Looking for more to read? Head over to my new blog, Rebekah Joan!


Senior Portraits // Susan

Meet Susan, a very lovely young woman who will be graduating high school in the class of 2016. She's adventurous, giggly, beautiful, and ambitious, and I had the privilege of taking her senior portraits.
We had a blast during this shoot. The way Susan described it was not as a photoshoot. It was more like just having fun. And we truly did. We took lots of pictures, yes, but we also got super hot, so we waded in the creek (somehow my camera survived that). And eventually she just jumped all the way in and swam. This girl—she's got the heart of an adventurer, and I can't wait to see where God takes her.
Taken in Wintergreen Gorge, Erie, PA. You can check out more of her portraits on my Facebook page here.


A Few Things

(These are probably my two favorites from North Carolina. Aaaaand some of the only edited ones . . .)
Anyway! Here are a few really cool things that have been going on lately:
I started a Facebook page. Feel free to check me out and like my page! (Or you can just like it in my sidebar. Please appreciate that it's there. It took me over an hour to figure out how to do because coding is confusing.) This is a pretty big step for me. I've wanted to start a Facebook page for a while, but honestly, I was too scared to. I didn't think it was worth it, and I shied away from the responsibility of updating it consistently/having to come up with things to update it with. But I think I'll have plenty to say due to photoshoots + blog/Society6 updates. So. We're going to try this. And I'm pretty excited.
That brings up another thing. If you're looking for a photographer, I'm your girl. Feel free to check out my photography prices over here. This is yet another exciting thing for me because I'm beginning to step into my freelance writing/photography career (yup. i'm graduated. nope. not going to college), and I must say, I'm oh so very excited.
On another note, I started an Instagram. Like, a while ago. I just never actually really told you guys. So. You can find me right here, or you can just find me as @rebekah.joan.
I also finally made a blog button! So if anyone wants to do a button swap with me, feel free to email me at rjlbookse@gmail.com. And please tell me below what you guys think of it! I'm trying to decide if it fits with who I am/what my blog is . . . So input would be appreciated!
Oh, and I changed my blog design (obviously).
So. Lots of exciting things are going on over here, and they're all exciting me. (I think that's everything. So, so many cool things are happening, and it makes me happy.)
Okayokayokay. One last thing. Listen to this song.



"it's a lifestyle"

It's called art. Expressing creativity. Finding the beauty God has placed inside of you and giving little bits of it to the people around you.

I was talking with a dear friend quite some time ago about how, for us, creating isn’t a hobby. For us, living without a life overflowing with beauty and art is a miserable and abnormal way to live.

For us, art is a lifestyle.

That doesn’t mean we’re constantly painting or drawing or writing or photographing lovely things. Because we aren’t. She has a family to look after and I have work to keep me busy. But the beauty God has bestowed upon this earth is the food for our souls, so we find/create it wherever we can.

Sometimes it’s on the wall in front of her kitchen sink, encouraging sentences blooming from the tip of a permanent marker. Sometimes it’s in looking out my window and seeing the sun set from behind a small group of trees across the road. Sometimes it’s feeling a sudden rush of emotions and thoughts that results in scribbling a paragraph or two onto a spare piece of paper.

It’s telling someone, “I love you,” or, better yet, showing them. It’s dancing with your beloved in front of a coffee shop before he leaves for college. It’s listening to him tell you that God will pull you through, and then painting yourself a reminder. It’s breathing in beauty all day, every day, even when life doesn’t seem too pretty.

When I’m not creating, when I’m not actively searching for beauty, and especially when I’m not writing or painting or taking pictures, it means my relationship with God is at a low point. The same goes for the other way around. It’s because art really isn’t just a hobby for me. It’s a lifestyle.

It may sound strange, I know, but it’s a wonderful way of living. Between God and man, the amount of beauty we have in our day-to-day lives is overwhelming. It’s refreshing to look out my window and be so in love with what I see that I could just stare and stare and stare.

Now step back and imagine if we all could have this view on life. If every single person could wake up every morning with the same goal: making their little life beautiful. What would happen if we all treated each other with the grace and love of Christ—if we all added beauty to each other’s lives through art and love?

It’d be beautiful.

And I truly, truly believe that’s why God has put us on such an amazing earth. He’s graced us with creative minds and surrounded us with copious amounts of natural inspiration. So, let me ask you this: how can you not yearn to take what he’s placed inside of you and form it into something that can bind you to God and spark a fire in someone else?

How can we not see His purpose for us and love, create, and enjoy this beautiful, beautiful life?



August 14th, 2015 // A Vignette

   She threw her knapsack onto the floor and glanced around. Only so much would fit, and that'd be all of what she'd be able to take.
   Shirts, shorts, and a pair of jeans, all rolled up tightly, were stuffed into her bag. Money—she grabbed all that she had. She'd have to get everything out of the bank at some point.
   Her diary, a toothbrush and toothpaste, lotion, her little camera, and her two favorite novels attempted to find their way in, but there wasn't room. And how could she fit her blanket?
   She stared at her knapsack and nodded. "Okay."
   It was her consent.
   Consent to gain her freedom, to run so she could fly. And to do that, to let herself go completely, all she needed was to survive.
   So the money and a few articles of clothing stayed inside, along with two bottles of water and her toothbrush and toothpaste.
   Plenty of room to spare for the opportunities ahead, and not too much of a burden to weigh her down.
   In three minutes, with her knapsack slung over her shoulder, she slipped out of the window—into the enticing darkness that would set her  f r e e.
. . . .
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