the road I'll be taking {personal}

“Often we want to be able to see into the future.  We say, ‘How will next year be for me?  Where will I be five or ten years from now?’  There are no answers to these questions.  Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day.  The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark.  When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go.  Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.”

-Henri Nouwen

This is a long overdue blog about being thankful for a great year last year, and excitement about the year which has already begun.  It’s about new vision and exciting possibilities, waiting patiently in the wings to be fully realized…and yet all I can do is focus on the light and direction I have for the next step.  

This year I’ve decided to leave behind the business plan, the expectations of what kind of business success I’ll achieve, the number of weddings I’ll shoot, the number of times I’ll be published and all the ways I can compare myself with many of the other wonderful photographic artist there are in the world.  These are the things I’ve obsessed about over the last four years, and while they’ve yielded some amazing experiences and photos with some amazing clients, they’ve wrought nothing but discouragement, tears and depression.  Then my world was invaded by a little boy named Henry and I took some to time to rethink my journey in light of this beautiful child who rocked my world.  Life is fuller, bigger and brighter with Henry in it and his light has touched every part of my life, including my photography. 

So this year, to the joy of my heart, I know the next step for me and for rachael {hope} photography, is to simply share some amazing stories with you.  Stories of families, couples, artists, and most importantly, love.  I look forward to telling these stories through first knowing them myself, spending time getting to know those I work with better than I ever have before (can anyone say dinner party?)  Then, I can’t wait to tell those very special stories through pictures that are raw, honest and journalistic.  There will be more film and more film like editting as film has the real life quality I'm trying to capture.  There will be less posing and more interactive moments captured and shown with some still lifes and textures thrown in for good measure.

A dream of these kinds of photos and stories shared was birthed in my heart as our own family searched for a photographer who could capture us in our element.  (You can see those photos here.)  These photos were such a gift.  We treasure them and have decorated with them liberally.  Now I’m excited to share these kinds of photos with you.  

This year I can’t wait to share in some beautiful sun-up to sun-down wedding celebrations, in Saturday morning family rituals, in a baby’s journey from the womb to their 1 year birthday.  The sky is the limit, I’m not sure where the journey will lead, and I’m excited to share the results. Some things still remain in the dark about exactly all the details are, what packages will look like, and if there is anyone even out there wanting pictures like these, but I'm trying not to worry about what's in the shadows.  If the art of living is to indeed enjoy what I can see, then I'm steping into the light and I fully expect it to be an enlighting, eye-opening and surprising journey.

If these ideas ring true to you and you’d like to be captured in all your glory, please let me know!

Check back next week for the beginning of a musical journey with a phenomenal artist: my sister, Bekah Wagner’s writing sessions!