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!
There are so many women in my life that I’m grateful for. For so many different reasons, they have all taught me something and helped shape who I am not only as a photographer, but as a woman.
During this season of gratefulness, this is the first installment of “She’s Who I’m Grateful For” mini series. During this series, I want to highlight some of the women who have impacted my life and whose wisdom, I’m so grateful for…starting with Ms. Nicole Washington.
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. Ms. Nicole was the first 50 & Fabulous woman I photographed and her session completely changed my life. She was the reason I was SO moved to continue photographing wise women.
I photographed Ms. Nicole in Athens, GA in October of 2014 and to this day, her session is still one of my all-time favorites. We laughed and talked as if we had known each other my entire life. She is so easy to talk to and has the most radiant spirit…it’s no wonder why so many people love her!
As we sat down and talked about a few of her favorite treasures 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 was faced with a few major decisions that year…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.
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.
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.
Do you have a woman in your life who has changed your life? Someone you’re incredibly grateful for? If she lives on the Emerald Coast, I’d love to meet her! Nominate her for the “I’m Grateful for Her Campaign” here! And even if she doesn’t, tell me all about her below!