Senior Portraits: Willie

IMG_3700 IMG_3842 IMG_3964Ahh yes, It’s finally Friday and my life just became so much easier. I have done so much school work over the last few weeks that I thought my brain was going to explode. This school year is quickly coming to an end and I’m quite torn on my feelings of the whole thing because I’m excited to finally relax and head back to Central Asia, but at the same time I’m in shock that I’m going to be a SENIOR! What?!

Well I’m excited to bring you another session that I did last week with one of my good friends and my boss. This is Willie. Willie is my boss for ResLife here at Radford. Willie is easily one of the most professional men I’ve ever met in my life. He strives for excellence and to serve his name well. Willie has pushed me and challenged me this year and at times I must admit I wanted to hit him, but now I recognize that his challenges have only made me a better employee and a better person. Willie will be graduating from Radford with a Masters Degree in Business, and believe me this guy knows the business world like none I’ve ever met. Radford has a well renowned school of Business and the COBE building is probably one of the most recognized buildings on our campus. It’s a beautiful place and getting to explore it with Willie during this beautiful senior shoot was incredible.

So I hope you enjoy these images and wish Willie well as he graduates from Radford University and heads into the workforce!

IMG_3688 IMG_3697 IMG_3703 IMG_3692IMG_3709 IMG_3746 IMG_3711 IMG_3736 IMG_3756Willie is an avid “selfie” taker, and he is constantly taking pictures of himself and putting them on Instagram. So with this quality about himself you would think he would be super comfortable taking picture. This was not the case he got super camera shy but thanks to my wonderful assistant, Maddie, we were able to get him to loosen up and get comfortable with being in front of the camera. Once he got to that point there was no stopping him, and we got some beautiful images!IMG_3785 IMG_3798 IMG_3834 IMG_3825IMG_3875IMG_3953IMG_3930IMG_3914IMG_3931IMG_3890IMG_3884IMG_3867IMG_3906IMG_3953IMG_3916IMG_4011Willie I wish you the best as you go on through the new stage of life. You were an excellent supervisor and I am more than blessed to have you in my life. You’re truly one of a kind, and I love that I get to call you a friend. IMG_4037

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Senior Portraits: Brittany

IMG_5628 IMG_5774 IMG_5669Can’t you tell I’m just procrastinating in writing a paper that’s due tomorrow? Well you would be absolutely correct in thinking that! Ahh I’m ready for these next two weeks to slowly fly by, I’ve been conducting the struggle bus hardcore recently, but it’s ok because I’m almost a SENIOR IN COLLEGE!! What?! Where did the last three years of my life go? I don’t even know what to say. But along with my changing life, let me introduce you to my wonderful friend Brittany. Brittany is a senior Anthropology and Religious Studies Major here at Radford. This girl is a trip! Seriously we sat down early this morning (while pulling an allnighter), and realized that we wasted our first year of classes together because we weren’t really friends until this semester. She literally said, “I can’t believe it took us so long to be friends, especially since I’m leaving in a month… THIS SUCKS! Cause now I’m going to freaking Georgia! What the heck!?” I told you this girl is crazy.

Brittany is awesome! Seriously when I’m with her I’m always laughing, and I love every second of it. I’m going to miss her as she’s on her way to Georgia State for Graduate School, but I know she’ll be back so I’m not totally freaking out. This semester has been such a struggle but with Brittany and our friend Misty by my side it made all the schoolwork bearable. With the laughs about some of our psycho professors and the weird allnighters that we totally didn’t pull the night before a paper in one of our classes was due I can’t imagine going through them without Brittany. Seriously this girl is great!

So wish her luck, and enjoy her beautiful Senior portraits. This girl is beautiful, and her eyes and hair just sparkled during this shoot it was so incredible. So many feels, seriously!

IMG_5594 IMG_5610 IMG_5617 IMG_5632 IMG_5596 IMG_5690 IMG_5680IMG_5683This girl is  FREAKING MODEL!! This image is beyond stunning, work it Brittany!IMG_5560 IMG_5707Brittany has this fiery red hair that matches her personality perfectly. The light this day was incredible and it only made the color pop incredible well. So beautiful!IMG_5741 IMG_5746 IMG_5758 IMG_5757IMG_5772 IMG_5770 IMG_5769The image above was my first attempt of shooting through trees with my 50mm 1.8 and I’m obsessed!IMG_5842 IMG_5845 IMG_5856 IMG_5809Why are you even going to grad school girl, you need to be a model! I’m sure you’ll make more money that way anyways!IMG_5872 IMG_5877 IMG_5873 IMG_5955IMG_5951 IMG_5987 IMG_5971 IMG_5982CONGRATULATIONS GIRL! I’m so proud of you, and I loved getting to take your pictures. You’re wonderful and don’t forget us little people when you become a big famous Anthropologist/Model. Always remember the living people in your life, haha! I crack myself up!

