I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here! Here, you'll find inspirational stories of clients, my journey as a wife and first-time mother and other adventures I have that makes my world go 'round. So please, sit back, grab some coffee ( or my personal favorite, a good ol' fashioned Arnold Palmer!) and enjoy exploring my latest work! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!
Every once in a while, you meet someone who changes your life. She or he impacts you in such a way that once you’re in their presence, you are literally speechless.
For me, one of those people is Nicole Washington.
A few months ago, Nicole emailed me inquiring about having portraits taken after seeing my session with her good friend’s daughter India. She mentioned that she was turning 50 and really wanted to treat herself.
Immediately I got SO excited.
The more I chatted with her online, the more captivated I became of her. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about her that I was drawn to. It was as if something inside of me knew I had to capture her with my lens. I called my SUPER talented girlfriend/makeup artist Maya and told her: “You HAVE to meet this woman.”
I truly believe that every single one of us has amazing stories to tell and if we all take the time to just sit and listen to each other, we’ll realize just how connected we really are. It’s one of the main reasons I absolutely LOVE photographing older women. The wisdom they share with me as young woman of Christ still trying to find her way truly touches my heart and Nicole is no exception.
Originally from Alabama, like most southern families, Nicole’s is rooted deep in tradition. At least 35 of her family members…spread across four generations have attended Alabama State University. While she majored in business management, Nicole comes from a long line of givers. Both of her parents served in the education system and it’s trickled down to her.
“I didn’t want to become one, but here I am 26 years later, still loving it.”
This former cheerleader and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is currently a teacher in Athens, Ga after moving there because they needed minority teachers.
As we sat down and talked about a few of her favorite treasures from her life that she brought to her session, I began to see the spirit of Jesus in her. As she talked about the first Bible her parents gave her, the stuffed dog she affectionately calls “Puppy” that she’s had since birth, the letter one of her students wrote her over 20 years ago…and even when she slipped into her father’s ASU sweatshirt and her coat that she received in high school (that she can still fit perfectly by the way), I began to really see who Nicole Washington is: She is a giver. She is a loving daughter who honors her parents. She is adventurous and secure in who she is. She possesses a quiet and gentle spirit, yet she is bold…fearless and filled with so much joy. She is graceful and beautiful both inside and out. Yes, the more time I spent with her, it became undeniable clear who Nicole is. Nicole is the love of Jesus personified.
Time definitely flew with us, but as we were walking, talking and shedding beautiful tears, I asked her one pivotal question: “As you prepare to celebrate 50 years of life, if you could go back in time and give your 27-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?”
“Be confident. Trust yourself, never let any circumstance cause your faith in God to waiver and never settle.”
In that moment, tears began to fill my eyes. Her answer was quite simple, but so powerful. With 27 staring me in the face, I’ve been faced with a few major decisions lately…some that have caused me to doubt myself. But hearing Nicole’s words resonated with me in such an unexpected way. Not necessarily because I’ve never heard them before, but because of the timing of it. In all honesty, sometimes when God speaks to me, I don’t always listen. So when confirmations come in such an unexpected way, it literally blows my mind.
(How cool is that she wears her father’s ASU sweathshirt!?!? Soooooo cute!)
The strength in her voice. The confidence in her eyes. The peace that exuded from within her that transferred over to me. THIS woman…this woman I will NEVER forget.
Nicole, thank you SO much for spending a quiet, rainy afternoon with me. The beauty within you shines so bright and I am truly honored to have captured you.