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Amy Wenzel Workshop Giveaway

March 3, 2010


Angie and Amy from i ♥ faces are giving away a free ticket to an Amy Wenzel workshop this week. 


 Just for the record, I have a completely incapacitating crush on Amy… from her effortless sense of style (I saw her from afar at a Jasmine Star seminar and she’s totally rad), to her immense amount of talent, to the brave fight she and her husband are fighting against his recently discovered brain cancer.  After I wiped away the drool, I realized I needed to get to work.  Amy is giving everyone a chance to plead their case, and the only way to enter the contest is to write a story about how I love, serve and inspire people in my life, and why I think the workshop would help me.  Explaining the potential impact of this session in 600 words is cutting it a little close, but here goes:


I have never wanted for much.  I’m healthy, I have a job, I drive a new car, I have a great family, and I have some exceptional friends.  I find bliss in a tub of Dean’s French Onion dip and a bag of potato chips.   I never wake up in the morning and wish I wasn’t me.

I have a marvelous conduit for inspiration and service.  My home church allows me to be actively involved in visionary leadership.  I volunteer with gifted artists.  I am inspired in my relationship with Christ, and I lead worship to inspire others.

I am so happy to serve… coming early, staying late, singing, teaching children, decorating the lobby, painting the bathroom, putting stickers on 2,500 tickets…   

But every situation has its exceptions, doesn’t it?  I am one of those people for whom there seems to be no definite place.  No direction.  No real fit. 

I recall the mother of one of my college friends saying, “You are going to be first one of the girls to get married!”  Every other girl in that group now has 2.5 children and a minivan.  Two of my best friends are celebrating their 4th child and 10-year anniversary.   I live with my parents. 

I might want kids more than I want marriage.  I know I can handle babies.  Men are another story altogether.  I am intricately involved in the lives of my friend’s children, and the “Auntie” thing is a great gig.  But helping raise someone else’s kids doesn’t cut it.  I’m not a peer.

A career should have been the easy part, but I thought I would be raising children as a full-time profession.  Even with a degree from a private university, I never seriously pursued a career.  Despite all that, I’m so blessed.  I’ve never struggled to find work.  I work at a job that I don’t hate… but I don’t love it, either.  I don’t even like it that much.  I have been content to use my job as a way to finance life, reserving passion for ministry. 

One curious day in August, 2008, I borrowed a Canon Rebel from my office to take pictures at a party.  Imagine a cinematic “Hallelujah” moment.  A single shaft of light spills through the clouds.  Puppies and marshmallows flood the streets.  A two-for-one sale on Dean’s dip at every market across the nation.    

It fit.

 I borrowed the camera whenever I could.  I blog-stalked Jasmine Star, Patti Schmidt, Amy Wenzel, Chenin Boutwell, Scott Kelby and Audrey Woulard.  I printed page upon page of inspiration.  I scoured the internet for lessons on lighting, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.  I bought a Nikon D5000 and took a Photoshop class. 

It was all so sudden.   


I took some candid pictures of a friend’s kids one afternoon, put them on Facebook, and was instantly catapulted into 18 family sessions over the next 4 months.  I have a wedding booked in April.  I recently did a shoot with a local powerhouse athletic team.  

And I’ve learned so much, I’m embarrassed of the photos I took as little as 5 months ago.  Shoot, I’m embarrassed of photos I took 2 weeks ago.  I have pulled the rookie mistake of overworking and undercharging.    I have spent the little money I have on stupid things I don’t need.  It’s been a bit more costly than my childhood lemonade stand.  I’ve appreciated the lesson in every mistake.  I’ve taken every opportunity, no matter how trivial. 

I have so much more to learn.

But I have direction.  I’m carving a place.  I’m starting to fit.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 8:07 pm

    Wow. This post was so well written. Weather you win or not, I think you are a winner all ready. You shared your heart. And you know what? By writing it and saying it out loud you are bringing your dreams to fruition! I love that you have had so many shoots with your friends and family! And I love that you are learning and growing and passionate! I wish you all the best! I love your pictures.

  2. March 4, 2010 2:14 am

    Love your story! Isn’t this “journey” into photography fantastic? Good luck with your entry!

  3. March 8, 2010 9:01 am

    Great story! Best of luck to you…I appreciate the comment of being embarrassed of photos taken 2 weeks ago! I find that happens often with myself…live and learn I hope!

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