Senior Portraits: Maddie

IMG_4046IMG_4320IMG_4215Wow, it is that time of year again, SCHOOL IS ALMOST OUT! To say I am excited for this to come is an understatement. This semester has been super difficult, and I’m just exhausted. I’ve written more papers in this semester than I think I have in my entire educational career! What is my life? But through all the hustle and the bustle I have found time to do five senior sessions recently, and I still have more lined up! I feel like I’m actually considering turning this whole thing into something more! Ahh this is cray but I’ve been seeking out guidance on my photography and every time I get to share my images it has just brought more and joy to my life. Seriously, I love being behind my Canon and just firing away to show the beauty of the souls of my clients. It brings me so much life!

Now this beauty that I’m showing you today is my beautiful original model, Maddie. This girl is amazing, ahh she’s one of my best friends, and to be apart of her life the last two years has been incredible. I’m happy for her as she’s getting ready to step into her new stage of life, i’m absolutely going to miss her, but I know I’ll never loose this girl. She’s so beautiful and she’s just a wonderful addition to my life, and I love her!

So please enjoy her beautiful images, please lift up some good thoughts for her as she goes on to get her Doctoral Degree in Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona!

IMG_4184 IMG_4450 IMG_4417 IMG_4286Maddie is a Chemistry and Biology Major here at Radford (why am i friends with such genius’?) so naturally we had to go to the lab!

IMG_4424 IMG_4510 IMG_4495Then we headed back to the building that she and I work in to catch some sweet images right as the sun was setting. The lighting was beyond beautiful and it only made Maddie radiate even more than she already does! Seriously this girl is beyond beautiful. I could never express how much I truly love her 🙂IMG_4515 IMG_4538 IMG_4521 IMG_4552 IMG_4564 IMG_4584 IMG_4597IMG_4606IMG_4632IMG_4680IMG_4695IMG_4618Maddie I love you more than words and I will be a mess when you leave but love breaks all barriers and any distance. I know that you’ll forever be apart of my life. You’re amazing and I wish you the best in Arizona!

Faces of Hope

IMG_2057To have hope is to place every ounce of trust you have into something. We each have that one thing that we’re banking it all on whether it’s a goal, person, faith, or maybe even a tomorrow. Regardless we all have hope in something. Hope is something that last through the hard times, and preservers through any trial. It will be a guarding foundation when one feels that they be on the verge of crumbling. It’s hope that is the friend that walks in when the rest of the world chooses to walk out.

For me, hope was hard to find or come by for a great amount of time recently. Since losing my mom back in October I felt as if everything I knew was wrong and that there was no way I could ever feel happiness again. Since that day in October a lot has happened to me that I never thought would happen. I have seen suffering first hand and I have walked through the fire time and time again, and one thing I’ve realized is that every flame that I had to walk through was not necessarily meant to teach me a lesson. Those flames were not necessarily punishments for my wrong doings. Those flames were life, and they were simply stages that I walked through. Granted, at this present state I am far from done walking through them, if anything I’ve just began my journey into my next flame.

During my time in Africa however, I believe I began the process of exciting a flame I had been walking through for a few months now. I’m indefinitely still walking through but I definitely experienced a great deal of healing from the burn I had experienced. This flame involved someone who has been in my life for sometime now and through them I got to see grace in it’s fullest form. I have gone through the ringer with this person but I look at them now and I see sweet redemption. As I type this paragraph I feel myself welling up and my eyes feeling heavy because of the redemption that I feel in all of this. I see where I was at the darkest parts of this whole process, and how it has lead me to where I now stand, redeemed and free!

Now with Africa, like I said in my last post so much was revealed to me there. I saw that I was and am suffering. I am broken, and there’s no easy way to ever say that. But through the people and the conversations I had there I saw that the healing is possible, and that redemption is real. It is what I was made for, redemption. I was created to have hope through the hard times. The people there and the children I met there have this hope. They hope for more, and they believe it is possible. I now they believe in it. That was proven to me the second they came running after the van we were riding in. WE WERE THAT HOPE! We helped in bringing them life, and a hope worth trusting in. That in itself was healing to me in the greatest ways possible! So now of course I have to show you some more of these beautiful faces and allow you to squeal at their cuteness, and see the hope that lies within their beautiful eyes!

