Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Laurie & Seth

I had the honor of shooting Laurie & Seth's engagements just a day before the soon-to-be bride shipped out for Iraq. Would you believe the military now has this beautiful young lady building bombshells in the desert? I think she either loves what she does that much, or she just loves her country that much, because her heart is in her work.

Laurie and I first met years ago at Wells Fargo, back in the days when I was bringing my laptop to work and editing images during my lunch hour and on breaks.
Every day, there was Laurie, always smiling, and very casual and carefree about life. She was content in whatever circumstance. Yes, the cool, smooth, calm, collected type of gal.... hmmmm...wonder why they picked her to make bombs? ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Sun Dance

I'm a sucker for flowers. They never last as long as I want them to, so I almost never buy them from a shop. My wife can attest, I'm not a dozen-roses-on-our-anniversary kind of guy. Instead, I'll find them growing wild and just enjoy them for the moment, maybe pick a few for my little girl's hair. But now and then, I cave in. After all, it's a Winter-boycott in our family, so this week I had a good excuse to stop in and see Stacy at the Flower Mill.

I first met Stacy one day as I was outside raking the lawn, and she promptly walked straight up to me and boldly stuck out her hand to tell me she was opening up a new flower shop in town. I like it when people are passionate about their work. Walking door-to-door to let people know just how much you love what you do is beyond passionate. In my book, it's remarkable.

Since that day, I've had to learn to stay away from her store, because it could easily become an addiction. That's how beautiful her work is. I've even ran into her at several of our weddings, and her craftsmanship is unmistakable.
Now and then I have to stop in to her store, and she either lets me rummage to find that perfect rose, amateur that I am, or I give in and let her work her magic. What she whips up is always spectacular in comparison.

To me, that flower is a perfect example of God's craftsmanship. If you want to see what it looks like when someone pours their passion into their work, take a closer look of something as simple as a tulip.
The curve and the form, the vibrant color that stands in defiance of a gray winter, the way it dances to the music of the sun as the light floats across the window sill.
Our need for Christ is as natural as the need for these flowers to stretch and grasp as far as their roots will take them for the warm light of the sun. I truly believe if the flower could, it would leave the roots and the water and the nutrients all behind, just for one more shining moment in those golden rays.
I'm always left in awe about how something so simple can be such a perfect reminder of His ability to every year make all things new.
His work is also completely unmistakable.

If you take these flowers, that the bible says He's adorned more beautifully than all of Solomon's splendor, coupled with Stacy's eye for arrangement and a little daylight, the signature is a mastered sun dance of art imitating life.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Look Ma, No Wheels

My peanut walked right up to me this afternoon and, as matter-of-fact as she could be said, "Dad, I need you to take off my training wheels please".
"Are you sure honey?"
"Yep. I can't go where my brother goes with them on, soooooo take-'em-off."
(I only raised them up last summer and after a few crashes and then watching her ride down the street at a 45 degree angle, everybody was mad at me and I ended up putting them back on.)
Well, it's a new year right? I told her right before she got on that if she can do it we'll think about getting her a new bike.
So, off went the wheels, and on went her pads and helmet.
She then walked right out and hopped on the bike......and zooooom!
The squirt took off on that bike like she's been doing it forever.
She was even turning and stopping, kicking her little legs and staring me down with pure confidence.
Even impressed big bro!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Elliott Kids' Winter Boycott

This is shot just a few minutes ago...In a stunning show of kid-courage, my little ones decided that they are no longer allowing Old Man Winter to keep them bottled up. Dawning all necessary snow-gear, they defied the elements and took their scooters out for a victory spin.
It was a photo-worthy attempt to beat back the season, full of wipe-outs and wet drawers. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New! Reception Party Favors for Our Brides

Well the title pretty much explains it, but to give you some background, Kari and I have been kicking around the idea of offering a party favor for our brides to leave out on their reception tables. One side, an image of couple from the engagements for everyone to take home,

and the other with a Thank You and information for the guests as to where they can log-on to see the images from the wedding day. That way anyone can get online and see that groovy picture of Uncle Bob and his latest dance move. ;)

We decided to put the question to all of our girls this season, and the response has been overwhelming.
100% thumbs up.

So looks like we'll be designing favors all day today. :)

I think, with this kind of response, it's going to become an automatic addition to all of our packages as a courtesy and a thank you. Plus we get to customize things by using the colors from your wedding, to compliment the rest of the decorations.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nicole & Jess

It was chilly, it was very windy. It was soggy and muddy. But you'd never guess it in the pictures, the way Nicole and Jess melted in eachothers arms, it could have been July. The way the gusts worked up her hair, Nicole almost seemed in motion. It was as if she had somehow embodied the wind, and Jess became her anchor, her constant, harnessing her in his embrace.

Ok. Ok. I'm getting carried away, but still, I had a great time with these two, and it was exciting to get outside and shoot at the dawn of the new season. Call it cabin fever, whatever. I get ants in my pants to get outdoors. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of the joy of discovering God's beauty in the most unlikely of places.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Juarez Mexico

My wife and son spent some time in Juarez over Easter on a missions trip with Lifelight.

I've asked her if she'd like to blog about it, but I think it's still too soon and she's a little timid about writing, but she will be speaking at our church on Sunday, for those of you who'd like to hear more, or you can click her to view her slideshow.

From my perspective, I can only say we were happy to see them walk back through the door of our home and into our arms. I only began to research where they were going after they left. What I found was very discouraging, as newspaper article after article depicted the bloodshed of the hundreds of murders that have spiraled out of control there, just since the beginning of this year. A police chief had been shot, and another had driven into the US asking for political asylum. Officers had been shot on their way to and from work, some at home with their families. Then, dozens of bodies had been found in a home in one part of the city, while people were being executed in their motel rooms a short distance away, in broad daylight, on Good Friday.

Juarez today is in a great deal of turmoil, and the day my wife and son crossed back into the U.S., the Mexican government began mobilizing 2500 troops to take military control of the city. One comment that stayed with me, "El Paso is the drug trafficking capital of the world, and Juarez is their burial grounds."

I'm left wondering why this isn't hardly making headlines at all in America, when it is so very close to home. Instead, our world news is focused on South America or the Middle East, literally everywhere but Mexico.

It was an answered prayer to hold my wife and son again and have our family back together, but we can't help but think of the missionary families that are still there.
Day in, Day out.

For us, the storm is past, but for them, it's only beginning.

You can here a recording of Kari's and Logan's experience by clicking here, then follow the link for Kari and Logan.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Lizzi & Anna

We had fun getting to know these 2 kids when they came in the door last month.
Jennifer brought them in to get shots for an upcoming pageant that they are both competing in.
Lizzi almost immediately was very interested in my camera, telling me all about her camera that she uses at home. It was funny to see her personality bursting out, a little girl in a pretty dress, but an up-and-coming photographer at heart, just itching to see the world through her own lens. She lit up like Christmas when I asked her if she'd like to take some pictures with my camera. Confirming to me what I already knew, that most of us shutterbugs would rather be behind the scenes, on the other side of things. That's the case for me anyway. I can't stand to have my picture taken. :)
Anna on the other hand, is a complete natural. She knew where the camera was and instinctively flowed and moved to the angle, the position, and the light. She just had a sixth sense for it, making our job very easy for Kari and I.
We just heard back from Jennifer this morning that Anna has won the Queen in her division and is moving on to the nationals in St. Louis.