My Wish for Her

I ‘ve been meaning to write this post for the past month. The problem is its deep. Where to start? Where to end?

A few weeks ago I was at the car wash. I was sitting outside reading a book waiting. I felt eyes on me, when I discovered who it was, it was a 7-year-old girl. Her mom was on the phone, and her little girl couldn’t get her eyes off me. It was as if she was fascinated I was reading a book. When I looked in to her eyes, I began to wish I could tell her, “You are beautiful and smart. You can do anything you dream of if you work hard, read books and never stop learning!”

I smiled at her and saw two different movies of her life pass before me. One with her knowing her value, and the other believing the lies girls grow up with. Most misunderstand their feminine power, and use their beauty for manipulation. Seeking significance in wrong places.

For thanksgiving, I visited my boyfriend side of the family. He has two young nieces. The moment they saw me they wanted to pull me into their world. The first thing I noticed was they demanded my eye contact. They wanted to look in my eyes and be heard. What a difference from my two nephews who wish I would leave them alone. My boyfriend asked me what I thought about his two nieces. When we were talking about how different girls are from boys, I began to wish I could tell them, “You are beautiful and smart. You can do anything you dream of if you work hard, read books and never stop learning!”

The third time I wished this, was when my friend was telling me a story about this 19-year-old girl who recently broke up with her boyfriend. They told me how hurt she was and the trouble she was getting herself in to. I realized our stories were similar, at age 19, I had forgotten my value too. It was then did I make a decision I would find my worth in the Father.

The moment I turned over my broken mirror to Him, my image was forever changed. Only then did I believe, “I am beautiful and smart. I can do anything I dream of if I work hard, read books and never stop learning!”

My hope is that my wish will be her reality and finds her beauty in the One who created her.

My Pretty Model: Crystal

Our perspective effects the way we photographers shoot. Growing up Christian I always thought sexy was bad but becoming a woman myself God has shown me what the word really means. I’ve learnt that sexy can be about the way a girl carries herself, her beauty and purity. In photography, its all about what her eyes are saying.

My perspective and photography has developed since the last time I shoot Crystal back in 2010. I wanted to shoot her as a mature young lady rather than a girl.

One the drive to the mountains with Crystal I learned what she loves and her heart for life. The excitement she had for the future reminded me when I was her age. The world was full of possibilities.

What is Beautiful

I don’t think we realize or appreciate the real beauty behind us all. We live life so fast, we don’t take the time to notice how complex and unique we all are.  We believe what is beautiful is what we see in advertisement or films, but what we all fail to do is ask the right questions about each other. What is beautiful to me is life. Through heartache or pain, celebration or victory, every event in our lives makes us who we are. It’s up to us if we let what happens in life destroy us or make us stronger.

I created these shots to suppose each thought in the poem. Enjoy.


Self Image

Ten years ago my self-image was distorted. Today, I am finding myself really liking who I am. As I put on my make up I  admire the shape of my eyes, the shade of my skin, my black hair, and the color of my eyes. When I look in the mirror, I smile at the way I look. I am happy and thankful to be me. I like who I am inside and out.

When I think about when I didn’t like myself and the days when I would cover my mirrors, I am thankful for the journey I had to go through. The boys that passed through my life for a minute and the words they spoke, always sweet and kind, saw something that I didn’t not. And finally at age 27, I agree. I no longer need compliments to feel good about myself, a pimple no longer has its power over me, and bad hair days are no longer a big deal.

Some might get down about getting older, looking in the mirror and seeing their face change, but each year I discover something about myself that I love. Getting older is an adventure. Being 17 was great but I am enjoy being 27 just as much and even greater. I finally know who I am, what I wanna do, where I wanna go, what I believe in and the kinda of people I wanna spend my life with.

God is amazing and has such beautiful grace that he walks us through these things.

What did you use to think about yourself ten years ago? Crazy to think ten years has gone and past.

One Day Music Video

I was asked to create a music video to the song, “Better than a Hallelujah” sung by Amy Grant, by my senior Pastor. She asked me this as she walked by my office. When I say “walked by” I mean walked by. I wasn’t sure what she had in mind for the song but the first time I listened to it I didn’t see much.

Friday she stop by to talk about the project and asked if I could have it done this weekend for the Women Conference The Rock host in the women prisons. In the back of my mind, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for this song but I smiled and let her know we would have something for her.

When Monday came around I began to think about what I should do for the song. Lately, Ive been praying before I work on a video that will be used to reach out to people. I asked God for help and the moment I did I pictured a story. I texted a friend to see if she could film the following day and began to write out my shot list (thanks to my directing class).

Tuesday, my friend text back telling me she wouldn’t be able to do the filming. So I did what any director would do when looking for actors, go on facebook. I found a young girl from my church and messaged her. She text me back and said her and her mom would love to do it. Beth and I grab our cameras and went to film at her house.

Because her mom wouldn’t be free until later in the day, we filmed all of the daughter scenes solo. When her mom got home we filmed her and then the ending we shot them together.

Today I edited the video together and put a color grade and exported it. It amazed me that I was able to get all this done in such a short amount of time. It encouraged me to do more filming like this for my personal projects. Filming downtown made me feel so alive. Its true what Robert Rodriguez said, “Don’t dream about being a film maker, you are one”

Here is the video. Enjoy.

Chapter 1: Portrait

<<back to tutorial Archives

A friend and I were hanging out at the local book store when I said to myself, “I want a photography book that isn’t just about great photos but tells me how to capture my own.”  I then picked up a book “The Complete Photographer” by Tom Ang.  The moment I picked it up I knew I had to buy it.  After reading the first chapter I dramatically saw the difference in my photos.  I have also started a photography club with some young girls from church.  I want to impart in them creativity and to inspire them to capture some of life’s greatest moments.


A Portrait: When the subject is the center of the universe they can be anyone and anything.

Here are some photos where I used different techniques.

Storytelling: To kick off the photo shoot I told my friend a story and explained the character she was going to play.  I told her to pretend she was a servant girl who had been working all day. When she sat in a pile of rocks she quickly began to role play. Her facial expressions began to come alive right before me.

Peeping Through: This creates a dramatic effect which conveys a sense of alienation.

Back lighting: In this pose that was created I noticed the great light that was behind her and told her to stand where her hair captured the glow.

Soft Focus: I used the technique Soft Focus for the Panda Mask so the viewer’s attention would see her reaction before they saw the mask.

Capturing Action: Even though the focus isn’t sharp, I didn’t disregard this shot. Her running added great energy to this fairy tale image that I wanted to display.

Lighting Character: I noticed the sun was peaking through the bushes so I had my model run over and stand right where it was hitting. It created this great dramatic look to her and bought out her eyes.

Unique Mannerisms: To deliver a sense of character and personality, I used body language and played with some unique poses.

Here is my favorite photo that I made into a poster and now hangs on my wall.   I love the purity and beauty that it displays.

I left the shoot feeling very proud knowing that I put into practice some of the new information that I had gathered from this amazing new book.

You can check out the complete set on my flickr where I used other techniques.

<<back to tutorial Archives