Help-Portrait

I sat through church, a weepy mess this morning, as Jeremy Cowart, and his wife Shannon, talked about their desire to use photography to change someone's life and restore their dignity and God-given belovedness. What started off as a quiet nudging in Jeremy's heart, turned into a one time event to give people in need a make-over and a proper portrait of themselves. The one-time event was so transformative, that another event was held. And then another. Five years later, the dream of one man's heart has turned into an international movement. Through the generous artistic expertise of photographers, hair stylists and make-up artists, Help Portrait has taken 282,295 portraits since 2009. Many of the people have never seen a picture of themselves before.

Many of the people have not felt beautiful, valued, or even known.

And a picture of who they really are?  It changes everything.

 

Watch the video for this year's event, happening in cities all over the world on December 7th. You can donate clothes, make-up, or your time as a photographer, hair-stylist or make-up artist. Or you can do what I will be doing here in Nashville. Shake hands, give hugs, listen to stories and remind people of who they really are: a person of infinite value, dignity and worth.

www.help-portrait.com

Pacific Northwest Rest

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So enjoyed my time with the people at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood, Washington this past weekend.  After my time with them I was able to spend the afternoon in West Seattle. One of my favorite neighborhoods in the United States. I am always grateful to catch a few minutes of rest by the waters of the Pacific Northwest. These are just a few of the moments I took in. I hope they inspire you to sit back for a minute and take a deep breath as you reflect on the beauty that surrounds us.

Make A Splash!

  Thanks to my sweet little sister for moving up in the photography world and letting me inherit your camera. Watch out people- I have a big girl camera now!!! I have no idea what to do with all these fancy knobs and buttons. But I see mom's whip out these big ole' things all the time... so I am sure I can learn. There's probably like a mom class somewhere- free childcare, lattes, how to have a totally awesome DIY 3-year-old-birthday party and how to use your fancy-shmancy camera. All in one fun-filled afternoon. But I haven't the time (or desire). So I am piddling around and figuring it out at home- in a rain storm- which I am sure is great for the camera. I digress. Day 3 of constant rain in Nashville. Hope you are enjoying sunshine- people of the world. Rainy Day? Make a Splash!

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Solace and Sanity

Some people find solace and sanity in reading a good book, going for a hike, listening to music or being alone. I find solace and sanity in taking pictures of beautiful moments. Just me and my iPhone. Stopping on the side of the road. Hiking up a hill. Staring at a sunset. Memorizing the moment. Smelling it. Breathing it in deeply. Etching it deep into my restless blood. The world is full of beauty. My life is hectic. Taking a few minutes each day to look for the beauty around me settles my soul. Perspective gives birth to humility. Solace and sanity abound when the world is not so small and tightly wound around me. The whole earth whispers and boldly displays the creative, intimate, passionate beauty of God's presence- and in that alone, I find rest.  These are a few of my most recent moments of solace and sanity. [gallery columns="4" ids="2995,3000,3008,2996,2997,3006,2998,3002,2999,3004,3009,3001,3003,3007,3005,3010"]

Where do you find solace and sanity?

Pictures of Annie

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Annie is all girl. She takes care of her babies with more loving devotion than any woman I have ever seen. Yesterday, she asked if she could take family pictures. Not with Ryan and I. With her bears. Her newest saying, as she stands on the fireplace (her stage) is, "Hello. I am Anniston Cate Simmons and I am going to be a girl. And I am going to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." She is unconcerned with clothes. They drive her crazy. However, when she really wants to be a girl, she layers herself with tutus and bracelets and scarves and about twelve fake, plastic rings with emeralds the size of her nose.

Yesterday we played outside. She was dressed in two tutus. Our neighbors were playing baseball with their little boy and Annie, in all girl form, very kindly informed their five-year old son that it was, "MY TURN NOW!!!" So in between twirls, she hit the ball and ran the bases, and when it was all done, we collapsed in the grass and took pictures of ourselves.

 

 

Like this beautiful tutu? Buy one for yourself or your little girl and help my friend Karissa as she raises money for shelters protecting little girls from sex trafficking. Visit: www.tutusforthetrafficked.org