I have awesome friends, guys. Seriously. They have done so much for me over the years, & they are incredibly talented at so many things. One thing many of my friends seem to be talented at, though, is photography. If you ever need a photographer, I can recommend several, no matter what style you're looking for. & while all of them could probably do anything you asked for, they each have something that makes them unique.
Here are some of my talented friends, along with links to their websites/photography pages!
Caroline Almond Photographie
Caroline & I met my sophomore year of college. Caroline is constantly growing & changing, which means her style is constantly growing & changing. She is never afraid to take risks or suggestions, & she is always trying new things!
Colleen & I met on Tumblr, of all places, & through her visits, she eventually decided to move to Oklahoma. She is a gentle, kindhearted person, & her softness reflects in her photography. She is able to capture the intimacy of moments without being intrusive.
Howie & I met during my freshman year of college when we were both living in shacks for a week as part of a campus activity. He is in the photography program at UCO, & he has improved so much in the time that I've known him. Howie is awesome at portraits & artistic, fashion shoots, especially if they have a dark side.
Kevin C Photography
Kevin & I met in high school at a Christian leadership camp called Super Summer. Kevin is talented at capturing detail in a polished, clean way, & telling a story with his photos.
Rachel & I met during our sophomore year of college. Rachel has a beautiful, passionate style of living that overflows into everything she does. She is great at capturing life - both in candid moments, & the essence of an individual in portrait photography.
Brandon & I met our senior year of high school, but didn't become close until our sophomore year of college. Brandon is able to capture things as they are in that moment, but has the ability to make things crisper. He is able to make things almost more beautiful, & yet more real somehow.
This past weekend, Laker & I took my sisters, Mackenzie & Taryn, & their friends, Candace & Katy, to Harry Potter night at the Science Museum here in OKC. The girls were so fun & sweet, & we had a blast!
The lessons & activities were based on science, but themed around Harry Potter. We had "flying lessons," used invisible ink, had some Butterbeer, made wands, & saw people play Quidditch & giant Wizard's Chess. We studied Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, & Astronomy. The museum had employees dressed as some of the main characters: Lucius & Draco Malfoy, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, Lupin, & a few others. Some of the activities were obviously geared more towards kids, but since all of us tend to be fairly childish, we still had a great time!
We also got to explore the museum's exhibits. We went through the mirror maze, got stuck in a few "natural disasters," & climbed a couple of kids' playground toys. Yay, science!
Wednesday, I got to do something that most people my age can never do again. I finished the Harry Potter series for the first time.
Most people were amazed when I told them I had never finished the series. So I guess I should explain...
I LOVE Harry Potter. Like a good portion of our generation, I read the books as they came out. I went to the midnight release parties for the books, I was Hermione for Halloween, I saw the movies as soon as they hit theaters, I played the video games & Pottermore, I've read most of the books multiple times (including Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them & Quidditch Through the Ages), I've read several J.K. Rowling biographies, & I've helped host a couple of Harry Potter parties. I got teary when I first stepped into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, & I get way too excited thinking about going back. Harry Potter has been such a big part of my life!
Part of my love for the series came from growing up in a home where Science Fiction, fantasy, & magic were regular topics of conversation. My mom is one of the biggest nerds you'll ever meet (& I say that respectfully!), which means we were raised on LOTR, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.
However, since I have several siblings, that also means that when a new Harry Potter book came out, there was often an argument over who got to read it first. & when Deathly Hallows was released, I drew the short straw for the reading list. Which meant that when my mom & sister were discussing the end of the book, not knowing I was in the next room, I was devastated. I promised myself I wouldn't read the book or watch the last two movies until I had forgotten what they said.
Over the years, I have (somewhat) forgotten what they talked about. Other things were spoiled for me later on... Some on purpose by people who think it's funny to ruin things for others (that's NEVER funny, by the way), some on accident from Tumblr or Pinterest posts, some by other methods. I knew about two of the deaths that occurred, several of the love stories, & one of the main plot twists at the end.
But even so, reading the book was so wonderful. It was bittersweet, because I'm sad to be done with the series - another reason I put off reading the book for so long - but I am so glad to have closure on all of the characters & stories I love so much.
The Harry Potter series is a great example of how attached we can get to fictional characters & places. I have always loved reading, but this is one of those series that really takes a place in your life (I would feel nerdy saying that, but I know so many of you feel the same way).
Tonight, Laker & I are taking my little sisters & a couple of their friends to Harry Potter night at the Science Museum. Then we're coming home & watching the last two movies. It feels weird to know I'll have finally seen & read the entire series (until the Fantastic Beasts movie comes out!), but at the same time, I'm so excited to have finished it. I know when I watch or read the series afterwards, it won't be the first time anymore, but I know I can always go back.
It's like J.K. Rowling said, “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Christ. Laker. Lily. Padfoot. Puns. Polar Bears. Travel. Tea. Tattoos. Tigers. Books. Belle. Buffaloes. Wonderland. Creativity.