Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Our Summer So Far

This summer has flown by faster than you can even say "July." Here at CEP, I've kept busy with midnight photo editing (per my usual), meeting an adorable couple for their engagement photos, brainstorming unique marketing projects for our social media (check our the #isaiah42project_CEP on instagram!), and, of course, handling business logistics. (Taxes is a synonyms word with punishment; it might be months away, but my mind still goes there with dread at times).

As I have shared various images over the summer, I find my enjoyment of texture, expression, and contrast seem to be growing. I love when photos can be used as an avenue for storytelling. Searching my portfolio for an image that adequately communicates the feeling, depth, and meaning of a Scripture passage or quote is one of the most intriguing parts of this job. I love the creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking that it demands. There's a part of my soul that can only be expressed in art, I think.

And I love that art is a created avenue meant to lift every eye to the Author of creation. Jesus is the greatest and most artistic Creator to ever be; you will never meet or know of anyone who could do what our amazing Maker has done. This passage in Job comes to mind:

Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
            And caused the dawn to know its place,

      That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
            And the wicked be shaken out of it?

      It is changed like clay under the seal;
            And they stand forth like a garment.

      From the wicked their light is withheld,
            And the uplifted arm is broken.

      Have you entered into the springs of the sea
            Or walked in the recesses of the deep?

      Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
            Or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

      Have you understood the expanse of the earth?
            Tell Me, if you know all this.

      Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
            And darkness, where is its place,

      That you may take it to its territory
            And that you may discern the paths to its home?

      You know, for you were born then,
            And the number of your days is great!

     Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
            Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,

      Which I have reserved for the time of distress,
            For the day of war and battle?

      Where is the way that the light is divided,
            Or the east wind scattered on the earth?

      Who has cleft a channel for the flood,
            Or a way for the thunderbolt,

      To bring rain on a land without people,
            On a desert without a man in it,

      To satisfy the waste and desolate land
            And to make the seeds of grass to sprout?

      Has the rain a father?
            Or who has begotten the drops of dew?

      From whose womb has come the ice?
            And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth?

      Water becomes hard like stone,
            And the surface of the deep is imprisoned.

      Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades,
            Or loose the cords of Orion?

      Can you lead forth a constellation in its season,
            And guide the Bear with her satellites?

      Do you know the ordinances of the heavens,
            Or fix their rule over the earth?

      Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
            So that an abundance of water will cover you?

      Can you send forth lightnings that they may go
            And say to you, ‘Here we are’?

      Who has put wisdom in the innermost being
            Or given understanding to the mind?

      Who can count the clouds by wisdom,
            Or tip the water jars of the heavens,

      When the dust hardens into a mass
            And the clods stick together?

      Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
            Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

      When they crouch in their dens
            And lie in wait in their lair?

      Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
            When its young cry to God
            And wander about without food?

(Job 38:12-41).

I love that God graciously reveals Himself through creation. He who is: "...the Alpha and the Omega...who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Revelation 1:8) so High and Lifted Up, declares His glory to His lowly people through creation. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard" (Psalm 19:1-3). To every person who has ever existed, our God's sovereign nature has been shown: "...what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20).

These are the things that fill my mind and heart with awe this summer as I capture various images. I've been learning to stop, slow down, and reflect on His splendor as I observe the world around me.

In the remainder of the summer, there are certain to be hundreds, maybe even thousands, more photos taken. (There's a wedding coming up, after all!). And as I go about taking these photos, these are the things I desire and purpose to set my mind on. He is worthy, and everything around me proclaims it because He deserves it. There is no one like Him. My job as an artist is not merely to please my clients, but to glorify the Most High who put the sun in the solar system and our hearts to beat in our chest. Tell me if you know any other awe-striking designer like Ours?

Friday, July 20, 2018


Lauren Bernhardt: Class of 2017

Lauren and I met around elementary school age in children's church. She and her twin sister quickly became precious friends of mine that I would track down at church each Sunday. Over the years, Lauren has made an impression on many with her sense of humor, kind heart, and will to reach out to others. When she asked me to capture her senior photos in her colorful, leafy neighborhood, I was ecstatic! Two special little subjects joined the shoot as well: Lauren's kitties! 

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