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oh, the hair colors, they are a changin’

Me and my hair have had an interesting relationship. I’ve never been satisfied with it just as it is. People seriously think I’m a natural redhead, and although I think it would have been nice if God had given that to me in the first place so that I would not depend on L’Oreal, I can’t even just leave it at one shade of red. It’s been everything from black to dark auburn red to bright crayola red to orange to reddish-blonde. And every color in between. Oh, the memories I’ve had with hair dye. The awful highlights that turned my hair pretty much white in high school. The hair dye parties in our dorm room with Ashlee Simpson playing in the background. The many trips to Sally’s Beauty Supply, Eckerd’s, and Target to follow whatever whim I had. I’m definitely not one of those people who is scared to touch my hair with anything. I’ll do whatever to it. Which is probably why it decided to fight back by starting to FALL OUT about 4 years ago. If there has ever been a traumatic event in my life, losing my hair has been right on up there. And to many people, this may seem completely trivial. And they would be right. It is. Nonetheless, I’ve cried over it, sobbed, been to every doctor/dermatologist/endocrinologist/specialist I can think of. I’ve taken vitamins and supplements, I’ve stood on my head to increase blood circulation (YES, I KNOW), I’ve been in denial, I’ve given up, I’ve accepted it. I think I’m pretty much in the acceptance phase now. I mean, what else is left to do? It’s not terrible yet. And it may stop someday. Whatever.

But I love to go back and look at the journey my hair has been through- what I’ve put it through- since I bought my first box of hair dye back in middle school. 

Au naturale:



Black, but fading back into red (which is pretty much what my hair always fades into now):



Brown (and why yes, that IS a purse I made with pictures of Chris Carraba on it. Shut up, he was dreamy. And still is.): 



And WHOA BABY red (fave!): 



I searched high and low for pictures I had of me as a sort-of blonde, but couldn’t find them. Guess you’ll just have to use your imagination!

Pretty much, though, I always come back to my tried and true red. There’s just something so FUN about being a redhead (and fooling everyone into thinking you’re a NATURAL redhead.) Well, except for when creepy old men call you “Red.” Reeeeally clever, guys. Just sweeping me right off my feet. 

Just thought I’d share some more old nuggets with you… I bet you wish I’d go take photographs of something new so I’d quit the reminiscing, eh? Well, you try finding time to shoot when you’re busy procrastinating on all the important things you have to do. It’s not easy, let me tell you. :)


golden oldies

In an ongoing effort to procrastinate on the whole cleaning/packing/preparing/moving process, I wasted a good two hours rifling through old folders of photographs taken over the past few years, between my time at the College of Charleston and now (many of which with my trusty point-and-shoot!). I particularly liked these, and thought I’d share not only for nostalgia’s sake, but also because if there is one thing I intend not to let fall by the wayside, as many of my other endeavors do, it is updating this blog consistently. Nobody likes a dead link, after all.

I was totally obsessed with all the old, quirky details in the historic house my friend Lindsey rented in Charleston. I loooove everything about this door, and will always remember this image when I think of my time there.


And THIS is by far one of my favorite images that I have ever, ever, EVER taken (and it was taken with the handy-dandy Canon powershot, to boot!). I took this while wandering around the Worlds Fair Park one day while Jamie and his friends played flag football. Jamie said they periodically stopped to point out how strange I looked climbing all over things and trespassing in buildings to take pictures. (I don’t think they understood why you would ever take a picture without a person in it. :) ) I love the light, I love the color, I love the reflections, I love the all-around feel of it. Just magical.


It always fascinates me at Starbucks to watch how sunrises and sunsets (because yes, I see them both there) cast light on all the different shiny, reflective surfaces behind the counter. Plus everyone just looks prettier in that kind of light! I happened to spot this little moment one day while working and thankfully had my camera on me, so I left my drinks at the bar to run back and get it so I could catch this. (And in case it’s not obvious, those are the shadows of syrup bottles on our stainless steel countertops).


