one life

this picture speaks for itself.

i only have one life to live, so i want to spend it doing what i love and loving what i do.  hanging in my bedroom to remember forever.


all the time

when life falls apart, you wonder.... is God really good all the time?  Or when people get angry at God for what he does in their life.  

when everything fell apart, someone said to me that they were so impressed with me, because i wasn't angry at God.  i wasn't upset with the choices he made for my life.  it made me think... how could i have been angry at him????????  i was racking my brain trying to figure out what reason i could think of to be mad at Him.  there was none.  there is none.  there will be none.  i will try my best to make sure it always stays that way. 

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15


the Trouble with Coldplay

Okay, I'll say it now, that I hated Coldplay..... until last month.  Last month when everything fell apart.  When the one thing I cared about came crashing down.  Then I listened to Coldplay.

Why is that, you may ask?  Because Coldplay reminds me of sad depressed rain.  I am a happy person and I don't want sad-depressing-rain music to influence me.  But when sad-depressing days happen, out comes the sad-depressing-rain music.

There's something about music.  During the summer I listened to Beyonce's album, 4, while browsing pinterest.  Now every time I hear Beyonce's album, I think about browsing pinterest.

So when it all fell apart, I listened to Coldplay.  I didn't want to listen to my happy music anymore, because honestly, I thought sad music would make me feel better.

So Coldplay it was.  And today, I listened to Coldplay... again.

Here's the trouble with Coldplay.  Their music is sad.  I was sad, so I listened to Coldplay.  When I listen to Coldplay anymore, it reminds me of that day.  That day was one of the worst days ever.  I guess you could say that Coldplay's music is super sad-depressing-rain music, but it cheers you up.  There's something about the way it's written, the words they use, that makes you happy.

I can hardly listen to Coldplay anymore because it reminds me of that day.  Remembering that day is not the best feeling in the world.  Life is terrible sometimes.  When it never goes your way, when you've been told no too many times and you feel like giving up.......... good music always helps.  Coldplay's songs are so well written.  I guess you could say that their music helped me get through that day.  Of course I didn't solely get through that awful day just because of Coldplay, but they definitely turned it around.

So when I listen to Coldplay now, it may remind me of hard days, it may make me remember things I don't want to, but their music helped me to move on.  Sometimes, if you just sit there and listen close to every word someone is singing, it hits you.  Fix You changed that for me.

When you try your best but you don't succeed, when you get what you want but not what you need; When you feel so tired but you can't sleep, stuck in reverse.  And the tears come streaming down your face.  When you loose something you can't replace.  When you love someone but it goes two ways.  Could it be worse?  This was exactly the way I felt.  I felt like I tried my best to get to that date, but I didn't succeed.  I lost something I couldn't replace.  It was like I loved that baby inside this strangers womb, but I didn't even know him.  I couldn't replace him.  I kept asking myself if it could get worse.  It most definitely could have been, but at that point in time it hurt so bad that it couldn't have been worse.

So what exactly is the trouble with Coldplay?  I think I just realized that there is no problem with them.  I have to leave the past behind.

Coldplay helped me get through the worst few days ever.  This probably sounds really silly to you.  But every time I think of loosing that baby, I think of Coldplay.

When you're having a bad day, listen to Coldplay.  Just do.  I have a friend that's obsessed with Coldplay.  This person kept telling me everyday to listen to them, and finally, when this fell apart, I did.  And today, I'm so happy I did.


thankful for :: in a collage

To sum it all up:

//I have fantastic friends.  They are fun to be around, make me laugh til I cry, encourage me, and are always there for me.  
//My family is the best. 
//I have the most hilarious, fun, insane, and AWESOME three brothers!!!  They're the best!

