You are reading this, so that means I hit the publish button. OH MY. I am so excited to be at this place! T H I S, has been a long time coming. Photography and documenting life around me has been a significant part of my entire life. I feel vulnerable yet full of expectation. These dreams in my heart are big and I am so grateful to serve such a God who stirs these visions and gives me the courage and ability to push forward. Before I divulge all I hope to come with this adventure, I want to first share a few things that explain my story and what has brought me to this place.
At an early age, writing became something I loved doing. I found joy in writing letters, and in journaling. Let me clarify that I am in no way a professional writer, so I can guarantee there will be errors though I will do my best to keep them to a minimum. I also will admit right now to not knowing when to end a sentence. I love my run-ons! My writing is more of an overflow of the thoughts in my head and the stirrings of my heart. I have journals full of memories and glimpses into the girl I was, and into the woman that sits behind this computer writing these words out now. There is great power in words. I love the process of writing and how much emotion can be translated to another just through a combination of words.
My love for photography is no different. I can’t actually remember a time where keeping some sort of camera on hand wasn’t a regular part of life for me. My cameras have thankfully evolved, as well as my understanding of photography. Taking photos of those I love is a must for me. My friends’ lives are all well documented growing up. Now, my children, well let’s just say they won’t have trouble finding photos of their childhood, ever.
Marrying my husband and starting our family has played a critical part in bringing me to this place today. My husband truly believes in me and champions me every single day to chase after this dream. He leads our household with honor, integrity, and great strength. We have been given the incredible gift of three little lives that fill our every day with adventure. Becoming a mother made me a better wife, a more intentional friend, and a more attentive caregiver. They have taught me the importance of slowing down in the hustle and bustle to enjoy the everyday ordinary. Every new milestone they hit, silly phrases they come up with and then relentlessly say over and over, the tantrums, the occasional quiet snuggle, the trail of toys, the growing piles of laundry, and the site of those tiny little features when they’re finally asleep in their beds…all those moments have increased my awareness of how great and important the smallest of details are in our stories.
Travel has been another facet of my life. At a young age, it was summer trips out West to visit the family in the mountains and road trips with my mom that stick out in my mind. There are memories of pretending to be a great wilderness explorer trekking through the mountains, when in reality I was over the hill where the camp was barely out of site because that’s about all I could muster up the courage to do. I mean, what if I had come face to face with a bear?! My mother and I made a spring break tradition in my school aged years of getting in the car with only a general idea of where we’d like to end up, but then driving until we found just the perfect beach to stop at…those memories are forever in my mind.
My grandfather was in full time ministry and often traveled abroad to serve and speak with others. My parents and I traveled with he and my grandma to Europe in my middle school years. We traveled around and stayed with different friends of theirs from country to country. Traveling off the beaten path of Europe was beautiful, but experiencing it with these people who had this deep history with my grandfather made the experience all the richer. A seed had been planted in my heart on this trip. A love for other cultures and the people that lived in them took root.
I serve an incredibly big God who knows all of these details about me far better than I could ever articulate. The writing, photography, travel, my family and community are all rooted in faith. It is in my relationship with the Lord that keeps the rest of these areas grounded and focused. My prayer is that through following where God is leading, my family will be found serving Him and serving those who cross our paths well and with intention. When I look through my lens or begin writing a post, I hope that out of the overflow of where my focus is, that life will be called forth, love will be resounding over all, and that the beauty that lies within each of our stories will be ever so visible.
Phew, that was a lot to unload in one post, so stay tuned for Part 2 as I share my hopes and dreams of what will be Karena DeMerchant Photography…AH!