January 29, 2013


I turned seventeen last Thursday.  My lack of posting should tell you that I've been busy celebrating, working, and doing school.  And I'm okay with that, because this seventeenth birthday was one of the best.  From being surprised by my three friends to a family party four days later, and so many notes/cards/emails in between, it was a good birthday.  (Best birthday present?  An Iphone!  Follow me on instagram:  @shesoliviag)

I am incredibly loved and so thankful for the friends and family I have here, right now.  So I'm learning to rejoice and celebrate life with them.  (And I like it, a lot.)  Life right now is simple, and I am content, but busy.  I haven't picked up my camera for almost two weeks.  I haven't blogged for a week.  But, I have had time to spend with people I love, and with a Savior who is drawing me nearer to Him.  This is how I want to live life and I'm enjoying it to the fullest!
p.s. Thank you for all your sweet comments on my last post! 

January 22, 2013

Hannah // portraits

Her name is Hannah and she's the kind of friend you laugh with at one in the morning over something that's not even that funny.  The kind of friend who texts you Bible verses, goes last minute Christmas shopping with you, and lets you take photos of her.  One of those friends you would never want to lose.  We spent a few hours having lunch (at McDonalds, because we're cheap) and taking photos.  My favorite way to take photos is being able to talk through the whole thing, so that I can catch the spontaneous laughs and genuine smiles.  It's what I love to do.  And this shoot with my gorgeous friend was so much fun!  Enjoy!

January 17, 2013

my word & goals for 2013

My word for 2013.

"Rejoice always..."  (I Thessalonians 5:16)

"We are treated as imposters, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything."  (II Corinthians 6:8-10)

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice."  (Philippians 4:4)

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the resurrection of Jesus Christ."  (I Peter 1:6-7) 

I want to be a woman who rejoices in all things.  Especially the little things. It's easy to get excited over big opportunities and changes, but it's much harder for me to rejoice in the mundane things of everyday life.  This, though, is what I'm learning:  There is beauty in mundane, just as there is beauty in big things; there is beauty in the ordinary, the simple, the daily just as there is in the opportunity, the occasion.  I want to be a woman who celebrates that beauty, rejoices in all aspects and seasons of life.  I will celebrate it through words and photos.  I will celebrate it over late-night Skype calls and across coffee- stained Starbucks' tables.  I will celebrate it with traditions, family squeezed around too-small tables, and sisters laughing loudly.  Days when I spend too many hours over school, and days when I laugh at 2am with friends.  Watching rain roll down windows, reading books in front of the fireplace, memorizing the drive to the lake, so I always know how long it will be until we arrive.  Friends I have here - who I talk and laugh with every week - and friends who live miles away - who I miss terribly.  Sibling laughter, wrestling with the boys (and losing), sting pong (it hurts, badly), and even the half hour it takes us to decide on a movie.  There is so much to rejoice in.

As well as rejoicing, there are a few simple things I want to do this year:
+ learn the difference between taking and making photographs
+ love more
+ overcome fears
+ be creative and create
+ do everything with as much passion as I do the things I love      

And I will rejoice in this:  that though I have nothing, I have it all, and though I am treated as an imposter, what I have is true (II Corinthians 6).  Because Jesus Christ, He came and took my life, making it into something much greater, much more beautiful, much more honest and real and alive than I ever could have made it on my own.  In that I will rejoice.  Though I will celebrate the little things of this life, I will rejoice in the biggest thing I ever could be given.  Redemption.  Grace.  Love.  Mercy.  Forgiveness.  Joy.  Life.  There is so much in this life to rejoice in.  I'm doing that this year.

January 10, 2013

10 on 10 // january

today, january 10, 2013:

-enjoying J-term and the three weeks off school to catch up on the photography business, unread books, and writing
-thinking of and praying for some of my closest friends who are traveling to Haiti tomorrow (prayers for them would be so greatly appreciated!)
-planning lunch and a shoot with a friend
-wearing new TOMS
-praying/thinking/writing about my word for 2013 (it's coming soon!)
-looking forward to big things coming this year!
-reading I Kissed Dating Goodbye (by Josh Harris), reshaping my opinion and desires in this area
-buying Krispie Kreme donut holes with my brother and sharing the box while I drove(no shame.)
-photos of the littlest sister and the littlest, everyday moments that I love:
(make sure to check out Madeline's photos as well!)

January 02, 2013

my favorite photos from 2012

After spending almost eight hours over the past two days, I am excited to finally post this.  Most of these are my photos.  A few of them are not.  But each one is attached to me in one way or another.  They are memories in pixels and colors that I will never forget.  There is the family reunion photo, still with fifteen people missing.  There is summer, with tomatoes and barefeet and the lake.  There is the week in July - the one I will never forget - that went from nervous excitement to laughter, growth, and lasting friendships.  And there are the days before Christmas (which by the way, went by way too fast), when we celebrated traditions, ate way too much sugar, and burned all the firewood.

I will be sharing my thoughts on the past year and my goals for 2013 in a later post, but for now, I will share these photos.  As I went through each folder on my computer, it became clear that 2012 was a year of growth in my photography.  It was the year I started my business and changed my focus.  Photos of leaves and flowers became photos of the little things - faces that smile, the way the kitchen looks at night, the birthday dress, the moments of everyday life.  Those things became more important, and so did the desire to capture them with my camera.  My heart resonates with simple life, with traditions and family as the focus, but I didn't know it until this year.  It was a good year for photography, but I have the feeling that 2013 will be even better.  Enjoy!

the two photos above were stolen from hannah nicole  :)