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 day 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! I’ve also been training in martial arts since I was 12, and I have almost no photos of myself. It kind of makes me sad that it’s one of the few chapters of my life that ISN’T documented somewhere. I love being able to give that to our community of students and family members. Along with taking photos, I love getting to see the journey the students are on! Most of them are children that I work with in our after school program. You spend so much time with them, and invest so much into helping them to grow and succeed. It’s wonderful getting to witness that growth, and the 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, and not just because of the new belt rank. but because 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! It signifies 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. It will be 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, and they want to do well. Seeing the support from their friends and family who show up to watch, and provide affirmations, 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.
I wanted to share some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, which were from a Black Belt testing earlier this year. The thousand words behind the photo aren’t mine to share, but I’m sure its not needed to understand. 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!