As a member of several photography-related FB groups, I see posts all the time about people asking for location suggestions, questioning a particular piece of equipment, etc. but I don’t usually participate or comment personally (trying to get better about this!!). This past week, I happened to be scrolling through my feed when I saw a post about a local photographer looking for a second shooter for a wedding she would be documenting over the weekend. I took a screenshot, texted it to Luke, and asked if he thought I should reply. After a quick, “Of course! Go for it!”, I sent Emily a message and told her a little bit of our story and about this season of business life I’m in now, trying to build it up locally after our move. After some quick back and forth (and a lot of exclamation points haha), we felt strongly like this was a really special opportunity the Lord had orchestrated for us, and on Thursday, met in person over a sandwich and teas to talk about the details. Thankfully, Saturday came quickly, and as I pulled into a visitor space at her and Brandon’s apartment complex, I thought again about how unique the whole situation was and how it was such a direct answer to prayer. We drove together up to the wedding venue, and spent the next several hours with Christine and Collin’s closest family and friends, celebrating their marriage and laughing our way through their gorgeous pictures! Even now, a whole two days later, I can’t believe it actually happened, but it did and it’s official….I’ve shot a Florida wedding!!! Emily posted an incredible sneak peek over on FB this morning–just search the hashtag #EmilyElainePhotography to see her stunning pictures!
One of my favorite parts of the Perry wedding was all the incredible details, and as Emily’s second, I was lucky enough to have a little extra time to spend ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over them! Stay tuned for a full blog post of the wedding later this week, but in the meantime…check out this amazing reception space!!! ?
I’ve mentioned it briefly here before, this adventure that Luke and I are working hard on, this journey towards being debt free that we’re committed to. And some time in the future, I’ll write a full post all about it, because we’re passionate about financial freedom and because we want to encourage other people that it IS possible! For now, though, I’ll just tell you about Sat. afternoon after the wedding, when I came home to find Luke surrounded by piles of paper strips that he’d been taping together into the rings of a giant, multi-colored paper chain. The back story to this is that by God’s grace and a lot of hard work (budgeting, communicating, working extra, saying no to extras, etc), we’ve paid off over $50,000 in debt so far in the 1.5ish years we’ve been married. WOOF. Typing that is both a celebration (it’s happening!!) and a deeply personal reminder that there is still a long road ahead of us if we want to be completely debt free and living without the weight of being slave to the lender. And this is where that construction-paper chain comes in! To help us stay as intense and focused as we were when we started off, Luke calculated up all of our remaining debt (all Sallie Mae nursing school loans ?) and divided that number into smaller chunks, so that each paper ring in the chain equals $100. That way, when we make our “snowball” payment at the end of every month, we get to tear off a bunch of the rings, which will help us to remember that we.are.making.progress, even when the overall number doesn’t always feel like it’s moving much month to month.
Caveat: Sharing this story is not a brag in any way. We have a huge hole to keep digging out of. It’s just a reminder (preaching to myself here!) that the big, overwhelming thing that you’re facing right now–debt, relationship problems, house renovations, paying for school, whatever–doesn’t have to take over your life. There is hope and freedom and healing ahead, and even if it takes a few years, be faithful in the day to day and your chain will start shrinking, too.
Other happenings from the past week!
- Season Three of Fixer Upper started! YES!!!! (I know I can’t be the only one who’s elated about this???)
- I began the process of tweaking this website a bit, and little by little, I think it’s becoming more personal and defined. I’d love to know what y’all think!
- That wood sign I mentioned last week? Still working on it! I stopped by Michael’s and picked up a stiffer paint brush and some acrylic paint, so I’m hoping that will make this whole hand-lettering process a little smoother. Stay tuned 🙂
- I made a new industry friend! I’d emailed several local vendors asking if they’d be willing to let me take them out for coffee and chat about their businesses with them, and this week, I got to spend a couple hours with Katherine of Tiny Bubbles Event Design, LLC! She had some great tips for photographers and also shared some stories that reminded me not to lose perspective on how special it is to be able to share in someone’s wedding day with them! More on my vendor meetings, including this one, coming up!
- We got our Christmas tree!!! At the suggestion of a sweet friend, we drove to Ken’s Christmas Tree Farm, and fell in love with the first one we saw. Well, I did. I don’t think husbands really “fall in love” with trees 😉 We spent the weekend making our home feel a little more Christmas-y, and you’ll be able to see some fun updated photos next week when I start that little “House Tour” series I mentioned!