A few months ago I was sitting on my couch talking with my husband about some of my frustrations with how fleeting my work can feel. In our culture, photos are a dime, a million; here for 24 hours and so soon forgotten. We talked about how I wanted to create something that felt longer lasting and more meaningful to the people I photograph. (Brag on Taylor time - he is amazing and pushed me to go for a new idea and all of this is because of him!)
That night, these Story Sessions were born in my heart. It felt like something came alive inside of me - and I was ready to do the work of bringing this dream of an idea into reality.
I met my dear friend, Cass, through Instagram, and it turns out we have so much in common with each other. As a fellow photographer and Austin transplant, we connected almost instantly. She so very graciously agreed to help me along my way of fleshing out these Story Sessions, and I am unbelievably grateful. She has such a huge heart, such a kind and generous spirit, and an incredible life journey. I am truly honored to share a small piece of her with you today.
We met for coffee at one of our favorite go-to spots here in Austin, and as I semi-awkwardly started with some questions I had prepared, our conversation just started flowing. Cass was so open with me and that's part of what made these so special for her in the end. Afterwards, we stepped outside and shot in some open shade just outside of the coffee shop, and that was that. These are the photos and select quotes from her interview that I shared with her.
"I was so afraid that my feelings were just my own and that I wasn’t listening to God... God has been talking to me the whole time, the entire time we’ve been here. And it’s all been truth. I have a relationship with God. I’m going to trust that I feel good about staying here, and fight for that in a way that I didn’t know that I could before."
"I think there was a portion when we first moved here, that I didn’t feel I could trust anyone. I was isolated...no one really understood what I was going through. I would tell my friends (back home) kind of what was going on and they would say, “Oh what a fun adventure!” It was one of those rock bottom moments, and all I could do was talk to God because I couldn’t talk to anyone else about it. But it was cool because it was one of those times where you can’t always see what God is telling you; you can’t always hear it. But when you do and when it all lines up, it’s like. Okay. All right. No doubts... It was a lot of surrendering control and letting God do it. We always say “give it to God” but it’s hard to actually do it."
"Even though Texas has been really hard, I have felt super connected to God the whole time we’ve been here. Even though everything was going wrong and I was angry with him at different times, I opened up with him in ways that I hadn’t opened up, and I’ve felt him constantly reassuring me... 'Listen I have a plan, and you need to calm down and just trust me and relax.'”
"I didn’t have any of the insecurities with Matt that I did with other guys, where I didn’t feel like I could be my full dorky self. I wasn’t jealous or insecure or anything."
"My grandma has a lake house, on lake Ontario that they’ve had for years. It’s a little lake cottage, and there’s a big field in the back of it. So I was sitting on the bench in the field, talking to God – it’s a good God-talking spot – and I’d bought all of these books about career and choosing your path and I thought, I want to do photography. I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I love photography. I’d never thought of it as an actual choice, so I said, that’s what I want to do."
"I felt right away when praying about it that it’s not going to look like anything that we’re expecting it to look like. Our journey in Texas is not going to be anything that we were thinking. And it wasn’t.