This was a huge building project in Charleston when I was living there. The construction of this bridge was all anyone talked about forever, and I think, if I remember correctly, they had a night where everyone could camp out on the bridge before it was opened to traffic. Sweet! Really, though, if you’ve ever driven over one of the OLD bridges in this area, you would appreciate this modern technological marvel, because they are quite frightening to drive on. Snapped this one while riding (not driving!) under its arches on a rainy day. Love the atmosphere.


Okay, I HATE, HATE, HATE spiders and other things that have multiple creepy little legs, but I was fascinated by this one, which sort of made its home at my friend Richard’s house for a couple of weeks. I think he was named at some point, but I forgot what it was. Somehow, with the texture courtesy of  Andy Armstrong’s design|house, it just works.


Yet another couple who believed in me enough to ask me to photograph them! I felt extremely honored to do so, and loved hanging out with them and their awesome dog, Rocco. Love the Kodak Duaflex effect here (which I cheated in creating by using Photoshop… hopefully I can figure out how to use the ACTUAL old-school camera I bought on craigslist one day).


Another Charleston shot, taken on King Street. Miss that place. Seriously. But love the ode to Britain here.


Okay, Megan and Brandon should remember this little treasure. When we went camping with them last fall, we hiked up this huge mountain one day expecting to find this glorious view at the top. Instead, we got a bunch of trees and this super-creepy little white brick building with all these sketchy antennas and wires all around it and in it. Felt like the Twilight Zone…


I will miss Knoxville. Believe it or not.


Here’s one of my hot man on the day he taught me how to fly fish. Heck yes, I caught one! I love seeing him get so into something, and I love the connection he feels with nature and with God when he’s fishing. Supposedly Utah is one of the best places to fly fish in the nation, so it’ll be fun to explore and try it out in a whole new place. Love the light playing on the wire here…


Awww, it’s our little Aaron, the boy my family has been babysitting for the past 3 1/2 years. I think this was taken a couple of years ago, so he still looks pretty baby-ish here, but this image DOES NOT do justice to the gorgeousness of this boy’s big blue eyes and miles-long eyelashes. He seriously says the most random and hysterical things too. The other day when we were over at my parents’ house, he was outside kicking around a soccer ball, and he was instructing everyone on how and where to kick it (“hard” and “to the scissor-clouds” are some examples). Then he told my dad to kick it high, but don’t kick it to God because He won’t kick it back. Hahahahahaha, how I love him.


The last two are some recent attempts with my new Lensbaby lens, which mimics the effects of old school vintage and toy cameras. It’s kinda awkward to use though, so I haven’t gotten a lot of use out of it yet, but I think it’s a fun lens for creative experimentation. Plus, I’m a sucker for blur, and this gives you PLENTY of it.



Ho-hum. I suppose now I should actually go get dressed for work. Blech.


megan - I forgot about that shack at the top of the “overlook”! And, the logo inside the t.v. is a great touch! Love your photos as always, pretty amazing!

