No feeling has yet to trump the feeling of capturing moments to keep forever. Moments of joy, fear, and happiness. I remember when I was younger, the one thing that always helped me really understand the past and present was photography. Photo journaling to be exact. Photos of war and famine, photos from all over the world of exotic animals. Photos of tribes I had never had the opportunity of seeing. Photos are beautiful; they hold the simplest form of magic that can be passed down for the remainder of time. Photography has always been sort of a passion of mine. I remember that, back in the days of disposable cameras, I asked my mom for one and would take pictures of absolutely nothing, but it felt so great. I then upgraded to a digital camera and had the absolute time of my life. That is when I first started finding joy in documenting the world. I thought of my life as something that only I would ever get to experience, and if I captured even just a couple of moments I would have something to share one day, like the textbooks in school and the photojournalists I looked up to. A picture can tell a story if you let it, and that notion alone was so mesmerizing. One thing I have so much appreciation, for now, is all those random photos of the past. I have so much that I can now share with my children and grandchildren. It is one thing that will remain in this world even when I am gone.
A dear friend of mine here in Ecuador got engaged. When she first told me, of course, I was overjoyed for her, and the beginning of her new life, but I was also immediately thinking about engagement pictures. This was my opportunity to finally take a shot at an engagement photo shoot. I had never done one before, I mean I had never even done a serious portrait shoot, but I was so ready to try something new and actually get out of my comfort zone. A quote I always think about in moments when I have to believe in myself is:
“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”
I will be the first to admit that I am no professional. I still have so much to learn. I read a book recently that talked about living in the now. While I have made it a point to live in the present moment and to not dwell on the future or the past, I for this moment decided to draw my motivation and confidence from the past. I thought back to little Jenise, the one who didn’t yet know how to ride a bike, the one that was still learning to read and write, the one who was getting her permit so she could drive a car. I then compared to it present Jenise, who can effortlessly read, write, ride a bike, and sort of drive a car. If I had never taken those chances or invested that time into learning those skills that now come to me so naturally, my current life would look very different. Photography is still a very new skill that I am learning, but I am going to keep taking chances and I am going to keep putting myself out there, and I am certain that my abilities will improve.
This shoot meant so much to me, especially because it was taken with a couple that I love dearly. Their love for God and the children they work with shine through daily. I believe it takes a very selfless couple to do the job that they are doing, and I hope and pray that God blesses their marriage and their work here in Ecuador.
Without further adieu…. My first engagement shoot.
Have a great day ❤