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Writing With Light

Tree Lined Hills and History Lined Streets ....

Tree Lined Hills and History Lined Streets ....

This Handsome guy and his beautiful Momma met me at Devou Park on a warm Sunday evening.  The weather was beautiful and we were able to freely enjoy the park as we wandered into several spots from the Behringer-Crawford Museum to Rotary Grove.  The park was bustling with folks, many of whom were enjoying a good game of golf in the unseasonably warm weather.  From there we found ourselves on the old brick roads of downtown Covington, where we admired the gorgeous architecture and character that was around each corner.  We could hear Reds fans cheering across the river as they watched their favorite team in the last game of the season.  I genuinely enjoyed the great conversation and ease of our walk with these two.  It was easy to see with these genuinely kind and brilliant folks that "beauty and handsome" aren't only skin deep in this fantastic family.  Thank you, Tina and Mason, for the wonderful time and for the opportunity to photograph the start of this new season for you all.   I look forward to round two on the Soccer Field with you both! ~ B 

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Holiday Happy ...

Holiday Happy ...

These sweet twins are such a pleasure to be around.  The first time I met them was for a shoot on a blistering hot day over the summer, this 60 degree weather in December was a nice change.  Trying to keep up with these sweet littles on this short shoot was no easy task, they are bundles of great and happy energy. Truly a blast. Thank you so much for allowing me the time H family!  Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! ~ B Gallery

Joy is Evident ...

Joy is Evident ...

What amazing weather we had for the end of November with this beautiful family of 6.  They were troopers as their brood ventured through downed trees, dry creeks and steep inclines as we sought the sun in open spaces.  I was genuinely impressed with the love that they exuded for one another as these siblings not only joked with one another but even spoke of being inspired by one another.  As I inquired to the "secret" of their warmth for each other, both parents joked, but in truth it was obvious that there is an inner joy residing in this family of 6 and that joy works to develop a love and respect that seems ten fold.  These sweet kiddos and their wonderful parents were a fun crew to wander with.  I am so thankful you, A & M, allowed me the absolute privilege of photographing your beautiful family! ~ B Gallery

 

When the light around you is less than the light within you ...

When the light around you is less than the light within you ...

Sometimes you get lucky and you get to spend an extra day with a wonderful person.  That is certainly the case with this senior.  She and her beautiful Momma were up to meeting me at the Cincinnati Nature Center for a fun night in November.  We were lucky to have amazing weather which allowed us to enjoy our walk.  The Center was a busy place with many people enjoying the evening as well.  So many families accompanied us, this senior's ears turned into the sounds of little people laughing as her long lashes would peer across our surroundings in search of the kiddos and as soon as she spied them a smile would cross her face. I truly enjoyed watching as the sun danced about the remaining golden leaves around us and highlighted this beauty's heart as it shown brightly through the entire time.  She walks with a natural pace that is quick, but sure-footed and a bounce in each step.  Her excitement of life comes through in her every word and her genuineness is evident just in her being.  She has an air about her that allows you to share in her joy and gives you a glimpse of her in years to come.  This stunning gal has a soft heart which will serve her well in life. K & K, Thank you so much for allowing me the time with you two. I can not tell you how grateful I was to see you again and sincerely hope the coming year is the best yet.  I am certain that whatever college you choose, K, they will be so lucky to have you.  I am looking forward to hearing what you choose and know that whichever route your life take that it will bless many around you! ~ B

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Where is God ...

Earlier in the week I had heard someone on the radio ask of a Christian, "Where was your God with Paris?" It hurt to hear because that seems to be a default position for so many, I was pleased with the response given, but the question didn't leave me quickly. It stuck and I pondered it over the day. As I was prayerful over my heart and what God would want me to see in it, Daniel came to mind and specific the vision in Daniel 8 that revealed, in short form, many more years of persecution for Daniel and his people. He had been faithful in believing there would be relief, that change would come and that he would see it in his lifetime, but this revealed the exact opposite. And like us in the face of current worldly conflict and catastrophe Daniel's position was of confusion and grief, BUT he still got up and "went about the king's business". Daniel still moved, he still worked, he still lived, he still believed, he still shared God. If I were Daniel, I'd want to hide away in bed for a few days in tears over this too. It would hurt to think the salvation or release from persecution I'd prayed for I'd never see, but at the same time I can't help but feel God's love in this message. Like standing before a dark path, we will likely tremble and delay our first step, fearing for what lies ahead, but THIS God stands with us, saying ... "I am right here. This won't be easy, there WILL be some scary parts. You're going to get scrapes and cuts and the climb will be steep, you will not understand it all, but I am not going anywhere. Where you go in this, I will be with you. I will not leave your side."