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Chasing the Light: Botswana, Africa

IMG_1660Nope, there’s no need to refresh your webpage the title of this post is absolutely correct. Some of you may be wondering why I’ve been gone for over a month. I’m so sorry for that, but here’s a nice large update on my life over the last month. Yes, as you can tell from the title I ventured to Gaborone, Botswana Africa with some amazing teammates all to change that nation as a whole. My team and I got the chance to see our Father work wonders in us and through us like never before. We saw people choose to join our team, and continue in fighting for others to join our team to change the world for all eternity. We got to venture onto two college campuses and talk to students and hear their thoughts on life, and really give them their chance to be heard. We got to go into an impoverished neighborhood and play with children and simply love them, with a love that they don’t often experience. All in all we saw and caused change. It was an amazingly healing, and freeing experience.

I was approached about this trip back in December when my friend Adam told me that he had been asked to lead a team to Botswana. As a girl who loves the world I knew I needed to begin talking to my father about going to this nation and help in it’s restoration. I knew without a doubt that I was being called to this place. I felt the longing in my heart for something more, something deeper. I knew it was time for me to head overseas again, and I wasn’t going to fight my Father on His callings!

So I began the process of sending out support letters and working with my team to begin our process of heading over to this nation that was made for us. The team quickly came together and we began meeting together and preparing the trip. Everything really just fell into place and it was begin made more and more clear that we were destined for this place. So on a cold Friday morning we boarded our plane, and come late Saturday night after three long and interesting flights, and being completely exhausted we landed in Gaborone, Botswana. The American interns that are currently in the country greeted us with open hearts and took us to our lodge where we’d be staying. They were so gracious and loving towards us, and it was so refreshing to see a friendly and loving face after all that traveling. The next morning we headed to a meeting where we were once again welcomed in my many nationals. They served us and showed us a beautiful side to this nation. After that the American interns took us out to lunch a Sanita’s Tea Garden. It was the most beautiful little place I had ever seen. With a shop and great food.

IMG_1762 IMG_1747 IMG_1741 IMG_1744 IMG_1749This place was so colorful and fun, definitely a highlight of the trip. So naturally we decided to act like moneys and tried climbing on tress!IMG_1788 IMG_1794 IMG_1798 IMG_1803Getting to relax as a team, and connect with old friends was definitely a highlight. This is Joy and Rachel. Joy mentored Rachel while she was in college. Rachel is currently an international intern in Botswana with our company.IMG_1775

Aren’t they just so stinking cute. Needless to say we as a team thoroughly enjoyed this amazing restaurant and it was a great way to begin our time in Botswana!

IMG_1784 IMG_1748 IMG_1760Another place that we got to go that totally hit all of us in different and exciting ways was the neighborhood known as Ol’ Naladie. This place was near one of the Universities that we worked at during the week. It was a pretty simple but hectic time all at the same time. It was a time that we got to love others but at the same time feel a sense of love and appreciation like never before! Seriously take a look at the pictures below and I guarantee you, you’ll feel what we felt, and see how it is exactly the same love that our Father has for us!IMG_1820 IMG_1822

These beautiful babies came running after our car the second we pulls into the neighborhood, it was so exhilarating!IMG_1830 IMG_1835 IMG_1840 IMG_1882 IMG_1875 IMG_1870 IMG_1845 IMG_1901IMG_1949IMG_1959IMG_1916IMG_1978IMG_1943IMG_2035IMG_2022IMG_1987IMG_2120IMG_2056IMG_2047IMG_2103This girl right here was a kid after my own heart. Seriously, the second we pulled up she just attached herself to my leg, and I loved it. I’m a total mom so getting to look after her just about the whole time we were there was incredible. The thing that was really refreshing throughout the whole thing was that she didn’t need to be thrown in the air or tossed around, rather, she just wanted me to hold her. It was a beautiful picture of our Father’s love for us, and how simple and freeing it is!IMG_2197 IMG_2191 IMG_2175 IMG_2240 IMG_2183IMG_2238 IMG_2246 IMG_2253 IMG_2239 IMG_2322 IMG_2333 IMG_2373The next little boy that came into the playground will be a child I never forget. This child was brought in by a young girl and he immediately went to one of the interns. Eventually my friend Joy got ahold of him and there was no letting this beautiful child out of our sight at this point. I had to capture this moment, and the fact that we didn’t bring this child back to America with us is such a shocker.IMG_2316 IMG_2310 IMG_2269 IMG_2261When we had to give this cutie back it was our first major heartbreak. Not for the pure fact that we had to give him back but rather, because of the fact that there was no one to give him to. The little girl who brought him in was no longer there. We literally had to give this baby who was no more than a few month old to another child to make sure he got home. It was a true picture of the need in this nation. Just getting to hold him and be there for him was incredible.IMG_2433 IMG_2420 IMG_2394

