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"I find it hard to believe you don't know the beauty you are, but if you don't, let me be your eyes."
- The Velvet Underground

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lyndsie's Trash the Dress Session + an amazing story! - Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

While I could sit here as the photographer, and try to explain the significance of this Trash the Dress Session, I will instead give the reins over to the model, and let you hear her heart behind the shoot. And trust me, while it's long, you won't be disappointed in taking the time to read it. 

    "I love when God reveals the "why's" that we agonizingly shout before Him on our journeys. In the midst of pain and confusion, He really is working it all out for our good. We just need to trust......just trust.  It's so easy to add to the "just."  I know on my journey, I added taking control, justifying my pain, insecurity, idolatry, and disobedience. That says I trusted God in one area only, as my crutch when MY way was failing.
       Early this year (2011) God lead me to a new passion. Writing. I've always loved writing but never believed I was good enough to do it beyond journaling. I still have a lot to learn, but when our all knowing God calls, I listen (now). That was thee biggest lesson learned on my journey, thus far. Sometimes it makes no sense, sometimes you want to ignore it, sometimes it seems too good to believe, but it should ALWAYS be heard and obeyed. That is where the trust takes full reign, and where so many of us, myself included, fail.
       I am now in the process of writing a book. I have NO idea HOW God is going to use it, but the "why's" of my past are being answered. For that alone, I praise Him. Without journeys their would be no stories. Without stories their would be an emptiness where inspiration should fill. Without inspiration we'd be....well......lifeless. I want to be a woman of inspiration. My avenue for that stems from what I've gone through and learned, much like the women who have inspired me. It has been revealed to me that writing is my outlet. Honestly, I was thinking and hoping that it would be through music because my love for playing drums has not nearly reached it's full potential. I'd love to hear from God "practice practice practice your drums because it's where I want to use you" or " move to Africa and become a missionary" or even "Just be a mom, Juliana is all I need you to focus on." Nope. Instead He called me to sit  in front of a computer for hours on end pouring my heart and soul into a book that could never go anywhere, completely making myself vulnerable to people I may never even know if it does go somewhere. Oh, so many "why's."  The difference now is that I know with complete certainty that it is for His good, and this book is the answer to a huge "why?" from my past. I prayed for a passion and this book is His answer.
     The same time God revealed this passion to me, one of my best friends, and an outstanding photographer, Meghan Lubeck, wanted to start venturing into "trash the dress" photo sessions. Usually that is when the bride takes pictures trashing her dress after her wedding. Genius idea I must say. What's the point of holding on to that thing after anyway? Might as well take some killer photos as a grand salut to your big day. As we were discussing with each other our new found interests we came to the conclusion that this was not a coincidence. This was God getting creative. I LOVE the way He works. Her venture into a new form of photography was to be launched with a photo shoot that meant beyond more then the destruction of a highly priced, one-time-wear, costume piece. It was a shoot that would also free the "Bride" and represent my life as a single woman whose heartbreaks have not gotten the best of me. Along with that, it was a representation of another key message in my book; we are to be Gods' bride first and throughout EVERY relationship.

     A day before the shoot I opened up the garment bag that's been hopelessly keeping care of a beautiful gown I had not seen in over two years, still with all the tags on. It was much more beautiful then I remembered, how in the world was I going to go through with this? The image housed in the attic of my mind was of a dress far less ornate and delicate, that lacked any characteristic of the woman I am today. I remembered choosing the dress I knew my ex-fiance would be left speechless in, as I'm sure he expected me to walk out in a Gaga-esque gown that exemplified all the qualities about me that would bring about nothing more romantic then a chuckle and his "really?" face. Oh I still know what that face looks like. Now, I was the one left speechless.
     I was starting to get cold feet. I pulled out 3 wedding dresses that I made in college with hopes of trashing one of them instead. It just wasn't the same though. If I was going to do this, I needed to go big and be real. The story just wouldn't be the same! I care more about my story then an expensive piece of material that I could maybe get $200 for on Craigslist. Plus, if I do ever get married, there's just no way I could wear that when it was intended for the man that was not God's best for me.
     At 3 pm the next day, Anna Quinn, who I was just meeting for the first time AND fell in love with immediately, came over to do my make-up. The idea was to have me for the first shots as kind of a jaded bride. That included dramatic eyes, and hair that looked as though it was slept in after a wedding. The second site was at the ocean. We were going for a more freeing look, but still dramatic. Literally in the car ride from one spot to the next, Anna took off smokey eye and transformed me into exactly what I had hoped. She added drama with gold glitter on my cheekbones, outlined my eye in a bold turquoise and unpinned my hair. I have mad respect for that woman, she did it all on the PCH drive between location changes, and her attitude was that of a saint! Nothing phased her, she was on a mission to serve Meghan and someone she had just met 3 hours prior.
      The first site was at the end of Solstice Canyon in Malibu. There is a beautiful burnt down mansion amidst mother nature with some truly inspirational qualities for photography. Meghan chose this location and I'm so glad she did. I've hiked Solstice with my now 5 year old but she pooped out before reaching this haunting landmark. The idea of a jaded bride in her dress among soot, broken brick, rust and lost memories completely exemplified the loss associated with my story, like my own mansion going up in flames.
      Hair and make-up done, Meghan, Lindsay (Meghan's awesome assistant) and I,  hiked to this location. I had no mirrors and even worse, no Anna!! We had lost her and Erin on the drive up, and being at the mercy of natural lighting we had no time to waste. I was dripping sweat when we reached the mansion and felt disgusting. Sure I was going to hate the way I looked in the photos, I pushed through and challenged myself to 
feel beautiful. Obviously my confidence in Anna's ability to foresee these obstacles was still immature..... my hair and make-up were unscathed.
       After a half-hour hike, IN my dress, and an in-car makeup change, we arrived at location 2, the beach.
Meghan asked me to stand by these rocks which had waves viciously crashing up against them......when I go to the beach the most I ever get in is up to my thighs and THAT is brave for me. I had to fight against every bone in my body cursing at me for attempting something so beyond my norm. Of course, not even 5 minutes into it a wave comes and drenches me. Meg has shots of me UNDER the wave of death. Immediately I'm wanting to yell "DONE" but I just felt that this had to be beyond what I was capable of to make the absolute most of this shoot. My gown now weighed twice as much and my legs were constricted within the wet layers, making it near impossible to move and try to look cute doing it. The water was freezing and relentless. One word kept coming to mind: Endure. That just so happens to be the same word that resonates with every failed relationship of my past. I met God on that beach in a big way. Though I was being shoved around and rejected by mother nature, something beautiful was to be made of it. The woman I am now is the product of endurance. I've fought so long for relationships that constrict and weigh me down when the one relationship I needed to pursue was with God, my true beloved.
     Taking that soaking wet, immobilizing dress off after the shoot was my surrender to the fight. I could have run around that beach in my underwear, it felt SO good to get that thing off! Much like the feeling of relinquishing control and submitting to a God who is ready to carry our burdens.
     I plan on using this experience in my book. Not just for the final product, but also for the parallels during the shoot. I feel like that in itself could be the concluding chapter." - Lyndsie King

If you are interested in learning more about Lyndsie, and the journey God is taking her on while she writes this book, you can follow her blog: www.Isaiah2v5.blogspot.com

If you are interested in learning more about Lyndsie, and the journey God is taking her on while she writes this book, you can follow her blog: www.Isaiah2v5.blogspot.com.