God doesn't promise that our lives will turn out the way we want. We will trip up, we will see violence, we will live out persecution, our finances will struggle, our kids will get sick, our husbands and wives may leave, we will lose loved ones and our bodies will fail. We, like Daniel, reside in a place that is not our home. And with each year that passes, there will be good, but there will also be pain. We may never see redemption for the things or people we pray for in our lifetimes, but unlike those ancient days we don't have to stand outside the holy tents because we aren't worthy. We are able to not only venture into the tent but beyond the curtain. We can go straight to God with our fears, our heartaches, our trouble. We can fall in His lap and cry out, we can drop to our knees with our faces buried in our hands and He will not walk away. He is our great comforter AND our victory, just as He was Daniel's. NOTHING we face separates us. HE is drawn to the broken, the hurt, the lost. HE seeks us! God is always with us, we don't walk these wretched and painful journeys alone. Praising God for He IS our constant triumph, our champion, our truest companion and in HIM we can find peace! ~ B

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

How The Light Falls ...

How The Light Falls ...

Introduced to a new place I was eager to find great spots where the light shone through.  I was surprised when we rounded a corner to a sweet little lake and a hill that the kids couldn't keep from rolling down.  It was a beautiful little place in the middle of hustle and bustle.  This gorgeous gal and her Momma were a pleasure to walk the foreign park with and it was such fun being inspired by the trees ablaze with color and this senior's glowing eyes amidst them.  It was easy to find areas that offered cooler tones and others where light fell so differently, those spots the sun cast a huge glow upon.  More than willing to accommodate my constant changing of locations, she was an agreeable subject, one who, in every spot, complimented her surroundings with her beautiful Mom smiling the entire time.  I truly enjoyed hearing about future plans and chatting about change and the sheer size of this senior's graduating class, amazed at the lengthy grad ceremony ahead, but knowing that it's length and size doesn't diminish the season or hard work in getting there.  This was an easy going, every spot looks great, every smile perfect, every angle illuminated differently shoot.  Thank you so much M & M for the opportunity to walk this out with you, to capture this term of life for you, it was a pleasure spending the time with the two of you.  I am sure that the future holds great opportunity for you M, as you venture into your college season and I wish you great success in your years.  ~ B Gallery

Skip to my Lou ...

Skip to my Lou ...

Got to meet this handsome guy and his family downtown at Smale Park on a beautiful November night in this busy city.  People buzzing around us as we meandered our way along the riverfront looking for great views of the gorgeous and iconic Roebling Bridge. It was a great time getting to know this senior and his beautiful Momma. I have loved hearing stories of families that have been born and raised in this beautiful area and these two were among them, hearing of the change in era and the extended family they enjoy.  Seeing how quickly these kids grow into seniors who will be off to school and adulthood in no time makes me come home and squeeze my little people, just hoping that I might hold onto time.    L, D, and family, I truly thank you for the time and opportunity to take photos for your beautiful family.  It was great fun to spend time with you two and thank you, Lou, for enduring my requests and permitting me one more pic each time, after I'd continually asked for "just one more shot".  I am grateful that you allowed me the privilege of helping you all hold onto time too.  ~ B Gallery

Easy As 1, 2, 3 ...

Easy As 1, 2, 3 ...

These three little people are a happy folk!  Talking with them about all things school, fun and family was easy peasy.  They were a little pensive with the camera in their faces, but before long running through the open field at French Park loosened them up a bit and allowed for some fun investigating.  Mom and Dad have a beautiful crew and it was absolute fun watching the five of them enjoy camera time together.  Who would have thought that a day in November would have brought warm weather and dry ground for these folks?!  T & S thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to photograph your beautiful family.  The kiddos are such cuties and I am so happy to have been a part of documenting these moments for you! ~ B Gallery

A Sweet Softness ...

