I have been doing some dreaming lately. Mainly because it is so cold outside I try to think of warmer places, and because my classes have been cancelled so much these days. As I think about moving to a new city and settling in to our new home, the future seems so bright. I cannot wait to see how I grow as an artist and where photography takes me. Here are a few things on my photography “bucket list” that I cannot wait to make happen: shoot a barn reception, shoot a snowy engagement, snap some in-home newborn photos, capture an anniversary shoot for a couple that has been in love for years, photograph a ceremony under an oak tree, shoot a sailing engagement session, shoot a portrait session with a hot air balloon, snap some family portraits on a foggy morning, and capture a surprise proposal. Some of these dreams are already in the works for this year, but if you can help any of my dreams come true, let me know. I would love to work with you! To see the rest of my dream board follow me on pinterest. Happy dreaming! Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
Now that you have heard my journey, I wanted to share a few more details about the Making Things Happen Intensive. It is led by three incredible ladies, who inspire me every day. They aren’t perfect, and will be the first to admit it, but they have each fought daily to live out their dreams. They are proof that anything is possible, and it is possible for anyone.
The day was about facing fears. About putting them on paper and saying them out loud. Never before had I been so terrified to utter a simple phrase. Because it was the truth. And I was letting it dictate my life. I am owning those fears and crushing them.
The day was about saying no to some things in order to say yes to what makes your heart sing. We were asked to make a list of things that fire us up, and I quickly realized that many of the things on my list had not been a part of my life lately. I made a schedule of my “ideal day,” full of those things that fill me up, and I am taking baby steps to live that out on a regular basis. It is as simple as setting my alarm early to make time for a morning run, or turning off the radio in my car and spending time in prayer instead.
The day was about visualizing where we want to be. As I closed my eyes, I was surrounded by my loving family, in a cozy home, gathering for the holidays. None of that dream involved money or worries or self-doubt.
One of my favorite quotes that Lara repeats is: A year from now, you will wish you had started today. What are you waiting for? Time is precious, so make sure you are doing the things that matter most to YOU. Do not let others tell you who you are or who you have to become. Do not let financial worries consume you. Do not let ugly fear creep in. You are strong. And you are worth it.
If you want to know more, feel free to ask. I would love to share!
I think most of you know the rest of the story. I fell more in love with him every day, and we were engaged within a year. I had never been the girl who dreamed about her wedding day. In fact, I had always imagined running away to a private island. At the ideal married age of 27. But once I had that ring on my finger, I was in love with love. I spent endless hours browsing wedding blogs, planning out details, and swooning over photos. The more I saw, the more I realized I was a sucker for all things wedding. Outdoor ceremonies made my heart skip a beat. Beautifully designed invitations were like sweet honey. But photography is what really made my heart sing. Tears from the groom as his future walked down the aisle. Pure adoration in the face of a bride as she danced with her dad. The nervous anticipation as the bride gets ready. And it hit me. I love this. I could do this for a living.
And then my head put screeching brakes on my soul’s imagination. You cannot change career paths. You will never make it. What will your friends and family think when you give up? But no matter what my reasoning said, I could not get the idea out of my heart. I prayed and prayed and knew that God was calling me to something more. Yes, it was outside of my perfectly laid plans. Yes, it would be a ton of hard work. But I wanted it so badly. I began studying my favorite photographers, watching videos on how to use my camera, and soaking in as much as I could.
Photo courtesy of Harvest of Memories.
We got married, continued on with school, and my dreams got put on the back burner. They were still there, but there was a part of me that still thought it would never work. I tagged along on a couple weddings with a dear friend who happens to be a talented photographer. I shot some portrait sessions for family. And I kept getting asked the question: what do you want to do with photography? Deep down, I knew the answer. My heart was screaming: EVERYTHING! But my head was still putting it’s foot down. Finish school young lady. Start a real career. Make that money.
And then the impossible presented itself (I was telling the truth when I said God could do ALL things). I was given the opportunity to travel to Chicago for an amazing workshop. I had been following the Making Things Happen blog since my photography dreams had first sprouted, but I knew I would never actually go. I talked to my husband, emailed a sweet friend, and listened to my gut. It was a resounding DO IT! So I signed up, drove six hours, and was scared to death as I walked in to a room of thirty creative women. Most of these ladies were already running successful businesses, and I felt so small. But one by one, these ladies poured their hearts out, and I realized that we are all broken. But God wants to fix us. It was like sitting in a room full of childhood friends who knew every single thing about me. There are so many things I am still processing, but I have this new energy and confidence that I can do it. I am worth it.
