Christmas break has FLOWN by this year. I always get home in early December and think I have tons of time before heading back to school, but the month-long break always flies by and I’m left confused and starry-eyed as I repack the bags I never really unpacked in the first place and head back to school. While I’m sad to be leaving my family and friends at home in just a few days, I am excited to jump back into life at CNU. I’m especially excited to jump back into photography at CNU. I’ve missed the sports games, speakers, social events, and weekly photo critiques among us interns and our boss (Jesse Hutcheson) — nothing’s as fun as being reminded week in an week out how much your photos suck! 😉 But seriously, I miss it all and miss being challenged daily in photography and can’t wait to hit the ground running when I go back to school next week!
This past Thursday, I hung out with one of my fellow CNU photography interns and friend, Marky-Mark Graziano (feel free to call him that anytime!). We’d been wanting to get together and shoot around for a while, and I was thrilled that the day that worked out for both of us included sunshine and semi-warmth (as opposed to the -29403859 °C Northern VA had earlier in the week).
Mark has been such a great friend to me as I’ve (slowly) learned the ropes of photography. He answers my stupidest questions and patiently explains photography vocab to me over and over and over again. Despite me coming in and being the obnoxious new intern girl who provided an annoying aspect of competition to Mark’s internship (haha, gotcha), he has only ever been kind, honest, and encouraging to me. I love our brother-sister friendship and how I can be a complete FREAK and he won’t run away from me in embarrassment (at least, he has yet to run). I look forward to seeing how we grow as photographers in our next year and a half at CNU (and beyond)!
Meet Morgan. She’s one of my darling, gorgeous, close friends at CNU. She loves sports, Phi Mu, running, and Jesus (just to name a few). She’s awesome at doing any kind of makeup; she’s a goofball who loves to get crazy; she has IMPECCABLE style; and she adores Duke-anything (something me and my UMD upbringing will never understand). When I first met Morgan our freshman year, I had THE biggest friend-crush on her. I wanted to know her so badly! But Freshman year passed without much happening between us, besides the quick smile and “hello” when we saw each other around campus. However, I don’t know what changed sophomore year but through a series of hangouts we ended up becoming fast friends (and I found out she’d had a friend crush on ME too! who’da thought??).
Morgan is someone I can be totally crazy with and not have a care in the world. She’s someone I can have deep conversations with and walk away feeling so encouraged and understood. She carries a peace and joy about her that radiates to those around her.
Morgan was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Since her diagnosis, she’s had surgery to remove her thyroid and this Christmas break will begin radiation. While most 20 year olds would respond to this illness with anger, frustration, confusion, and fear, Morgan has done nothing but run to God and trust Him during this trial. Morgan describes having cancer on her blog as “the best thing that has ever happened to her.”
“My scar [from the surgery] is now my favorite part of me. It’s a battle wound that is a daily reminder of God’s love for me. A daily reminder that I can be strong. A daily reminder to be thankful for all that I have been given. A daily reminder of the new person I am.”
Morgan, thank you for teaching me about what true strength, love, gratefulness, and joy look like. Thanks for being such a shining example of someone trusting God with every day, rejoicing in the blessings He’s given that so many people ignore. You are such an inspiration to me and I love you forever. (And thanks for modeling for me and being so fun and easy-going during the shoot.) xxoo girly girl
Goofy girl 🙂
Holy guacamole….. STOOOPPP….
Love this Morgan face …
Perfect end to the shoot….
A few months ago, my boss at the gym approached me and said she had heard I was into photography, and didn’t know if I’d be interested in doing senior portraits for her granddaughter in High School. I was so excited when she asked me, but also nervous (this is my boss we’re talking about here! she’s the sweetest thing and so kind, but I was so worried I’d mess up!). The nervousness melted away however when the afternoon of the shoot arrived, and I met her granddaughter (Stephanie) at Lions Gate Bridge in Newport News. Stephanie made the shoot SO easy, with her laid-back personality and incredible model face. The afternoon went really well! Enjoy these following few photos from the shoot….
During Thanksgiving break last week, I had the pleasure of photographing this handsome fellow. Brent is the brother of two of my best friends, and he was a trooper as we walked around Downtown Fairfax (he never once complained in spite of me continually changing my mind on where I wanted him to sit, stand, etc.). Enjoy a few of my favorites…
CNU is currently on its Fall Break, which means I’m home loving a long weekend of sleep, homecooked meals, and late night craziness with the siblings. (Being one of seven kids, there’s never a dull moment here in the Dean household!) I’ve also taken this time off from school to schedule a few portrait sessions. Today, I had the pleasure of photographing one of my best CNU friend — Abby Hogge’s — niece, Adelaide. Abby has always said that her sister would love for me to take pictures of Adelaide, and this Fall Break seemed like a great opportunity for me to do so! Adelaide was ADORABLE, and kept me smiling. Enjoy a few of my favorites!
The lovely family, with another one on the way in November!
Welcome to my new blog!
Be sure to check back soon for updates and new posts.