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Updated: Feb 5, 2022

My dream day finally became a reality. I finally had my one on one mentorship with the beautifully talented, Joy Prouty. Joy is one of those people that makes you feel at home, sees the deepest part of you and pulls out things that you didn't even see about yourself. She is one that takes the time to speak truth into you, builds you up and makes you feel like her immediate best friend. She put the confidence that I needed in myself. Up until I had seen her, I felt like a fraud anytime anyone called me a photographer or artist. I had always felt like I needed to hit a certain milestone in my life to claim either of those titles, but Joy's encouragement and belief in my work brought me to that place.

The day started off with her picking me up at my hotel and taking me out to lunch to one of her favorite diners. It was there that we poured our hearts out to one another and got to know each other on a deeper level. We were then headed off to the hot, Texan countryside, where her family home was. When we arrived, I was in a bit of a pinch me moment seeing her Airstream trailer that had been personally painted by the talented, Katie Daisy. I stepped into her home which was this cute, heritage farmhouse that had all of the delicious original thick moldings and original hardwood floors. Joy had it decorated beautifully and I soaked it all in. She told me it was okay to take a little peak around and I made my way upstairs to an attic style room with her art strewn throughout the walls of the house.

I will never forget that day for as long as I live, it is one that I wish that I could rewind and do over and over again. She looked at my most treasured photos and helped me work out what my "niche" was, gave me tips and tricks and helped me learn even more about photography. We went outside and I took these photos of her girls playing amongst the knotted oak trees, cow pastures and Texan blue bells.

When the day came to a close, Joy invited me out for dinner. She said "You must experience a true Texan meal." We went to this western type restaurant that served up bbq style food. Our conversation was easy and I felt like I had known her for years. After dinner, we were walking to her vehicle and she asked if I would like to hang out the next day and to bring my husband along. She told me that I could think it over and get back to her. There was no thinking that I needed and I accepted her invitation right away. I couldn't believe it, that THEE Joy Prouty wanted to spend more time with me!

Joy has put out a podcast with an amazing poet, Joel Mckerrow, called The Deep Place. In this one particular episode, they talk about how our creativity connects us to God. We are fashioned after our Creator who is creative and I believe we all are creative in our own ways, we just need to figure out our niches which is where our hearts are transformed and become even more connected to our Creator. From my own personal journey, doing photography or doing something that is creative has helped pull me out of looking at myself or circumstances and put the focus on seeing the beauty in the mundane and in that beauty, connecting me and filling my whole self with joy and gratitude, a new life breathed in me. I wish every person could see how important it is to be creative however that looks like for them because it is transformative.

From meeting Joy, I've learned how photography can be a way of healing and it's been a journey of discovering who I am. My photographs are very personal to me, it's like baring my soul in a photo and sometimes feeling fully exposed where others get an inside scoop of my heart. It has been exciting and sometimes scary to share my art and not knowing how I'm being perceived but releasing that and allowing whatever is to come of it, to come. So, my encouragement to you is to find your outlet of creativity. Find what makes your heart burst full of joy or what evokes emotion from the deepest parts of you. It is here, you will find freedom to being you, the real you, and that deeper love and appreciation for the little things in life. A call to connect with your Creator.


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