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, everyone!!!!

much love



today is thanksgiving.  and today, we are commanded to give thanks to the One who gave us it all in the first place.

today, i am thankful for ::

01/ my family.  they are the best.
02/ the chance to be able to be home-schooled.  
03/ my three really crazy brothers.
04/ my amazing friends.
05/ the house i live in, which is taken for granted everyday.
06/ the Lord and what he has done for me.
07/ my camera.
08/ my ability to see.  i can see the beauty in the world because the Lord has given me eyes. 
09/ the people i am surrounded with.  
10/ health.  i am alive and healthy and the only reason is because God has chosen to keep me from sickness.
11/ a bed.  i get to sleep on a comfy bed while others are sleeping on the dirt. 
12/ a family!!!!  there are so many without one today, and i am thankful for that.
13/ an education.  
14/ to be able to live in a free country, where i can worship who i want and be FREE!

and on.  and on.  and on.  

there is so much to be thankful for today.  but today, i will be thankful for everything i do have, not what i want to have, and i hope you will too.

happy thanksgiving, everyone!  have a lovely day; stuff your face with good food, fill your home with great friends and family, and be thankful for everything you have.



actions speak louder than words.

"God in eternity looked upon me, foreseeing my faults, my pride, and said 'I want that man in my family.  I will pay for him to be in my family, with my son's life.'  That's love, folks.  That is mega, off the charts LOVE."




believe it or not, my chemistry teacher said something that really made me think yesterday morning.

first of all, i am so blessed to be able to go to a christian school.  i get to learn about science through a biblical perspective.  i get to read biblical literature.  my teachers pray before and after class.  

my chemistry teacher is fantastic.  he can make any concept seem easy.  

but, there is something about the way he prays that makes it even better.  his prayers are always very meaningful, and not just something that he has to do.  

but today, he said something that was so true.  he said, "help us to remember to be thankful everyday, not just the day that is set aside for our thankfulness.".  

it got me thinking.  we shouldn't just wait until this one day a year to be thankful for everything we have.  i have everything i could ever want, but yet, i'm hardly ever thankful for it.  

that's all the world says we should be.  we always need more.  if you buy this iphone, in six months, you'll need the new one.  it is so dysfunctional. 

so, take my chemistry teacher's advice.  be thankful everyday, not just the one day that is set aside for us.  


in Christ alone

no words.  just listen.

there is nothing better than seeing a huge star believe Christ, and better yet, living that out.

this song is the best.  you can replay it as many times as you want, and it still has the same impact on you. "in Christ alone, my hope is found".  as he said when he blogged about it, it's one of those songs that can make you cry like a baby.  although, i do admit, i am so not a crier ;)

if you're ever in a bad mood, listen to this version of the song.

adam young is the best.

the end.



for a long time (even like two months ago), all i ever blogged about was life.  all the photos i ever shared were of my life.

and now, i don't really want to go back to that.  sure, life is awesome, and why not document it? but, i would much rather write blog posts about things that mean more to me, and would bless you, then everyday life.  although everyday life really can be a blessing to people.... as they see the way i live because of my belief in Christ.... it still means more to me to write things with meaning behind it.

i want to post about meaningful topics.  meaningful to you and me.  there's something about reading what you wrote, that feels great.  especially when it turned out the way you wanted it.

that Africa post is one of my favorites, now.  it turned out exactly the way i wanted it.  i said what i wanted to say.  i impacted the world with the words i used.

and that's the thing that i love about blogging.

i can impact the world by the words i use..... with just a few pushes of the keyboard, a click of the mouse, and the unlimited ideas & things on my heart, my words can be posted for the world to see.  and i can impact them with what i say.

one of the things i've been thinking about is how people buy into the media a little too much.  especially when you watch CNN.  this is because the way they speak and tell the breaking news and act like everything is the end of the world, makes you believe them.  is there really that much drama in this presidential election?  is the world really ending?  it's almost as if news is more like gossip these days.  it doesn't really benefit you, and you walk away from your television going "yeah, what they said about blah blah blah is really true."... and then live your life with the influence of what Anderson Cooper has to say, not what the Bible says.

