Downtown Los Angeles Couple || Learning How To Art

Andrew is the kind of person who can pick up just about any skill. As in, he is a civil engineer who deals in diagrams and computer programs and equations who can also shoot a wedding on the weekend and engage in a completely artistic mindset and then wake up on Sunday morning and lead a whole group of people in song on his guitar, and then come home and learn how to make homemade donuts so that his wife will wonder, “did I marry Mr. Perfect?”. Then, when people come into our home and I brag [#proudwife] about the table, barn doors, open shelving, super hipster light fixture… umm everything in our home that he made himself [aka everything cool in our house], people always ask him, “did you grow up learning how to do this?”. But the answer is no! Just in the last 2 years of owning a home, he has mostly taught himself how to make and design. Hence, the man can conquer anything he puts his hands too and I may just enjoy bragging on my husband. Yeah, that was fun.

But I, on the other hand, have baked about one item per year and even when I follow the recipe, it crumbles before my eyes! I tried to learn guitar in high school and we don’t talk about that. I literally couldn’t interpret a diagram if my life depended on it [not exaggerating]. In summary, my skills do not spread as far and wide. But there is one skill that I have been honing in, deepening, practicing, and aching after for 8 years now. And that is being an artist with my camera. Lately, though, my artistry has been called into question. Not because anyone has said anything, but because I am my greatest critic. I went to a photography workshop in May and the host, Emily Magers, put it this way, “your style begins with your taste. Everyone has a taste, an eye for what attracts them, appeals to them. And style is when your skill catches up to your taste”.

So it must be the artist’s plight to wonder when their skill will catch up to their taste. Because I have been wondering that for almost a year now. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the technicalities of running a business [and wow, there are a LOT of technicalities to running a business] and in some ways, I have enjoyed and fallen more in love with that than with heading out with camera in hand. And maybe the reason I get this feeling of dread and fear when I shoot or a wedding is coming up is because I am afraid. Afraid that my skill won’t match up to the vision in my head and heart. Afraid that I will get rejected if I put my art out there [aka an expression of my heart] and people don’t like it.

But I’m here! I am here, putting my heart out there. I have gotten the chance to work with some INCREDIBLE people for the past year and I have pushed and grown into capturing their memories with efficiency, as well as authenticity. But I am ready to put my fears on the line and push even harder. To remember how to take the every day, the mundane, and capture those moments of beauty that, I believe, lie in wait for us all every day. The touch, the glance, the recalling of a memory, the respect and love, the desire between two people. I am ready to be ready for rejection because I believe that I can capture beauty solely for the sake of the God who created it.

“For they [art and music] are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

[C.S. Lewis – an artist of his own form]

In celebration of stepping out and creating art for the sake of creating art, I am sharing some photos that have been both inspirational and encouraging that I captured at the Gather Workshop in Los Angeles in May.
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I keep meaning to share awesome weddings and amazing couples, but my heart just keeps spilling into this place first, so if you like that you can check out this recent post where I spilled my heart in the gushiest way at 1 am.

  1. Alexis Johnson

    June 9th, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I identify with every word you wrote. You did an incredible job expressing everything that has been on my heart and the struggles that are so real and can feel so heavy at times. Thank you for your insight! The expressions of your heart are beautiful to me, never stop showing them to the people around you or rejoicing with God in them, because I know they bring Him more joy than you could ever fathom!

  2. Charissa Wong

    August 28th, 2018 at 10:24 am

    You are so kind!!! I am glad you can resonate and that even sharing some of the heaviness and struggles of creating can bring encouragement and community as you can relate and we can inspire each other! Your persistence, faithfulness, and diligence in creating really encourages me! 🙂

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