Walked around the beautiful Ault with this lovely, soft hearted gal as she quietly took in the experience.  We worked through the location and selected spots that were just right for each shot.  Mom beaming from ear to ear over her daughter's future.  Thinking to the years past and the flight of time as she shared her pride over this beaut's efforts and work with the school choir and glee club.  It was easy to see the love this beautiful Mom carried for her towering, radiant girl as we spent an hour together talking through this season and those behind them.  It's truly beautiful that God has gifted you an appreciation for His work in your life.  I enjoyed the time with you all and am very thankful for it.  I hope that this year is the best yet and look forward to hearing where life takes you B, congratulations on your senior year! ~ B Gallery

Winter Seasons ...

"You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home..." Ephesians 2:19-22

I was thinking and praying today over the troubles of a struggling friend and as I thought on the words to share with her over this season, I was led to think of this month and what it means for me...what's been done for me in these times.

November is a beautiful month that I love. I get to celebrate Fall, my sweet sister's birthday and the birthday of my late Momma. It is a month I enjoy fuzzy sweaters and the gruff of my husband's new beard.  It is a warm your hands by the fire pit month, a grab the s'mores and a good cuddle month, but it is also the start to a grieving season for me, for my sisters, for our families. One that I make my way through without a ton of thought, but one that will eek its way into my mind in that occasional moment where a scent will take me back, a word will ignite a memory or a song will tug on the strings on my heart.  It is a bittersweetness that can only be met with the knowledge of eternity to me, with the awareness of what Christ has done for me.  As I thought to this season today, I thought to something that would confirm a peace in it for me, that would give me the anchor anytime my eyes might water and the best thing that comes to mind is the scripture above.  I'll explain here ...

Four of the people I was closest to in life passed away in Winter months. The anniversaries of their death spanning 45 days of one another. Their deaths being a result of old age, accident and bad health.  Each of those persons buried on a hill in a small town in Pennsylvania. Each funeral with snow on the ground. Each time, I stood shivering as the wind whipped across that tall place. The last funeral there, the snow fell deep and wet and my children clung tightly to my husband and me as we all stood, coats zipped tightly, winter boots secured and the literal Jack Frost nipping our noses. What felt like an eternity there was over in a blink and my family laid rest on that frozen slope. We maneuvered our way back to the line of cars quietly and before I stepped into my door, I looked out over the car. When I was little, I would stay at my grandparent's over the summers, I could see that cemetery hill in the distance from a nearby place at their home. I was always enamored with how perfectly I could make out that hill and yet when there, I could never see the house. The angle and placement were always just so that I could only figure it's approximate location and I'd shrug it off and move on. But that last day there, I tried again. I stood, looking into the distance recalling the many times there, the many memories with those amazing loved ones, a town more home than any other. I peered through the thick flakes of falling snow, but to no avail, I could not see the house. It was different this time, I had no reason to come back. It hurt. I teared up as I leaned into my seat because the reality of that winter was harsh. The pain stung like the bitter cold biting at my well-covered toes and fingers, but I did smile as we pulled away, awaking to the realization that this physical pain would end. It would lessen and that neither my life nor that of my people, ended on that hill. That although I couldn't see that house or those folks, the memories and lives weren't contained in those four walls. That those memories of warm summers, fresh applesauce, and perfect climbing trees would keep my heart warm and that my viewing place would be available in my heart anytime I sought it. I remembered what Christ did what God is building, and that because they each knew Christ too, I would rest with those loved ones again and that is a great peace to know.

I realized that Winter stings, just like trudging the deep snow to pay my respects, we walk through seasons of deep hurt and sin as if we are plodding into heavy places. But in all our plodding and striving and doing and seeking, we need to remember, that though we can't see through the bitter air, God sees us. He can make out our hills and He knows our journeys over them. Though we deserved death, He pulled us from a permanent winter. We don't have to stand in those dark places and look for home, HE is home and He can use us.  Keeping our eyes on HIM, will carry us through our burdened winters or our grieving seasons.

Jesus is my warm winter place, my grace upon grace place and with Him I am free from the bitter and biting cold and no memory or sting of this season can counter that! ~ B

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