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  • Writer's pictureRYLIE

A Whimsical Birthday Sunrise

Can I be honest with you, I wish you could hear my voice as I read out my 'catchy title' for this post. Think like a long, slow, deep dramatic tone as I draw out each syllable. Blogging is such a trip, y'all. I'm here for it.

Life has been going by so quickly since Amos was born, it feels like just yesterday I was working through my fall sessions and now we're closing out June. It's been such a blessing to live and experience and observe others through my lens. I'm just thankful. There's been a lot good, and a lot of fun new sessions. Amongst these sessions, was the Smith Family - Justin, Shelby and Noah.


The soft hazy sunrise nestled in the trees at Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park was perfect for celebrating sweet Noah's first birthday AND her gorgeous Mama's - both born on May 18th, the day we shot, what an epic treat. This session I'm sharing with you inspired me so much. Partially because of the setting, but mostly because of the quiet and secure comfort I found in the Smith Family.


This idea of capturing the sincerity of relationships and their intricacies is something that has always inspired me. I'm drawn to the non-verbal communication of touch and I think that's what I've always loved about photography. The stillness of a moment is what tells our stories, when the noise and chatter are silenced and a fraction of a second is frozen in time - it's there that I find life. Add a series of these snapshots and I feel we tell a story, not in totality, but just enough of a glimpse that I get excited as I imagine the rest unfold; even though I won't be there for what's to come next.




The other part about the Smith's that inspired me was their friendship in each other. There was a coolness to them, they were settled into one another, they fit like a glove as the saying goes. That sort of peace is rare, yet by God I cling to these types of dynamics. In our culture and normalization of divorce, of you vs. me, and of toxicity - it is so refreshing to encounter a healthy relationship with mutual respect and understanding. It's a contagious kind of Joy - can you feel it? I sure can.






Now, I'm not going to even pretend like I know Justin and Shelby's story, or what they've walked as a couple; that wouldn't be fair. However, I can't help but believe that the stability I felt through them as a couple, comes from their foundation in Christ. The secret sauce, is Jesus. It's always Jesus.










Again, I'm not trying to pretend like I've got these two figured out and that they're killing it in every area as a couple (reality check, every marriage has "something") - but what I am saying is that you can tell when people have a security, a hope, a strength, and a Joy that comes from outside of them. The peace that comes from knowing: 1)we don't have to bear our own burdens, 2)we don't have to be perfect, 3)there's a God who is championing us and our marriage and 4)there's a God that is readily available to us in every situation we face - all because Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the grave.









It's insane but this TRUTH is the same for the Smith's, as it is for me, as it is for you. There is a savior that cares about you, a savior that died for the sufferings of the world (sin) and rose from the dead to bring us everlasting life. I lived a life where my foundation was crumbling, my life was tumultuous and unstable, then Jesus entered my life and placed my feet on solid ground. This can be true for you too, you just have to welcome Jesus into your heart and repent for your sins.



The strength that the Smith's have in their family inspired me as a creative, and reminded me of the goodness of God. They showed me yet another example of how richly beautiful living life with him is. That is a gift, far greater than any compensation I could receive.


I hope you enjoy the rest of these moments from their gallery.










Matthew 19:6

Mark 10:6-8

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