Search
Subscribe
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.
Friday
Jan032014

expectations : a big ugly bag full

Expectations.

Such a heavy, weighty word laced with all forms of selfishness.

It is a really difficult one for me. Expectations……fair, unfair, spoken, unspoken…..They all lead down the same path to disappointment one way or another.

It breaks my heart over and over again and yet I don’t learn. I carry around my bag of expectations like a high priced Gucci bag that I have somehow earned and somehow have the right to show off, walking around slapping those I love with the weight of it.

It is gross.

I need to repent.

I need to be rid of this ridiculousness.

But it is tricky, especially because we don’t live on a deserted island all alone. We live in constant relationship with others. All healthy relationships have to have a give and take. We have to be there for one another, serve one another and love one another. But what if we feel taken advantage of, unappreciated or unvalued by those we love? We have all been there. We have felt the sting of feeling forgotten in a friendship, unappreciated by our children, overlooked by our spouse, frustrated by our parents. The list goes on and on.

How do we deal with that?

How do we throw out our ugly overpriced bag full of expectations gone unmet?

One glimpse into our world for advice on the matter and we will find a plethora of inspirational quotes and mantras telling us that if the person we are in relationship with isn’t treating us right then we should walk away. We should cut it off at the root and not turn back, for we were too good for them anyways.

We live in a world that tells us that more brokenness is the way to “fix” what is broken. This way of living just doesn’t work. It only breeds more selfishness. It only takes pieces of our hearts and hardens them, turns them black and lifeless.

Are there things that we can do within a relationship to help stop the disappointment of the unmet expectations? Sure. We can try. I for one, know that I could be a better communicator. But even on my best days of laying my heart out there in the most loving fashion, I am only human. I mess it up. Those that I love fall short, AS DO I. It is inevitable.

But…….(thank God there is a but) Jesus flips the paradigm. He teaches us to love in a way that feels completely unnatural.

Talk about a man who was unappreciated and undervalued! When I think about all that he went through while here on earth and all that he endured for me on that cross,  I feel like a total moron for thinking for even one second that I been unfairly treated. I am brought to my knees thinking of the ridiculousness of the things that I deemed appropriate to withhold my love for.

The truth of the matter is, that our human hearts only know how to love full of brokenness.

Love with expectations woven into its fibers just won’t stay in one piece.

If we can learn to lay it down and let Jesus truly invade our hearts, healing can come. Relationships can be restored and we can stop carrying around all of that extra weight of those heavy expectations.

Dear friends, this is not a one time deal. This is a breath by breath, moment by moment, day by day surrender.

HIS way to love is oh so hard and unnatural for us, especially when we try to do it with our own strength.

My hope and prayer is that I can learn to let him help me, learn to let him knock down walls in my heart daily so that HIS love can come in and all of the dead hardened pieces will fall away.

 After all…….His word tells us:

Love does not insist on its own way…….

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Wednesday
Jan012014

peter & libby : engagements

Happy New Year everyone! I am loving the feeling of a fresh clean new day, new month, new year. A new story waiting to unfold.

I have some catching up to do on blogging sessions from the end of my year. Late fall and early winter is usually a time of hustling to get everything edited and delivered to clients before Christmas hits.

This is a darling engagement session that I did for Libby and Peter. I could hang out with these two all day. They are just full of life, love and faith. The kind of people that just plain make your day better.

Monday
Dec302013

2013 : our year in little squares

 

2013 was a challenging one for us. It was FULL of change on so many levels. FULL of growth, learning and just a whole lot of hard work.

We began the year by getting our house ready to sell. This meant a lot of finishing up remodeling projects. It took us five years to finish remodeling our first little foreclosure when we had only expected it to take one or two. But life did what life does and threw us quite a few curve balls and surprises along the way.

Penelope started walking and changing at warp speed from a sweet little baby to a spunky little toddler. As she grew out of being a baby, her and Keegan grew closer and closer and loved playing and fighting with one another only as siblings can.

Then we began our journey into adoption. The journey actually began long ago, before Nathan and I even got married. It was a dream and a hope that God had placed in our hearts even back then. We researched and researched and shed tear after tear over the overwhelming plight of the orphan. We found our agency, gathered endless paper documents and completed our home study.