so why don't we, as believers, write in that manner?  if people read my blog posts, and begin to live their life like what i talk about, i would be overjoyed.  that's my purpose of writing here.

because, personally, i enjoy reading something, and walking away being impacted.  i definitely strive to walk away from blog posts i write hoping that people will be impacted by my words.

and i think if we all write like that, we can impact more people.  make people believe us and the truth we are speaking of, rather than what's on CNN, or whatever you choose to watch.

although life is completely wonderful, and can indeed impact people by living your life w/ Jesus Christ as your truth and way of going about daily life, but I am choosing to write about things that will impact you, and make you want to do something for the Lord.


ii: africa

today from Natalie Crane on Vimeo.

In response to my Africa post..... I am in love w/ this video.  And the song.

I've been following the blog Like Morning Sun for a while now.  And I am amazed by her willingness to just give up her life for seven months to go to Rwanda   As hard as that may be, I would do that in a heartbeat.  I just have to figure out where, how and when, first.

As crazy as it may sound, I am so excited to return to Africa one day.  The feelings and memories that it brings back are amazing, and I can't wait to fulfill that place in my heart again.



it's always good to keep your hands busy.  and the weeks when i don't have too much school, that's when the crafts come out.  my typewriter comes out, and the ideas never end.

i had been searching the internet almost all day today looking for a diy CD sleeve of some kind for photos for clients, and finally found what i was looking for here.  after some more thought, i went ahead and did her tutorial, only, with a twist.  i wrapped a sheet of graph paper around it, like a present.  i cut out a red heart, and used my lovely typewriter to type away.  i absolutely love the results.  i'll probably add a ribbon of some sort, and will happily hand it to my client :)

be looking for a exciting new launch and preview of a sweet baby girl i photographed last weekend!


closer to love

I've been listening to Mat Kearney's Closer to Love, and today, I looked up the lyrics.  A lot of the stuff he was saying sure hit me hard.

It said "I guess we're all one phone call from our knees.".  And that lyric is so true.  All it takes is a phone call, and your world can come crashing down.

Two weeks ago, all it took was a phone call, and it was like we were on our knees.  It's so easy to act like you're really trusting, but to find out later that you're not.

It's been two weeks, and sure, it's gotten lots easier, but the thought is still there.  It's hard remembering that today we'd be so excited, and anxiously awaiting that phone call.  A phone call can change your world in an instance.  It sure did for me.

But if this didn't all happen... if we were still matched today... if I was blogging about my excitement, I wouldn't be as happy as I am today.

This whole thing happened on purpose.  It wasn't an accident.  It fell apart for a reason...... to pull us closer to love.... with Him.


ii. the arizona desert.

it's the rawness of this desert that gets me every time.



i wrote this post a few weeks ago, and saved it as a draft because i didn't know if i wanted to share it or not.... but today, i'd like to share it.


Today, I did a speech on my Africa trip.  And although maybe it didn't turn out as perfectly as I had imagined it to be, it was sooooooo good to talk about Africa again.

For those of you who don't know, I went to Africa in 2009.  It was the most life-changing thing I have ever experienced.  Suuuuch a blessing.  No one actually realizes the gratitude and overwhelming blessings you feel unless you've been there.  So when I was gathering thoughts about this speech, I knew I had to talk about this on my blog.

The memories, they make it feel like yesterday.  The photographs, they make me want to go back.  And so I got to thinking....  why did I go to Africa in the first place?  To be honest, when this trip first came to my attention, I didn't think at all about how it may be life-changing.  I really don't even know what I was thinking.  But... after I saw the faces, met the people, lived a tiny piece of their life, I knew this was where I was supposed to be.

Africa is like a second home, almost.  No matter how uncomfortable or hard or scary or anything it was there, it made me feel most happy.  Being with those kids, those people, those faces.  After that trip, I realized that I was supposed to be there.  I think it's kind of part of me.  Africa is a part of me.  Without Africa, I would not have the heart for orphans, love for children, and longing to help needy people that I have today.  Also, the gratitude.  After experiencing life there for just ten days, I came home and took the longest shower ever.  And I remember standing there with hot water spraying down at my face, telling myself how amazing it is to have a never ending supply of clean water.

