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  • Writer's pictureRYLIE

Okay, but FINALLY!

Y'all, it is about dang time that I get share this gallery with you. Let me tell you why.

A Little background, when my husband and I moved to Indianapolis, neither of us had ever lived in a city. We come from small town USA and we were basically raised in the woods and nature. Moving to indy taught me a thing or two when it comes to appreciating an urban environment. However, the city will never beat the wild. Okay, so moving here my husband and I found ourselves always craving the woods, the city parks were nice but they aren't raw nature like we're used to. We became determined to find that uncut type of setting so we started by opening our map app on our phones and looking for large chunks of land that were blank. Then we set out to find those spots and how to access them. This is how I have found most of my locations for a park/nature setting.

Okay, so this past winter, we were itching to get out of the house - Indiana is so boring in the winter, I said what I said. That's when we found the location of these photos. It required a trounce through the woods, and a creek crossing but once you got through that, man. It opens up into a beautiful field lined with cascading trees and it runs along the river banks until it opens up into a small lake. We saw eagles nests, and beaver slides, deer tracks, and more! When we went it was bland and dead and lifeless - but I could just imagine what it would look like in the summer, I had to do a session here!!

I had a clear vision of couple and a white boho dress. The only problem, everyone I presented the idea to, couldn't get past the creek crossing part. I get it, you don't know what I'm getting you into, and plus I'm thoroughly adventurous. There's not many things I wouldn't do to get the vision to come forth.

Finally, after six months of approaching people about this session I finally found the right couple to jump in, and they did!

Megan is a really dear friend of mine, we met about a year ago through a small group through our church. We became fast friends, and her company was unmatched. I adore her. The thing about Megan is she's a great listener and devotes herself to the people around her by paying attention and meeting them where they are. So anyways, I was at Megan and Zach's one afternoon while Eric was away and we were talking about all the different photo sessions they'd done with many photographers through the years. Somehow it came up about my dream location, and I asked them if they'd want to join me to do it. We talked about how it could double as a date night for them and a creative session for me. And well, I think you can see where that conversation landed us.

So, yes. A few months later, we met up for a July sunset and we were met with wildflowers and the perfect evening. I encouraged them to just be themselves, and also used this session to push myself to try some different approaches I hadn't really before. They were gracious and along for the ride, nice!

Really, once we arrived, I didn't have a main objection. I wanted to just enjoy the time and see where the session took us. I had already been to the location several times between discovering it and when we did our session, so I felt confident in the lay of the land.

What I really enjoy about my strategy for scoping out locations is that it 1) encourages me to always see things as their first impression, and for what they can be if change my perspective, and 2)I'm able then to create in a space that isn't the usual settings you see photographers and their clients using in Indianapolis.

Something I quickly learned after moving here was that the market was incredibly saturated with photographers, and there are very common places in the city for photographers to use. For me personally, I always want to bring my clients something fresh, something authentic, and something that pushes how they interact or see the environment surrounding them. I want to bring my clients into something they haven't seen done before and make it theirs. I want to show them a deeper piece of their home that they may have driven past a thousand times and never even thought to look there, it fosters a greater sense of belonging I think. At least, that has been my experience as we've used places like this to make Indiana feel like ours.

I suppose I'm getting nostalgic now, but truly if you could know what this session meant to me and this location meant to me, you'd be so shocked I'm sure. When we first moved here and I said we were unfamiliar with city life and urban settings, that's an understatement. Of course we had visited cities or toured them, but never had we shown up to one for the very first time with a trailer full of our things. For awhile the city felt suffocating, no one knew how to slow down or to stop building another strip mall or Starbucks. Everything for entertainment required spending money, and there wasn't anything deeper than a transaction. Then we started exploring, and we started experiencing things we could relate to. We found moments where the noise of i-465 was quiet, and we found ourselves enveloped with the few still places nestled between the fields and the nearest shopping district, nestled in all the noise and chaos was peace. We just had to recognize it, we had to seek it.

I think that's sometimes how having a relationship with God is like. Life is so loud and so busy and ever "progressing" that we sometimes lose sight of where it all began, of what everything is centered around - whether you embrace it or not. God is always present, he's always waiting for us to seek his peace, and seek the exploration of who he is. Just like the untouched parts of a city, they're always there, you just have to desire to be present with them.

My prayer for you my friends is that you'll learn to slow, to be still, and to seek a life of peace. It is my firm belief that contentment and Joy are truly only found in Jesus. He is the Prince of Peace and he made a great sacrifice for you so you may live for eternity in heaven, which is perfect and free of sickness, pain, suffering, and the old are made new. Living a life with Jesus doesn't mean that the chaos and turmoil and loudness of life stop, it means you can live through this wild life with hope and redemption and knowing you're going somewhere better than this earth for eternity. All you have to do is pursue him, welcome him into your life even if you don't know where to start, just speak his name. Jesus. Ask him to lead you. Acknowledge that you've made mistakes in your life, we all have, ask for forgiveness. I promise you, if you pursue him, your life will radically improve. Whether you feel like you're living in actual hell or you feel like you're thriving, life will ALWAYS be better with Jesus involved.

I love you friends, catch you next time!

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