I hosted my third photography workshop at Ashley's studio and spent the day with some of the most amazing and inspiring photographers. Helping others to follow their dreams is on the top of my list of best things in life.

Spring came and we put our house for sale and sold it within the first two weeks. All of the energy that we poured into that little house over the years paid off and for that we were so very grateful. We celebrated.....then we kicked it into high gear and scrambled to pack and find another house. On the day that Keegan graduated Pre-K, we came across another foreclosure that had lots of room for potential. We had also found another house that didn't need hardly any work, with land and a pool. (I'll post more on that decision process later.) We decided to go ahead and make an offer on the foreclosure on that same day. We found out the next morning that we had just signed up for another home renovation. ;)

With the help of family and amazing friends, we loaded up the Uhaul and moved. We closed on both houses on the very same day so we had to live with our in-laws while we ripped out 1975 carpet and installed new flooring. Oh and our Uhaul also got broken into in our new neighborhood before we had the chance to unload it. It was a huge bummer but it could have been much worse than it was. It was only stuff and stuff we can live without or replace. We were just thankful that our family was safe.

We moved into our new house about a week and were thrilled to all be together in our new (to us) 1975 brown dingy house. We quickly got to work on project after project to make this place our own. Hours and hours and more hours of blood sweat and tears (well, maybe not blood but lots of sweat and definitely lots of tears.)

Then came the whammy.

I found out I was pregnant. You can read more about that in this post.

We then had to put the brakes on our adoption and change lots of our plans.

We continued working on our house, Keegan turned five and we began home schooling. All the while Nathan was putting in long hours of work in the emergency room and I was shooting weddings like crazy. My busiest season hit smack dab in the height of morning (more like all of the time) sickness and extreme fatigue.

It was a hard season but God was still with us. And now we are in a different season with its own challenges. And you guessed it, God is still with us. With each passing day there are less and less surfaces in this house that are brown (or mustard) and dingy. And with each breath, each prayer, my heart is healing and getting used to the idea that HE has control, HE has a plan.

I am looking at this year ahead full of so much hope and excitement for what is yet to come. It might be hard, it might hold surprises but HE will be with us and it will be good.

Sunday
Dec292013

blogging dilemma

Hey there bloggy world, it has been awhile. I want to share a bit of my heart with you today.

I have been struggling with the dilemma of whether or not it is acceptable or appropriate for me to write personal blog entries here mixed in with my business photos or if I need to start up a totally separate blog. I have been longing to write, longing to share on a deeper more personal level on a more regular basis. Then I worry that if I do that here in this place that the people that just come here to view my professional photos will be annoyed with my rambling or my random photos of home renovations.

But.....then I started to think about the way that I do business and clarity began to come on the subject. My business is not a separate entity cut off from the rest of my life. It is intertwined into a daily part of who I am. I love my clients dearly. I try with all of my heart to offer them an experience and a collection of photographs full of genuine heartfelt moments. So, it makes sense to me to not separte myself online into two different people. Because the thing is, I am the same person when I am shooting a wedding as I am when I am at home changing diapers or painting walls.

For now, I have decided to share much more here in this place just as I did years and years ago when I started up a blog and a photo business.

My hope is that this could be a place of encouragement or inspiration for even just one person. If that fails, then maybe this will be a chance for you all to get to know me a little better. So, if reading about my life journey isn't your thing then just keep on scrolling down and you will be sure to find some pretty pictures of people in love.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by and taking the time to read. It means the world to me.

xoxo-Shannon

Wednesday
Dec112013

scott & ellen : the wedding

I am delighted to share Ellen and Scott's gorgeous November wedding with you. Their deep and joyful love for one another is evident from the first moment you spend time with the two of them. The moment his eyes see her, his contagious smile takes up his whole face. To say that watching and photographing these two get married was a joy and an honor would be an understatement.

Congratulations Scott and Ellen and thank you a million times over for allowing Jessie and I into your special day with our cameras. I pray that the Lord blesses your lives together more than you ever thought possible.

I hope you enjoy this little peek at your wedding day images.

Ellen's dress was swoon worthy.

April at Faccia Bella did an amazing job making the ladies look their best.

I just love the lip quiver in the next image on the right.

Note to all future bridesmaids......Do this when you see the bride put her dress on.

