She’s Gone – Short Film

I have a weird love of trains.

Not like I collect them or even know anything about them, and honestly I think the last time I was on one was in 2012. What I mean is that there is a “feel” that they give me, they take me back to a different time and place…a time and place I have never been but a life in the past that could have been.

In our town there is a train station right by our local library. It is down, under a bridge and tucked away. There is a texture to the area that the station is in. The road that leads to it is broken, part of it isn’t even paved and you can hear the gravel under your tires as you drive past.

It feels old, looks old…IS OLD.

It was built in 1905, has gone under many renovations (including the restoration due to the flood of 2011) but it has purposefully been designed to resemble what it would have looked like when it originally was built. 

I had a habit of taking that random back road to and from the library, past the train station and “behind” downtown to our old house. As I was driving one day the story of She’s Gone hit me. I pulled over, right under the bridge, faced the station, opened the notes app on my phone and started outlining this random short film of a female detective in the 1940’s who had fallen in love with the man she was investigating. 

I love that moment when lighting strikes and I can get the whole story out. I went home and started writing and everything fell into place. It isn’t the BEST script I have ever written but I loved it. I could see the entire thing from start to finish play out in my head. I could feel the cold air…hear the sounds of the city traffic and the gravel under foot. All the while visualizing this story in black and white, because I think in black and white. I wanted that hard light, the contrast that only a street lamp could give. It was great. Yet again I called on my friend Chris and we created one of my favorite shorts. Again, not because it is the greatest script, but because of the texture, the feel, the sounds.

It gave me the feels and reminded me that I was doing what I am MEANT to be doing.


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. 

Being an Amateur – In a World of Professionals

Do you ever feel like an impostor in the world that you are trying to walk in? I do…


It’s hard to have dreams and walk in those dreams when you don’t even think you belong there. That’s how I feel in the world of photography and filmmaking most of the time. I don’t know why but I just feel like I don’t fit in…that I’m not good enough and even wrong in doing what I love.

I read (well actually I listened to) the new book That Sounds Fun – The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby (oh that title) by Annie F. Downs recently and honestly didn’t think much of it. I have read other books by her before and to say they were LIFE CHANGING is an understatement. Remember God and Let’s All Be Brave both hit me at the exact right time that I was needing them. This book on the other hand was just something I bought because I LOVE Annie like we are legit friends and yet have never met and so of course I was going to get her newest book. I listen to her podcast That Sounds Fun so why wouldn’t I read the book??? But the book just didn’t give me the same kind of feels until…

…today (3 or so weeks after finishing the book) it hit me…

Why am I not being an amateur? 

I read (heard – let’s be real here I am an audiobook FANATIC) in the book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day that she feels like a failure if she isn’t immediately a success at something. And let me tell you…that is exactly how I feel. 

What the actual heck is that mentality? It makes ZERO sense. That isn’t the way we were created. I wasn’t born doing all the things and perfectly. But I am a perfectionist and the worst kind too…the kind that would rather do nothing than fail at the ‘something’ I am attempting. It’s a struggle people.

Today I sent a Marco Polo to a friend of mine all about my sourdough starter. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing with this but I am following the instructions and doing some research and learning. I am being…AN AMATEUR!! 

If I fail, then I fail. Who does it hurt?

Actually it hurts my husband…He loves bread. And he wants me to not fail so badly so he can finally have good bread. At least good bread made by me. 

In reality though I want to be more than just an amateur. I want to be a professional. I want to be a professional photographer, a professional filmmaker, a professional writer, bread maker, gardener, organizer, blogger/vlogger. This is my pride just getting in the way of me doing something simply for the fun of it, because when I say I want to be a professional really what I am saying is I want to be noticed, I want to be seen, I want the spotlight on me. 

I have found though that in this life as an amateur I can find joy. I LOVE going out and making films, shooting  film photography, making bread (even if it isn’t the lightest and fluffiest), writing, gardening, doing the things…So this is me starting, starting to be an amateur and sharing the process of failures – and maybe some successes – with you along the way.