that I need to wait until I’m in Maine… so I’m doing it.
I’m still working with all of my current clients, and with previous ones if they want to book sessions through this hiatus, but I will no longer be pursuing new clients for the time being. This has taken a lot for me to do, because it holds so dear to me… but I know God has a reason for it all.
I’ll be heading back to Arizona to get things situated for the next year or two, and will be heading for Maine some time after that. I’ll still be treating my amazing clients like they are gold through this time, because they are all still my favorite part about my business, but I’ll be refocusing the outer message of what is shared through my social media platforms and this blog.
For the next year or two, I’ll be switching from focusing on my love for couples and weddings, to travel. I’ll be sharing about my stories through Europe, about my travels throughout my life. I’ll be sharing about my faith, and the nitty gritty things I’ve learned through my almost 25 years of living… I’m kind of an old soul.
I’m not really sure why I’m being called to this, or what will be happening through it all, but I hope and pray that you will all continue to keep up with what my business has in store, and that you will enjoy my switch to my Europe and America travels.
I love you all so much, and if you took the time to really read through this all, I thank you so so so much!! For those of you that skimmed through, or didn’t read it all, that’s okay. I’m planning to make a bit more of an official video over the next few weeks as I work on this new focus of mine.
If you’re a previous client of mine, or a friend of a previous client of mine, and you are really wanting to work with me, I will be all yours! I’ll still be willing to book with clients through this hiatus, but I’m just taking off the hat as a networker, marketer, strategy analyst, and focusing solely on my personal / spiritual well being.
I have a lot of huge things coming up in my life over these next two years, a lot of really really great, and AMAZING things, and I know that when I come back as a business owner / wedding photographer in the next two years I’ll be better than ever!
If you have any questions for me, or just want to chat with me, please don’t hesitate to email me!! I love you all, and thank you for everything that you have done for me! It’s because of my amazing clients that I’m able to live my dream of serving others through my talent and my dreams.
I can’t wait to see where this business takes me over the next few years!
My faith has found a resting place, and my soul has found its home.
Love you all, Happy Easter!!