Sail away 2


     The winds of change are blowing strong and the sand around me seems harsher without the soft blue waves of the Emerald Coast to temper them. So much has happened in the last six months that I think I am just now beginning to truly process. I know you have seen a lot of these images (this is the last blog with them I promise ;p) but what you might not know is the why.
    It is true, I truly loved the whole collaborative, adventurous day. I loved the memories that I had with the people in and behind the images. The stories of almost getting tossed off the boat by the un-corporative wind and almost having to call the coast guard because out engine cut off on the non-windy way home. I love all these things and these images are lasting proof of the uniqueness of this day. These were all part of why I love these images but there is a deeper reason. One I am only now realizing.
  My Dad loved these images.
  My Dad championed my art, cheered me on with un-relenting confidence and never ending praise.
He was confident when I questioned. He was sure when I was unsteady. He was my biggest fan and this shoot was one I was not only proud to share with him but was thrilled to finally “see” what he saw from the beginning.
   That moment when what is in your heart- your inner heart beat as an artist- comes to life on the screen. That moment when you see on the outside what you have been trying to create but so unable to fashion.  No, I haven’t “arrived”. I’m not “there” as an artist. Nope, not by a long shot. But this shoot, these images, for the first time- I saw it. I believed what my Dad had been saying all along.
That I have an eye, a unique one.
That I can make it as a photographer.
That the sky is my limit and I have only to continue reaching.
All these things…and His smile. A smile full of pride and love that I can see even now.
This is why I love this shoot. This is why these images are so precious to me.
     While my Dad’s body was raging war with cancer, his spirit continuely danced in hope. While his battle tried to take from him, he continued to give.  Pouring himself out to those around him: to encourage them, to love them, to cheer them on. To be a constant reminder that someone believed in them.
     Someone saw their best.
     Someone hoped for their best.
     Someone saw past the the muddy middle process to the final product.
     Someone saw what was becoming and would be there to help you see it to.
     I did not know the depths of strength, selflessness and love my Dad possessed till he walked his trial by fire. His last year on this earth was one that will forever be etched in my mind, memories of the good the bad, the heartbreaking and heart lifting, all together in one lump that wraps up 2015.  But these images, this beautiful day, is my forever reminder that in the eye of any storm is a calm spot. That those quotes, about beauty being everywhere if you only look for it, are true. That my Dad was right about me and everyone he met. There is gold in you, beauty in and around you, and it can be seen even in the darkest of hours.
    Dad, you are forever my hero. I pray I live a life like yours. Carrying on your legacy of generous giving, lavish encouragement, cheerful praise and stubborn joy. I miss you every day and though the location has changed I know you are still my biggest fan.  Sometimes,  I swear I can still hear you cheering me on.
Planner: Caroline Kellenbence/Ivey wedding&events
Hair and Makeup: Norianne Respole,
Flowers: Supposey,
Model: Tinley Leann


  1. Awww.. What a sweet post about your dad. Michelle, I am so glad your dad kept cheering you on and I am glad that this shoot you were able to see what he has seen all along. You have "the eye" and you do make a great photographer and will go far. I pray that in the years and the photoshoot to come that you will hear that tiny voice from your dad that will keep encouraging to shoot your best. We all love you!

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Virginia based, free spirited Boudoir
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