I still today wonder why do I have the house I have, while the people in Haiti are in ruins.  Why do I have a family, and there are millions of orphans all over the world who have no one.  In America we are blessed to have clean water.  We are blessed to have money to buy anything we want.  Anything we want.  And we always wonder why God takes away.  But we never wonder why He gives.  Why would He give me everything I want, but give them hardly anything?

I think it is so much more of a blessing to them, but also you, to give time.  It's not always the money that blesses them.  It's the presence.  No person has any idea how blessed you feel the moment you step onto Africa's soil unless....... you've been there.  Overwhelming emotion that enters your soul.... and it stays with you forever.

I sure pray that I can go back.




i've been thinking lately..... who am i as a photographer?  what am i here to do, for you?  what am i here to do.... for me?  it's been lingering in my mind and i thought i'd share.

there is nothing better than looking thru a set of photographs.  but for me, there is nothing better than capturing the moment.  it is so easy to just sit back and watch life.  to remember the moments in your head.  but for me, there is nothing more special than everyday moments, through photographs.


sometimes, the sweetest moments are captured through photographs.  i don't think there is a better way to capture life than through this amazing way.  no other way on the planet can i literally hold those moments again in my hands...... than through photographs.  all i really want to do is capture the moment.  the moment when your child turns one.  the moment when you're pregnant with your first, second, third, etc, child.  the moment when you walk down the aisle.  the moment when your teenage daughter is a senior in highschool.  because, honestly?  life is so short.  and, life goes by  one day, you're five years old, and the next, you're seventeen, driving yourself to school.  and what better way to capture the moment, then through photography????

people define me as a photographer.  without people, my work would not be art.  i can look into the eyes of a person i just photographed and feel as if they are right here with me.  the people are who make my photographs my photographs.  sure, flowers and landscape and the beach and nature is really beautiful, but there is nothing better than looking into the eyes of a photographed person.  and in my eyes..... photographing people is what gives me the most joy.  and i want to capture people, so that their beauty may be alive forever, even when they aren't.  


caramel apples.


[sorry for the noise]


the arizona desert.

it's funny... how everything in life gets taken advantage of.  for me, there are many.  one of them is the arizona desert.  i was saying last night how I wish we could have a white christmas, instead of our boring brown one.  but i've come to realize how much i love this arizona desert.  as much as i hate the heat, it is home, and always will be, no matter where life takes me.


emma claire photography

I thought it was time for a gallery of some sorts... a more professional website for my photography.  I am very happy with the results of this site.  Visit it HERE.

Also... my photography blog.  Be sure to check that one out for upcoming shoots.  Visit it HERE.



yesterday, i did a speech on photography.  and it made me think about how awesome photography is, and how much i love it.

it's capturing life in a really beautiful way.  it's the personalities i capture thru photographs that will last forever.  it's the people i meet and the beauty inside everyone that makes me love my gift.  and today, these images made me so happy.

i take lots of pictures of these boys.  but hey, i'll take whatever models i get.  but this time... a different side.  i love the shots i got of eli.  the fourth one down makes me smile.  and logan.... well.... see for yourself.

and of course... his real personality:

my favorite.... my super cool brother... sometimes. ;)




today, it is november first.  last week, when I thought about November first, i was thinking about how exciting this day would be.  it would have been ten days until baby.  but today, that's not the case, and i am happy and okay with that.

today, it is november first.  i am so excited for the next few holidays.  but for now, i'll focus on today.

november for me is fun get togethers with great people, warm colors, good food, football, and nice weather.  it is the dead grass that cruches when you step on it, the hope that CHRISTmas is coming soon.  november is one of my favorites. 

welcome, november, i'm so glad you're here.



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