by Ellen in

If I've ever taken photos of you or you've ever watched me take photos, you know that it's really the only time I sweat profusely. I'm just not a sweaty person. I've always been an athlete, but not a sweater. I can even remember the sweatiest I've ever been: in the 11th grade at the beginning of our school volleyball season in August. In Memphis. In the Millington gym with NO AC. I was sweating so much that the ball would literally slip out of my hands and bounce sweat off my forearms. GROSS. Not until I became an avid photo-maker did I start sweating like this again. It's just that I get so excited. I'm excited to be hanging out with people, I'm excited to have my camera in my hands, I'm excited to see what I can make people do and where they'll let me take them. I turn bright red and start sweating. And then afterwards, I'm exhausted. But it's the best job EVER.

I am one lucky girl. I experience love on a daily basis. Knowing that I'm Beloved; there is nothing more special than that kind of love. I get to see my nephews on Friday, and I become more and more in love every time I see them or hear them on the phone. I'm in love with life, with their lives, with creation, with miracles. And beyond that, there are people who ask me to be a witness to their love. To preserve and represent their triumphs and heartaches, to show how often it's love that wins. From the first love of engagements, to the exciting love of weddings, and then to the best love: families. It is overwhelming to have a part in making that love last. Because as easy as it is to tell people to pose in a certain way, it's the challenge of drawing out those natural moments that I find joy in. God has called me to be present and rejoice with others, and it's those moments that get remembered and are sometimes even too important to make a part of my portfolio. But there is nothing like the excitement of first photos after he/she's put a ring on it, spying on a couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, or practically peeing in my pants when a sweet baby laughs real hard.

So speaking of love, today is Valentine's Day! I'm neither pro nor anti Valentine's Day, since I think love should be celebrated every day (and I love a good holiday), but I am wearing my V-day socks. I have socks for every holiday.

Here are some of my favorite images of love in the past year or so:

Dear Love,
Please keep winning people over and showing Yourself even in the face of Voldemort.
Yours truly,