why i'm lydia jane photography

I've never had my ears pierced.

I remember begging my mom as a little girl to let me and her saying "I'll allow you at the age of 9." I also distinctly remember turning 9 and thinking that piercing my ears was the worst possible thing I could ever do to myself. Because it might hurt? Oh no. Because it might make me look pretty. And I didn't want that. I wanted to be different.

Looking back that sounds like the most retarded train of thought ever. But, if you knew me at age 9 you'd understand. I was a complete tom boy. I played legos with my brother and soccer with my brother's friends. But some things haven't changed. I might not mind being called pretty now (haha) but I've always wanted to be different. My good friends know whenever they want me to do something they just have to tell me not to do it. I hate going with the flow. It's not a very good trait a lot of the time. I'm stubborn and rebellious and WILL sing in public and run up to strangers or make a bad joke and laugh at inappropriate times. But, I've always felt it was the most freeing feeling to just be yourself. Yep, I just said that. I feel like Tyra Banks. But hear me out.

I believe in God. In Jesus Christ and that the Bible isn't a bunch of story tales but actually real and worth my attention. I also believe God made me. Why He did? It's a mystery to me. But, I'm grateful to him for it. For my life. However crazy or unfair I think it may be at times, my life is a gift. Everything I have is a gift. So, why would I spend my life and energy pretending to be somebody else? If God chose to create me, I want to use me to live for Him. Simple as that.

When I graduated high school I had a choice. To keep going with this newfound photography interest or go to college. My best friend Kristen chose photography. I was amazed at how quickly she was booking jobs and taking incredible photos. My other friends chose college and I loved how they got to travel abroad and learn so much about the world and others. I was told I had to choose. But, duh, I wanted to be different. So, I chose...both.

Haha, that's right. I'm currently a full time photographer and full time student at University of Maryland Baltimore County studying to get my BA in photography. It's a crazy, busy, running around like a chicken with its head cut off kind of lifestyle but I wouldn't trade it for anything. At times I feel like the biggest fool in the world. Like I'm not doing anything well. But, if I only get to live maybe 90 years on this planet why should I hold anything back? I knew I wanted to travel, see the world, and meet new people. But, I also desperately wanted to get a college degree, meet other students, learn about the history and processes of photography. So, I jumped head first into both. Last year, I shot 20 weddings in 8 different states and this semester I go to school 5 days a week for 15 credits. One month from now I will have a week of final exams and projects followed by two back to back weddings in two separate states. Haha, I can't wait.

I've received so many lovely emails from up and coming photographers asking about how I got into the business or if I went to school and was trained so here's my answer: I got into the photography business because I love it and I'm in school because I love it. You'll get a million different opinions from people on whether you should go to school or do photography full time or try and do both like me. But my opinion and advice is to do what you love. I love my business to death, but I also need it to put me through school. I don't live the ideal situation where I can do both seamlessly (just ask my INCREDIBLY patient clients), but I love what I do.

So, to make this post complete I thought I'd include a couple photos of what I've been up to lately. This semester I'm taking a black & white class among other things. I had the amazing opportunity of shooting with my mom's old Mamiya C3 she used to photograph weddings back in the day as well as her Canon 35mm.

These are the most recent prints I made from the cameras. All three are of my brother Michael. The first was taken with the Mamiya and the last two with the Canon. It was my first time printing on fiber paper and at 11x11. I could spend days in the darkroom. I love it so much.


On my way home from Nate and Sara's wedding in Indiana, Pennsylvania, I got to stop by the Murphy household and photograph Ian and Larissa. If you've been following my blog for a while you may remember Ian and Larissa from my post last summer. Ian is best friends with my brother's business partner David Altrogge so I've always felt distantly connected with Ian and his family.

A couple months ago I received an email from Larissa, Ian's girlfriend. She asked if there was any way I would be up in the area sometime and would photograph her and Ian. I was completely honored that they would ask me and said I would most definitely as soon as I went back up in that direction.

The morning was a chilly one, but Ian and Larissa were wonderful. I couldn't help but praise God at how far Ian has come since the last time I saw him. As a recap, in 2006 Ian was in a terrible car accident and suffered severe injury and brain trauma. But God, miraculously saved him. At the shoot he was able to easily interact with Larissa, answer her questions, and stand up for a brief period of time. The two of them are just wow. Of all the love stories I've photographed over the past few years, theirs has got to be the most special. Larissa has stayed by Ian side unconditionally since the car accident. It's one of those things I just can't even pretend to comprehend. But man, do I respect them.

I respect Ian for how much hard work he's put into every exercise and the faith it's taken to trust God throughout this trial. I respect Larissa for sticking by Ian through thick and thin. For not just "getting by" but for diving into God's Word and leaning on Him for strength. She's not only been there for Ian, but been there for his family when just two weeks ago Ian's dad, Steve Murphy, went to be with the Savior after being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in August.

Murphy family, you are in my prayers. I can't say that I "know what you're going through" but I know a God who does and he is mighty! I love these two verses from Psalms.

"When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers then out of all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." psalms 34: 17-18 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up...he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!" psalm 68: 19, 35

One thing I loved from this shoot was their sense of humor. Ian was awesome at making hilarious faces when Larissa wasn't looking so that when she's look back at him she would burst into laughter.

Ian & Larissa: I love you guys! Thank you for letting me photograph you.
For all my readers: Please check out PrayforIan.com and pray for the Murphy family!