Holding Still for God

It was a God-given moment. Several years ago on a winter morning, I decided to brave the cold and take care of an outdoor chore so Don wouldn’t have to do it at the end of a long workday. As I stepped out on our back porch, a surprise awaited me.

A beautiful mockingbird perched on our nearby evergreen. I expected him to whoosh away as soon as he caught sight of me or heard the cat-like squall of the screen door. But he stayed, holding still, allowing me to marvel in his beauty from just a few feet away.

As he continued to linger, I thought wow, I wish I had my camera. Would he stay long enough for me to dash back in the house and get it? Would he be there when I returned? Would he hold still just awhile longer?

I took a chance and slid back inside, as carefully as my noisy door would allow. After grabbing my camera, I turned it on while still inside so there would be one less noise to startle my little outdoor visitor away.

In spite of another screech from the door, the bird remained perched in the same spot. I raised my camera, zoomed in, and took several shots while he continued to hold still. He looked this way and that, almost as if allowing me to work a little more magic with my camera. He eventually flitted away but not before I was thoroughly blessed by this unexpected God-given treat for the soul.

For a few brief moments, I was an artist capturing a subject—a subject who was willing to hold still and let me do my work. I can’t help but wonder if I do the same for God.

When God wants to work on me or just spend time with me and rejoice over his creation (yes, he wants to rejoice over me!), am I a willing subject? Do I hold still for him and cooperate with his plans? Do I allow him to work his magic?

May the Lover of our souls always find us willing to hold still for him!

“The Lord your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you; in his love he . . . will rejoice over you with singing.“ Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

*When did you last notice God working on you or rejoicing over you with singing?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Shutterfly’s Free Printable Engagement Photo Props

Mother of the Bride, as your sweet daughter and her intended’s engagement photo session approaches, why not offer them a dynamite tip to help make things more fun.

Of course, you’ll want to offer some standard tips for a good experience—choosing the right photographer, outfits that flatter and express their personalities, a great location, and ideas for poses that will be meaningful to them—but my tip today might be something they are unaware of and would love to include in their photos.

Shutterfly offers free downloadable engagement photo props that can help a couple add their own personal touch to their engagement photos. These props are fun and creative and a few can even be customized. You’ll even see some that can be used in photos or for décor on the wedding day itself.

Share this post pronto with your darling couple, MOB. And be sure to tell them to read Shutterfly’s post to the very end for lots of great tips on how to use the props and for photo session tips in general. Then sit back and wait for the moment they share their amazing photos with you!

Read more on Shutterfly.com.

*You might also like to read Use Engagement Photo for Bridal Shower Invitation.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photos by Shutterfly

Wedding Photography: Bridal Portrait Roundup

Mother of the Bride, if your daughter’s bridal portrait session is coming up soon, this roundup post of ideas should be helpful to you both. It’s always a good idea to have some photo ideas to share with your photographer, particularly if there are certain shots your daughter really wants.

As you and your daughter look through the options I’ve pulled together for you today, I hope you’ll find some that resonate with you. There are lots of other ideas out there as well so be sure to check other sources (like my Wedding Photography Ideas Pinterest board as well.)

Now for the roundup—here are the links to the bridal portraits I’ve featured thus far:

Bridal Portrait Shot: Watching for the Groom 

Beautiful Bride + Fancy Sofa = Perfect Bridal Portrait 

Bridal Portrait From a Spectator Angle 

Bridal Portrait Idea: A Stairway Shot

Bridal Portrait Idea: A Shot with Mom 

Bridal Portrait Idea: Windows Plus Great Light 

Bridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots 

Bridal Portrait: Bride Seated with Bouquet on Train 

Bridal Portrait Idea: A Mirror Shot 

Bridal Portrait Idea: Fun With Sunglasses! 

Hope these help, MOB!

*You might also like to read Roundup: Popular Mother of the Bride Blog PostsBridal Bouquet RoundupWedding Cake RoundupWedding Registry Roundup, and Wedding Photo Ideas Roundup That Star the Groom.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo by Stephtphotography

Bridal Portrait Shot: Watching for the Groom

Mother of the Bride, isn’t this photo gorgeous and precious all at the same time? I may be a little biased since the bride is my sweet daughter Kristin, but this particular pose of watching for the groom conveys so much—grown up beauty and the promise of joy as well as little girl excitement and overflowing love. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Notice how Kristin’s photographer, Chris Humphrey, chose a beautiful spot for this shot and took advantage of perfect afternoon sunlight coming through the windows. You might ask your daughter’s photographer if he knows a location where he might be able to get a similar shot of your bride-to-be.

So MOB, when it comes time for your daughter’s bridal portrait day—one of the most delightful wedding planning days you’ll experience, by the way—keep your fingers crossed for a “watching for the groom” shot. I promise it will immediately become a favorite!

*You might also like to read Bridal Portrait Idea: A Shot with Mom, Bridal Portrait + Fancy Sofa = Perfect Bridal Portrait, Bridal Portrait Idea: A Stairway Shot, Bridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots, and Bridal Portrait Idea: A Mirror Shot

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from July 2013 was helpful to you today!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey Photography

Beautiful Bride + Fancy Sofa = Perfect Bridal Portrait

Mother of the Bride, many photographers include a bridal portrait session in the price of their services. These sessions are often scheduled for a date before the wedding, but some perfect portraits of the bride alone can also be taken on the wedding day. Your photographer will certainly have some amazing ideas for some great shots, but you can also be thinking of ideas if you’re familiar with the wedding or bridal portrait venue.

If your daughter’s wedding or bridal portrait venue has a fancy sofa on the premises, the photographer can capture a stunning shot of your gorgeous daughter in all her bridal glory. Just have her sit on one end of the sofa and extend her legs toward the other end with her gown cascading to the side. Believe me, it will be absolute perfection, especially if the sofa is white or ivory. Different moods can also be captured with the photographer’s suggestions to the bride.

If this will work in your situation, MOB, share this idea with your sweet girl and see she what she thinks. Bet she’ll love it—and will welcome putting her feet up for awhile during the photo session!

*You might also like to read Bridal Portrait Idea: A Shot with MomBridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy ShotsBridal Portrait Idea: Windows Plus Great LightBridal Portrait Idea: A Mirror ShotBridal Portrait Idea: Watching for the Groom, and Bridal Portrait Idea: A Stairway Shot.

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

Photos by Stephtphotography