just wanna be a dandelion

So, lately I’ve been noticing lots of dandelions growing up through cracks in the sidewalk. Definitely not unusual for this time of year, but the more I stop and stare and contemplate the sheer miraculousness of it all- that a God-created plant could break through manmade concrete- the more I am in awe of His glory. It seems like this is so representative of the way that He works in this world. You know, by using grace and humility and love to conquer what we would think would be the more powerful forces- hatred, violence, greed, etc. Just goes to show that everything about Man, from his nature to the things he creates, cannot even begin to compare to, let alone match or overpower, the presence of God in this world. But what amazes me the most about these dandelions is that they have no such thing as willpower or control or talent or ANYTHING that could point to their beauty as being something they did themselves. It is ALL GOD. And it is so apparent. And so I’m beginning to realize how hard it is to be like dandelions. By nature, I’m so prone to extremes of insecurity and arrogance that, for the most part, it seems that I can’t just let Christ come out of me in the way I act and the things that I do. By nature, I am so competitive that much of the time, my mood is entirely dependent on performance. Have I measured up to my own standards, to other people’s standards? Have I mastered the craft? This part of me has been so inherent even from a young age that even in elementary school, I HATED missing even one day and would often go to school sick just because I couldn’t handle missing anything or falling behind or- HEAVEN FORBID- not make straight A’s. And I quickly became addicted to being the best, which lasted well into my high school years. I loved good grades. I loved public recognition for what I accomplished. I loved that people tried to copy off me (and you’d better believe I wasn’t having any of THAT). I loved winning awards, whether for academics or art or anything, really. Never mind the fact that I sacrificed my social life and failed to forge any but one lasting relationship out of all those years. And I’m not saying that there’s necessarily anything wrong with success… I mean, God gives us all our talents and individual gifts to be able to work together as His body. But there IS a lot wrong with the pride I felt because I thought that I alone was responsible for what I accomplished. Pride is a sick, sick disease. I couldn’t praise God for blessing me with the ability to do these things, because I chalked it all up to my own hard work. I couldn’t use what He gave me for His glory, because I couldn’t get past my own ego. 

I’m sad to say that I still find myself trapped in this cycle many times. I am constantly comparing myself to other people, rather than looking into the mirror of Christ for my identity. And I’ve begun to notice that this has somewhat intensified since I began immersing myself in photography. It’s so hard to fight the feeling that I need to figure it all out right away, and be at the top of the industry, and have a successful business within a year. Admittedly, I have a problem with blog-stalking, so I’m always seeing other photographers’ amazing work, and rather than being inspired and marveling at the graciousness of God to bless us with such creativity and passion, I start feeling nauseous because even though I KNOW they are far more experienced than I am, I can’t help but feel like I’ll NEVER get there. I’ll never be that good. And that makes me wake up some days and just want to throw in the towel despite only having just begun. If I can’t be the best, why bother? 

On top of battling those insecurities, I worry that I WILL be that successful one day. That I might actually be that good someday. Because I’m afraid that if I am, I will once again attribute it all to my own hard work and my own talents and whatever else. I’m worried that my ego will totally manipulate encouragement or compliments or whatever into one big pat on my own back. See, everyone? Look what I’ve done! I’ve accomplished something! I’m worth something! See, I deserve to be loved now. Riiiight…..? 

NOT right. Geez, why is the line between these extremes such a difficult one to balance on? Why is it so difficult to not only be satisfied with exactly what we’ve been given, but also to use it always to point back to Jesus? I want so badly to return the gifts He’s given me by using them to reveal to others His glory. DARN THIS SINFUL NATURE, ADAM AND EVE. 

Last Sunday, Rick Dunn’s message couldn’t have been more pertinent to the crossroad I’m finding myself at. These two particular passages tugged so much at my heart:

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-4

“Such is the confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

The only confidence worth having is that which comes from Jesus. Because any other can easily become pride, or can easily be ripped apart by insecurity. Truth be told, if I REALLY had to rely on my own abilities to make it out of this life for the better, well, I should have thrown in the towel a long time ago. Because it ain’t happenin.’ 

I was so thankful to have come across this video created by Atlanta-based music photographer Zack Arias because it made me feel so…. un-alone in this battle. It’s around 10 minutes long I think, but it is so worth it if you can relate to this at all (and I have a sneaky suspicion you can…):


megan - Its amazing how incompetent we can feel when it comes to accomplishing our dreams or starting on a new adventure. I feel like that has been our life over the past few years, and yet through all of the good and hard times God provided for us more than I could have imagined. He will do the same for you, because your heart is in the right place and you want to life a full and exciting life! You have such an amazing talent Morgan, and I know that Salt Lake will just love you and before you know it you will be booking events like crazy!