Be the Light.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My quote for this year is:  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." - James Keller

This year, I've really been focusing and praying about helping people follow their dreams to the best of my ability.  Naturally, a small business owner can't tell ALL his or her secrets on how they create  their "trademark look" nor share all of their original ideas and no one should expect them to do such a thing...but they can educate, mentor and encourage others in a generalized manner. 

The reason this is important to me is because when I was trying to figure everything out in the beginning, I didn't get that kind of help.  I talked to a few other photographers today and they said that they were even DENIED that kind of basic, localized mentoring when they asked for it for "fear of local competition".   

However, NOW - later on in my career, there have been one or two photographer friends that I can shoot a quick question to ever-so-often when I am in a panic, and their responses give me so much comfort and encouragement that I am on the right track.  I want to be that positive reinforcement for someone.  I don't know ALL the answers (as I'm constantly still growing and learning myself), but I can certainly be a sounding board for a few beginner or amateur photographers.

I feel like God gives us our gifts to use for His glory and purpose.  If we keep it all to ourselves, who are we truly serving?

As I was reflecting on this several weeks ago, an opportunity fell into my lap.  A yearbook staff at an inner-city charter school in OKC was feeling really discouraged about their photography.  The teacher left half-way through the year and gave no direction leading up to it.  The school requested me to come teach photography pro bono at 8:00 in the morning.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am super tender-hearted and stuff like this just eats me up.  On the other hand, any one who knows me WELL, knows...I get anxious about public speaking and I don't like waking up before 9:00.  It makes me sick to my stomach to think about moving around that early in the morning.  But for some reason, I chose to put my selfish desires of sleeping in aside and say YES.

I'm really glad I did.

Yesterday,  I walked into the school at 7:45am wide awake.  FULL OF ENERGY.  And extremely calm.  God was with me.  The kids were really shy in the beginning, no one wanted to talk to me.  I then remembered as a teenager I would rather DO something than sit through a lecture any day of the week, so I took a small group aside and started doing more hands-on work.  Suddenly, something just...clicked.  

Smiles, interaction, and lots and lots of thought-provoking questions.  The inquiries went from "How do you take pictures when it's really bright outside?" to "How did you become a photographer?", "Could we get your contact information and email you questions about photography as they come up?", 
& "Are there any photographer groups that meet together in OKC?".  By the end of the hour, I realized these kids weren't interested in these questions about photography and small business for the sake of their yearbook, but for the desire to navigate their future careers. 

It was such an honor to work with these amazingly bright kids.  They each asked for my business card.  I anxiously await the day I hear from one of them.

Through all of this, I realized that when I gave freely, I didn't lose anything.  In fact, I gained more than I could have ever imagined.  And that is a gift in and of itself. ♥ 

Found these gems on my camera when I got home and was cracking up!  One of the students was brave enough to snap some photos and capture my enthusiasm!  Hahaha!  LOVE IT! :)
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Jordyn Matthews - OKC Senior Photography

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Today, I am featuring my recent photo shoot with Jordyn, a beautiful senior at Yukon HS.  She was so amazing and oh-so-sweet to work with last month.  Since her boyfriend, Casey came along with her for support and encouragement - Mom even Ok'd a few pictures of the two of them!  I had SO much fun walking around downtown with all of them.  We scouted out some really cool, funky & colorful urban spots. :)

Ultimately, my goal for senior photos is to bring out their confidence & inner rockstar.  I like to get on THEIR level of comfortability and style so that truly only their personalities shine through on the pictures in the end.  Jordan did a FABULOUS job and by the end of the shoot, she was ROCKING the camera with her own poses and twirls.  I LOVE IT! ♥

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the shoot!  ENJOY!

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