Happy happy bride.....All......day.....long.

The French Bouquet did a stellar job on the sweet romantic florals.

I am a such a sucker for a first look.

They were more than happy to see one another.

I was able to sneek up and use my zoom lens to capture the ear to ear grin that Scott wore during Ellen's vows.

She seemed pretty happy to put a ring on it.

Monday
Dec022013

january boudoir

Monday
Nov182013

kevin & katie : the wedding

October is in my humble opinion, one of the best months of the year. There is something so inspiring about the air turning crisp and cool, the changing of the leaves, warm soup in the crockpot and it helps that it is also my birthday month. It is a happy time for me and it is also a busy season for photography. It is the ideal time for photos and outdoor weddings to avoid Oklahoma's spring rain and tornadoes, the summer crazy hot temperatures and the ugly cold brown winter.

This October wedding was an absolute dream come true. It was held in the most gogeous backyard I have ever seen. Kevin and Katie along with their family and friends were truly some of the most kind and lovely people to spend the day with. It was full of so much love, celebration and beauty. It made me love my job all the more.

I love that the dynamic of girls getting ready includes lots of makeup, emotions and primping. While the guys are always laid back watching tv or playing a game and throwing on there wedding attire at the last possible moment.

Katie's friends were absolute dolls and were so overjoyed to stand by her on her special day.

Katie girl.......You are breathtaking.

Kevin's first time to see his bride.

Katie and Kevin's bride and groom portraits are some of my favorites. Love, love, love!

This....is one excited group of single ladies.

A huge bonfire right next to your reception? Yes please!

Best dance move of the night award goes to...............the groom!

Congratulations Katie and Kevin! I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to capture your love. It is true, pure and refreshing. May all of your days be filled with joy and your marriage be full of grace.

Saturday
Nov092013

robert & rachel : the wedding

Today I have the joy of sharing this lovely October wedding with you. The day was full of the sweetest details all of which came together as a labor of love by the bride and her friends and family.

Rachel's gorgeous dress is from the Savvy Bride in Oklahoma City.

Makeup by Glamour Artz makeup. Hair by Morgan Evans.

All of the first look and bridal party portraits took place downtown prior to the ceremony.

The ceremony and reception were held in the coolest warehouse space in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

The reception was full of gorgeous Organic Bloom frames and chalkboards.

The desserts were done by Antoinette baking.

Congratulations Rach and Robert! It was such a joy spending the day with you and photographing all of the hard work you all put into making your day a dream come true.

Wednesday
Oct232013

cory & rachael : the wedding

Rachael and Cory had a gorgeous outdoor wedding at Vive le Ranch in Tulsa.  It was one of our first cooler days of September and it ended up being the absolute perfect day. The day was filled was the love of family members and lifelong friends. Rachael and Cory were high school sweethearts so, there were so many conversations surrounding the decade of memoires that they shared.

Vendor info:

Florist: Barbara Magino

Caterer: Catering by Orr

Cake: Ann's Bakery

Rachael's flower crown makes my heart go pitter patter.

Such a beauty!

I love this next shot that my second shooter Jessie got from the side of Cory as he was seeing his bride for the first time. If you zoom in on his eyes, they are red and watery. ;) So sweet!

The bride and groom served communion to their bridal party during the ceremony. Such a holy moment.

Best of friends, partners for life.

And this my friends is how cake feeding should be done.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. W! It was such a pleasure to work with you and to get to know you during this special time in your lives. Thank you for trusting me to document these moments.

Thursday
Oct172013

john & emily : the wedding

I am so excited to share John and Emily's beautiful wedding with you all today. They had perfect September weather for their wedding at Asbury and reception at the Mayo. The day was simple, elegant and sweet.

I absolutely love when a bride is emotional because well.....I am emotional. Emily has such a beautiful tender heart and it was honor to capture these special moments she shared with her mom on camera.

The first look. Sweet private moments of the bride and groom prior to the ceremony.

"Happy girls are the prettiest." -Audrey Hepburn

Loren Houk from Vintage Comb did her usual "knock your socks off" job on hair and makeup.

A grand exit in the beauty daylight? YES please!!!

Congratulations John and Emily! I am so happy that you chose me to be a part of capturing this amazing time in your lives.