“Say Cheese?”

Last Friday night, I had my first paid photo event. In retrospect, I’m amazed at the opportunity because it came only four and a half weeks after I decided to take my camera off automatic settings. It would have made more sense if I was the one paying my friend to let me take the pictures, but she was kind enough to think of me for their special occasion.

I was hesitant at first having NEVER before done this sort of thing. But, she assured me grace abounded and that I would take better pictures than her having to host a dinner celebration.

It was an amazing learning opportunity for me as a budding photographer, but it did not end there. These are special people who also invited me into a situation that would allow my heart and soul(also budding) to grow as well, because they were celebrating life and community birthed out of severe suffering.

20 years ago this July, my friend received a phone call. As she looked down at their 18 month old toddling daughter,  she heard the words that every person dreads. On a normal summer day, she was told that her husband had been in a very serious car accident. This event changed their lives forever. He suffered many injuries including a broken neck.

Proceed 2o years into their family narrative that God wrote and is writing with them and you will find me desperately trying to chronicle an event that chronicled part of their story.

In the beginning, we all gathered together in the court-yard before dinner. My friend looked at me and said, “Where do you want us?” That was when time stood still, and I confess….I panicked.  I realized at that moment, it was on me to coordinate portrait shots. After all, this was my role for the evening. The only thing I could come up with internally was, “Say Cheese?”


There are SO many moving parts to photography. Since it is both a science and an art, trying to be creative under pressure requires presence of mind and grace with yourself. These are not my two strong points, but ironically were set goals for myself this year.

I love these two pictures. Best friends.

Due to the heat, the event moved indoors. Another cause for panic because, I’ve never really shot in doors.

I think this was the arm(below) of the main chef. I was so intrigued watching him in his medium while trying to capture it in mine.

My friend’s husband retold their story throughout the night and chose to share several passages from Les Miserables, which he was currently reading.

This was fun. It shows how in marriage we can have two totally different responses to the same story.

I love these.

All in all, I’m happy that I was given this opportunity. I mostly use words to tell stories and am more comfortable behind a computer than behind a lens. But, I love photography, and I love learning new things. I hope to have more opportunities like this one in the future. Grace abounding of course.


3 thoughts on ““Say Cheese?”

  1. I love them Carrie! The pictures really capture sweet moments of this amazing family. The lighting is simply beautiful too.

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