ABOUT ME: My name is Shelby. I was born on August 11th and believe in living like every day is your birthday. I'm a wedding and portrait photographer. I also teach dance and love it. I am a college student studying psychology, biblical studies, and art. I love working with youth, words and color, reading, writing, perfect grammar, cooking, laughing really loud, praying, singing off-key, hay bales and summer-hot weather, stars, the outdoors, my family, people, and all things poetic. And chocolate, of course. I live in the midwest (Missouri, to be exact). It's not exactly exciting here, but if you know where to look and have good people around you, this is a great place to explore and even live in sometimes. Last summer I got #married to my adventure partner for life, Jared Lung. We still have huge crushes on each other. 

WHAT I BELIEVE: I think God likes us to get lost–in the sense of getting lost in Him. Sometimes we're too directed. Narrow-minded. We're all destination-point, life-planned, one step ahead, and I believe that more than goodness or religion or success or anything, God would really just like to have us. Not just a little of us, or sunday morning us, but wholly us… Even the messy parts we don't talk about. I believe Jesus is God's son and that he died out of love for the sinners or the world. I believe we're all sinners and that those who come to believe in Christ will live eternally with the Father. I believe that this faith-life is huge and wide and impossible to fully understand, but it's also detailed and raw and real and intimate, and that's why it's so beautiful. My love for God is what fuels my life. When I take my eyes off of him, I have no answer to the questions, why am I here, what's my purpose, why am I alive-- because God is my answer, my life, my love… And it makes sense, doesn't it, because everyone knows life is always better when you're in love. With God, you're unconditionally, eternally loved. That makes life a million times wonderful.

THE LITTLE THINGS: I don't actually know my nationality, but I like to think my family is french (and that I'm related to Pocahontas) because I love making/eating fancy desserts. If you haven't had real Tiramisu (not the stuff from the frozen section), we're not friends. Come to my house, I'll make you some, and then we'll renegotiate our relationship status. I'm usually that slow person that gets the joke last (but I always laugh like I know what's going on anyways). I love the mountains. And the beach. And hiking. And the mountains. I'm a dork/goofball. My idea of a perfect night has little to do with dinner and a movie and everything to do with a trip to an antique store, listening to good music, and driving around town talking with people. I laugh a lot, and have like, ten different laughs. More than half of them sound really awkward and kind of like I have asthma or am related to a walrus. I love life.

MY BLOG: I can kind of be like those dogs that sit in the front of houses near the freeway flipping their heads from side to side trying to watch every single car that goes by. In other words, I get distracted. I get distracted from WHY I do things like photography (to celebrate life), or what my life is about (following Christ), or that life isn't about me (my story is just a part of God's story). I know keeping a blog has gotten to be one of those things the cool people do, but for me it's just something to A: keep me focused on truth, B: to help me reflect and rejoice, and C: to document life and give thanks. A lot of times I try to pretend that I don't really have a story to tell, but truthfully, I do. I mean, we all do. It's just a matter of getting it out, talking about it, realizing it--sometimes you just have to sit down and write it out for yourself to see it. Thanks for looking/reading!