As we left Ol’ Naladie that day each of us was changed in a different way. We all saw the true gift of lives that we’d received, even if that simple gift was the fact that we knew our Father. We had no idea where these kids came from, or where they were going. This is a nation plagued by AIDs and HIV, and there is a strong likelihood that the children we played with have been effected or that their parents have been effected by these awful infections. It was a halting realization, but it led us just to love these children even more.IMG_2445 IMG_2448 IMG_2453 IMG_2478One thing I mentioned earlier was that a part of our time in Botswana was spent on two university campuses within the city of Gaborone. It is said that these two universities will contribute to the complete development of Africa asa whole. In our times on campus we got to hear from students about their lives and personal beliefs. One thing I noticed in my time there is that the culture in Botswana does not like to offend or go against the thoughts of others or speak up if they are in opposition to anyone else. It was beyond heartbreaking to me, because I saw every agreement they gave take a little piece of who they are away from them. I saw their identities being ripped right from their grips and that they were sold this new identity that was no identity at all because it wasn’t them. It was this false perception that the world had sold them in exchange for their hearts, fears, dreams, and aspirations. Our goal as a team was to assist in their restoration, but also to help them to see the true and real them. From these conversations we saw more than 10 people choose to join our team in our times of sharing on campus. It was unreal!

The next few pictures are of our second time going back to Ol’ Naladie. IMG_2612 IMG_2622 IMG_2687 IMG_2751IMG_2813IMG_2874

This little gem above is my friend Brandon. I had to take the time to share this story because it’s kind of been the staple of our trip to Botswana. On the second day of us being at the playground this beautiful little girl wandered up to Brandon, and all she wanted was for him to hold her. Most of the other kids wanted be tossed around in the air, and played with, but literally all this girl wanted was for Brandon to hold her. To be in the embrace of someone who she didn’t know was the most comforting thing she cold have at that moment. Brandon held onto this little beauty the entire 2 and a half hours that we were there that day and he never let her go. As Brandon put her down to leave I saw the love that only our Father could give in Brandon’s heart. He finally got it! He saw our purpose in coming to Africa was not just for the experience, or the sight seeing, but rather it was for changing lives, and laying down our own so that our Father would be glorified! It was probably one of the most beautiful stories that we have from our entire time in Africa!
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Our last day in country was absolutely jam packed! First of all WE GOT TO GO ON SAFARI, WHAT!? Yep we rode around and saw some pretty cool animals. Then we hiked Kahle Hill, which is seriously one of the most intense hikes I’ve ever had, but it’s literally a hill… with about a 75 degree incline! Ha! IMG_3121 IMG_3135 IMG_3137 IMG_3150 IMG_3159 IMG_3162 IMG_3170 IMG_3187 IMG_3197 IMG_3198 IMG_3203 IMG_3205 IMG_3224 IMG_3251IMG_3273 IMG_3258 IMG_3260 IMG_3255The next four pictures are of the amazing interns that lead us around all week. I honestly don’t think our week would’ve been as awesome had we not had these amazing folks! D2, Rachel, Melissa, and Brandt, seriously thank you so much for all you this week in helping us to love Botswana so well!IMG_2756 IMG_2803 IMG_2805 IMG_2808This week seriously changed me and my heart was broken to see my brokenness and my suffering. I saw where my Father absolutely pointed out that I am in need of healing, and how He is the only one that can supply it. I am thankful for His provincial love, and how it just radiates through my life. Being in Botswana left me in awe of His glory and how He longs to have me be like some of the children I got to see here in Botswana. We must gracefully fall at His feet in adoration, humility, and most of all love. For He is where love comes from, and I am proud to say that all my fountains are in him!

Thank you for reading this extra long blog post and basking in the glory of Botswana!

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