Creating this new site is something I never necessarily dreamed of, but it had become necessary has 2017 unfolded. So much of my photography life has been one of the most unexpectedly rewarding thing I've ever done. And creating a very public fresh start in a sense was kind of terrifying. I love what I built as Jessica Bills dot com. I loved watching myself grow as a photographer and then quickly updating all my photos to show I had grown "passed" that. But there was this nagging in my heart as I went from single to dating to engaged to married... "But you're not Jessica Bills anymore."
The thing is we live in the very independent, United States of self sufficiency. It's apart of our history. "Go away MOM" (We said to England). It's apart of our society.
So when it came time for me to choose my new name for the sweet people at Social Security, I wanted to keep my maiden name. Now there is nothing wrong with that. NOTHING. But I decided to ask my sweet husband a few days before what he wanted me to do.
And he timidly said, "I want you to be Jessica Lawson."
I enjoyed being Jessica Bills. I loved the nick names. The street cred. That Jessica, such a common name, was outset by a more unique last name.
But I didn't want to belong to my past the way I had. Cameron and I were one now. One flesh. One voice. One unit. We started a family and our family name was Lawson.
So I had the privilege of putting off changing my business name.
I put it off.
I made little moves forward.
But no one saw.
And then with the encouragement of my friend Sam Elias, designer extraordinaire, she told me Later in life, I would appreciate taking the plunge now.
And now that I had committed to this fresh sentimental start, I realized how much this aligns with the values of my business. Cameron always tries to be apart of the journey I take with couples. We get the honor of sharing our lives and relationship with them, as they share with us. We get the honor of getting to give advice as we meet people of all ages, backgrounds, life, but they are all in the engaged season. And it will only get better from there.
As an explicit servant of the great Yahweh Lord, it's my joy to meet new people, to hear your stories, and to share this small piece of your lives. However, it's not just my joy. It's Cameron's too. We both have been wired to love on people. To care for them. And to seek to set them up with a win for Jesus. Part of that is how much I charge for couples that believe in my work, but money just isn't there. Part of it is how much time I donate to get the crazy shot in a national park 8 hours away. Part of all of this is asking God to show me how He sees whoever is in front of my camera.
Love came from God.
Marriage is loved by God.
And Cameron and myself are committed to using our marriage to minister to as many people as we can. That is why my logo, my slogan, etc. will always say "Friend + Photographer"
The friend is always first.
The photographer part becomes better when the friend is first.
Thank you for celebrating this new step in my photography business, my marriage, and our ministry. We're all in this together kids.