I have been waiting for my life to start after graduation. I have been sleep walking through my days, hoping for something better. Someday. Well someday is today, and I am eager to get started. It is like the fog is slowly lifting and I can see the path before me. It looks so beautiful. If you want to hear more about my journey, please ask. I am so fired up about the future God has in store, and I would love to share it. Thank you Todd: for being my support system and loving me no matter what. Thank you Lara, Emily, and Gina: for sacrificing so that you can inspire others. And thank you MTH alum (especially you Chicago ladies): for being authentic and helping me to see my worth. I cannot wait to see what our futures hold.
I was in studio constantly, sometimes forgetting to eat. I was trying to fit in with my peers but slowly losing myself in the process. Wake up early. Work. Drink coffee. Work some more. Maybe go to bed. Repeat. It was a grueling cycle that ended my first year of college with a weak immune system and a sickness that knocked me out for several weeks. I no longer recognized myself. So I ran away. I spent two amazing weeks in Northern Italy, soaking up the sun, the culture, and the pizza. It was like my soul had finally awakened. I took so many photos and truly fell in love with Europe. Unfortunately, when I returned, I was once again wrapped up in my busyness. Opening every morning at the coffee shop, followed by an eight hour shift at the pool. I rarely saw my family or took any time for myself. I was so financially driven, I thought I needed to work as much as possible. Joy only came after my student loans were paid off.
I returned to school, more focused, but on all of the wrong things. I once again poured myself into my schoolwork, rarely coming up for air. That winter break, I traveled to Louisiana for a service trip, along with a team of UC students. Somehow, I always ended up painting trim with this cute redhead. We talked about our families, what kind of music we liked. He borrowed my fingernail clippers. But what really caught my attention was when we weren’t together. Every morning, I saw him reading his Bible. He always seemed to be the first one awake, and I was intrigued by his dedication. I knew something about him was special. And then love happened. I was so busy looking down at my work, that it had to straight up smack me in the head to get my attention. I was eager to hang out once we returned to Cincinnati, but after our trip, we said our goodbyes and left. No exchanging of phone numbers or quick hugs. Nothing. Thank goodness for Facebook! Todd looked me up, and we quickly began talking and making plans to “hang out.” Still no dating. Not part of the five year plan.
He picked me up and we drove an hour to the closest ski resort. Did I mention I’m not a huge fan of the cold and had never been skiing in my life? But something about Todd’s adventurous personality made me want to give it a try. And it was a blast. I was a full time student and having fun? This was not possible. Soon I found myself taking late night walks with my new friend, staying up late talking, and meeting for coffee after class. For the first time in a long time, I was thinking about someone other than myself. Todd made me dinners and helped me to see the pleasure of enjoying food. He challenged me to study the Bible and strive for a deeper relationship with my Savior. We trained for our first half marathon together, and crossing that finish line hand in hand felt perfect. I was enjoying life. And miraculously, my grades were getting better. The more time I took off, the better my work became. It is amazing how getting to know your best friend can help you discover more of yourself.
You have been warned: I am going to get very real in this series. I am going to spill my guts in an attempt to get it all out and hopefully share with others. It is not pretty, but thank you so so much for your support. If you are reading this, you mean the world to me. Enjoy!
I have been dreaming and planning and thinking. But when I face the truth, I’ve been DOING absolutely nothing. I have been waiting for everything to fall into place, for that perfect moment to take the next step. But I realized there is no perfect moment. There is only me having the courage to just do it. It is not always sunshine and butterflies. It is hard work and change and growth. Oh, how I need that growth. So what is this “it” anyway? My dream. That will soon be my reality, my every day, my life. I am no longer settling for simply getting through each day. I want to wake up alive, passionate, and hungry for more. More of what God has blessed me with.
If you know me well, you may be wondering what the heck is going on. Doesn’t Breanna have her life figured out? Isn’t she suffering through seven years of college to work in the profession she has been dreaming of since fifth grade? And you would be absolutely right. That was me five years ago, and I did have it all figured out. At least, that is what I thought. I was a straight A student with a five year plan and thought nothing could stand in my way. I was going to save the world. I was not going to date at all. I was going to focus on school and love could happen later. That all changed when I met this boy. And I am so happy God had other plans. Todd pushes me every day to follow my dreams, and I am so grateful for his endless support.
This past week has been eye opening. I attended the Making Things Happen Intensive in Chicago, spending an entire day with the most incredible women. It challenged me. It awakened my soul. It forced me to get things done. All of these big ideas swimming around in my head were going nowhere. So I wrote until my fingers hurt. And then I wrote some more. My dreams were begging to be put to paper, and now that they are out, I feel empowered. I am ready to do the hard work. I am no longer afraid of failure. Because with God, all things are possible. Absolutely all things.
This is only the beginning…