In The Mess

Sunset at Bulldog Rock, AZ

In 2014 I moved to Arizona.

We had a plan of the husband working for a few months in oil up here in North Dakota and then following. I was just heading down before him since the plan to move was already in motion. 8 months later I moved back to Minot…

Tell God your plans and watch Him laugh.

But GOD…He knew exactly what He was doing in leading the husband to have me go without him. I believe with all my heart that without those 8 HARD months my relationship with the Lord wouldn’t be what it is today. While there I learned more about Him and I then I ever would have staying in the comfort of Minot.

There were more days spent on my knees praying, begging God to help us through that season of uncertainty than I can count. Not in our marriage, that was never in question, but just in what we were going to do. Was I going to move back? Was he going to move down? Was medical school actually going to happen? (Spoiler alert, he decided not to go to med school…but that is a whole different story.)

In the midst of those prayers God opened my eyes and heart to see that being a filmmaker was what I was meant to do with my life. While working part time at Victoria’s Secret I met a girl, Jessica, that was going to ASU for filmmaking…you can only imagine how fast we became friends. She introduced me to a whole group of people that I am still connected to today and that is not a coincidence.

And then in one tear filled, Holy Spirit lead night, I wrote my first short film UN-MESSY. It’s a “silent” film, so not that hard to write, but I could see every piece of that film play out in my head over and over.

It took another 2+ years before that film would come to fruition.

Over 2 years of thinking about, talking about, praying about…2+ years of KNOWING this is what I was meant to do and trying to figure out the HOW. But GOD…He is so incredibly faithful. He provided the funds…$100 total, the cast (all of 2 people), the crew (Oh Chris…I will always be thankful for our friendship) and the location.

I knew within my very bones that I was supposed to do this, knew that I was meant to create, to share His truths with the world. It’s in moments where I doubt that I cling to that truth with white knuckles. That I think back on those times and re-read old journal entries from that season to hear Him say “Yes, THIS…”. God is a kind and loving God, and where 1000% everything is meant to be about Him, He calls us to participate in telling HIS story and in sharing HIS glory with the world.

We get to be collaborators with Him and that is by far the most amazing thing ever.


The Dream of Photography

Not a lot of amazing things happen to us as freshmen in high school, at least not for me.

BUT I did take my first photography class

…and it was kind of all downhill from there. I am by no means this amazing photographer. It has simply been a hobby and passion since then. I haven’t become this world renowned artist or even famous in the small town I am living in, but I have found joy in being behind the camera and seeing the world through a lens. 

As I write this I feel a need to justify why I am even saying what I am when I am not this spectacular artist or someone who is ALWAYS in the darkroom or always working on my art. Why would I even start a blog about photography (and filmmaking but we will get there shortly) when I am not shooting on a daily basis and dedicating my every waking moment to this art. I don’t think you have to be fully and wholly consumed by something to love it and find joy in it. Also I have a 2 year old…Enough said. 

A different point of view

Something I have found in photography is that it grounds me. It makes me stop and really look at something. I prefer shooting film over digital for this exact reason. I can’t take a million shots of something, I have to be particular about what I am looking at, the angle, the light, the color, all that is in the frame. I have had multiple teachers/professors tell me that the cheapest tool in your camera bag is you film. Well, those words were said long before digital was mainstream, now that isn’t so much the case, film and development cost a lot now and the husband will attest to that truth. Don’t get me wrong I shoot digital all the time, especially if someone has asked me to take their family photos…little kids DO NOT respect film prices LOL. I don’t dislike digital, I am not a purist, I see the merits of both and utilize each in the space that they belong. 

My dream one day is to have my own darkroom. A space where I can easily have chemicals set up so I can go down and just develop my film and then my images. I have 2 enlargers – they need a LOT of love and work to get them to where I can use them – in our basement waiting for me. There have been seasons where I develop my own film, in the kitchen, with the windows open so we aren’t breathing in the “awesome” fumes and then there are seasons when I send the film in to be developed. I don’t think there is one way that is better than another. I am sure there are some who would argue with that but as a mama of a toddler I just won’t die on that mountain. 

All this to say, I think this is a great jumping off point to sharing my art and my passion. To push me out of my comfort zone, to push me out of a season of almost laziness to get me shooting, developing, editing and sharing my work. And not just on this platform but in a gallery, in an open space, hanging on the walls for people to stand in front of and see.