Phew! It has been a crazy 2 months for me! Spring totally sprung, and kept me super busy! If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve taken a little bit of a social media hiatus, aside from my regular sneak peek postings of my sessions. Between my day job, my last few terms of school, and all of my wonderful spring sessions, I have been absolutely booked. However, I feel so blessed! I’m so thankful for all of the support I receive, and my spring time sessions are some of my favorites! I’m so thankful every time a past clients comes back for another session. I love getting to watch families grow together! Engagement sessions, VCU graduation, and portrait sessions have kept me busy! Summer Camp is also here! I love getting to plan Summer Camp every year, and I strive to deliver the most amazing, unforgettable summer experience to our campers as I can! Putting smiles on kids faces is one of the most rewarding things, and I’m so glad that BOTH of my jobs give me that rewarding feeling! All of the stress definitely builds up, but seeing the smiles on kid’s faces really just makes everything
Due to the recent belt testing we held, I really felt the need to share about this on the blog. Along with providing childcare, my job is also a martial arts program! Every 12 weeks, we have belt testing. For the past 3 years, I’ve loved getting to volunteer my time to photograph testing. No matter how busy I get, I always make time for testing! I’ve also been training in martial arts since I was 12, and I have almost no photos of me training or testing. It kind of makes me sad that it’s one of the few chapters of my life that ISN’T documented somewhere. I love to be able to give that to our community of students and family members. I don’t just love the photos; I love getting to attend and see the journey the students are on, and all of the improvements they make. Most of the students are children that I work with in our after school program, and working in childcare you can get really attached! You spend so much time with them, and invest so much work into helping them to grow and succeed. It’s wonderful getting to witness that growth, and their pride in their accomplishments. Knowing the obstacles some of the students overcome, it’s really hard to not get emotional when they make that achievement!
Testings are such an important part of the martial arts journey, not just because of the new belt rank, but because I feel that this is where the lesson of self-confidence really blooms and becomes evident in the student. It’s a time to truly show yourself off and all that you have learned, and signify the great accomplishments and improvements that students have made through weeks of classes. It is not supposed to be fast, quick, or easy. It is supposed to be uncomfortable, long, and truly test the patience, mental strength, and physical endurance of the student. It is supposed to be an obstacle to overcome, a line to pass, and achievement to be won. Every testing is a single accomplishment to be added to the student’s personal list of things they have accomplished and overcome, and something that will later spark a, “I can do this!” attitude towards new struggles. It brings my heart joy to see how eager students are to demonstrate their ability, not just for the instructors at testing, but for their friends and family. They want to impress, they want to do well, and this helps to spark an amazing work ethic, and a drive to always do their best. Seeing the support from their friends and family who show up to watch, and provide affirmations and confirmations that the student has grown and is accomplishing something great, is that true spark to grow self confidence. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful community of support in the Inspire Family, and how everyone comes together for these testings to support fellow students!
So what was the point here for this long post?
I love every chance that I get to take photos. I love all of my dreamy portraits, and all of my beautiful wedding photos. Who doesn’t love simply beautiful photos? I truly do get butterflies whenever I take something absolutely stunning. It really makes all of the time and work I put into my photography worth it! However, some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, really aren’t that pretty. They don’t have beautiful backgrounds that fade to creamy bokeh, they don’t have the perfect lighting or color balance, and they usually aren’t “clean” or perfectly composed. Most of my favorite photos are my favorite because of the moment attached to them. The moment, the emotion, the meaning behind it, all add up to more than just a pretty photo. They move me to tears all over again, and I feel that’s my favorite thing to do with a photo. Bringing someone to feel something is, in my opinion, the most pure form of art.
In wanting to share a little bit more about me personally through this post, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, which were from a Black Belt testing earlier this year. The story behind these photos is very personal, so I won’t be sharing the specifics as to why these photos are so close to my heart. However, I still can’t help but tear up every time I see these! I can feel the emotions I felt in the moment, feel them coming off of the subjects, and can remember every bit of the moment in time, thanks to these photos. These will always stay close to my heart, and even though they are not the “prettiest,” I hope that you enjoy these photos, and have enjoyed reading more about what I’ve been up to during my break from social media!