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hello! I'm Makenzie!

I'm a wedding photographer and stationery designer in Western Kentucky. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! This is where you can see my latest shoots & weddings, get some advice, or see what it's like behind the scenes! I hope you stay awhile. 

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a series of blog posts just for brides!

dear bride,

Welcome to the MLP

Business, Makenzie's Thoughts, Personal, Travel

April 13, 2016

A Way in the Wilderness-Pursuit Conference 2016

It’s been two and a half years since I stepped foot for the first time on the campus of WinShape in Rome, Georgia for the Pursuit Conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect this time.

You see, in October of 2013, I attended as a broken and grieving person and a burned out photographer. We had just become a waiting family in the adoption process just two months prior but I was still struggling with our journey of infertility, grieving and trying to let go of never getting pregnant, and completely burned out in my business. Every speaker, every conversation, every time of worship was like a revelation to me! God opened my eyes and my heart to SO much! I came home different and immediately began making changes in my personal life and business. I let go of the things gripping my heart and decided to stop letting infertility define me. The cool part was exactly one year later, our daughter Gracen was born to an amazing birth mother who chose us to be her parents.

So, enough about last time, let me try to find the words to explain this year’s conference. This time, I left little ole’ Murray in a much different place… a work from home mama who is trying her best to balance mommyhood and running a full time business, while saying yes to the things that matter and no to the ones that don’t. I love this crazy life I live, but I was definitely looking forward to some time for myself and some SUPER-focused time with the Lord.

That’s just what I got. The worship was sweet and good for my soul, the speakers were amazing, and I built relationships that quickly went deep with my small group. But I came home feeling strange because I didn’t have any pivotal moments. Every little thing wasn’t a revelation to me this time, but then I took time to stop and process it and realized something. God has been and is working in my life…a lot due to the things I learned and put into practice from 2013. It was ok to hear little whispers from Him instead of huge shouts! He still worked in my heart! He stirred and brought several things to the surface that I need to face.

  1. Stop living in FEAR.

-I need to stop being fearful of things in my business and embrace who I am as a photographer. Stop holding back and run MLP the way I feel God is leading me…not how anyone else is doing it, not to try and please everyone, and not because I feel like I have to.

-I need to run from fearfulness that God won’t continue to build our family in His perfect way. Jane Johnson did a break out on studying scripture and at one point she said (paraphrasing) “We have to quit looking at God’s miracles and faithfulness in the Word or in our lives and believe that He will never do it again or that He can’t do it bigger and better.” I immediately thought about how I do that often! Our adoption story was crazy good, the process was smooth, and our birth mother was amazing. Minus a few small bumps with paperwork, it couldn’t have gone any better. I am fearful that it won’t be that great the second time around (if God leads us to adoption) and that He will never work and time it like He did the first time. Those words Jane spoke went straight to my heart.

  1. Don’t Compare Myself

-Ha! That sounds easy, huh?! Back in January, some friends and I did a study by Sandra Stanley called The Comparison Trap. It was really good for all of us and I tried really hard to put what I learned to good use. But with wedding season kicking off for everyone, I found myself already trapped by it again.

The lovely Mary Marantz was a keynote speaker (she’s amazing!) and said “What we do MATTERS. But we’re too busy looking somewhere else and thinking “but what they’re doing matters more.” WOW! So true…Probably for every single female in the world. But my, how that rings true as small business owners. She said, “We are losing our lives {by staying on our phones or computers}! We are sacrificing time with our husbands, children, families, etc because we’re looking online and comparing ourselves to the next person who is spending time comparing their self to someone else.”

  1. Love Well

-I bought a shirt while I was there that says this across the front. I heard it over and over again. Love your husband well. Love your daughter well. Love your clients well. Love yourself well.

Katelyn James (my most favorite photographer and industry leader) did a break out session on the Four Dimensions of Value. One of the four she talked about was how your personality adds so much value to your business. So true! But on busy or stressful wedding days I lose sight of that. Getting it right in camera comes first. Or the timeline comes first. Instead of that family member who just needs to be loved on or the bride who needs some anxious nerves calmed. KJ said “Love people well. It’s more important than your intelligence level and will make the biggest impact.”

That’s the biggest thing I’m praying for in my business. To LOVE WELL.

You would think as a photographer, I’d get out my camera to take beautiful photos of the lovely WinShape. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in the U.S.  But unfortunately, I didn’t get it out much. So there are only a few of our Tuesday night dinner and the rest are from my lovely iPhone 😉

IMG_2487IMG_2503IMG_2519IMG_2490My dear friend, Dianne, got to attend with me and it was so much fun!

IMG_2525IMG_2548I loved my small group! We instantly became friends!
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Group hug!

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Courtesy of my iPhone

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Photo Booth Fun!2016-04-05 22.07.212016-04-06 22.48.352016-04-06 22.48.432016-04-06 22.48.46

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