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  • Aloha!!!

    Hi! This is the photography and lifestyle blog of Sheena Bean of Photography In the Light. I am a lifestyle photographer based in Kauai, Hawaii. I moved here with my family in January of 2015. My husband is the youth pastor at Lihue Missionary Church and we are raising three little world changers, Noakea, Banyan, and Avenlea Wren. This is His story, our story, and little snippets of life on a 562 square mile rock in the middle of the Pacific.

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Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Families – The Patricks

Sometimes I feel like the most unqualified person to run a business.  I can’t even believe I am admitting this here, especially since I am trying to build my clientele, but if i’m being real, there are some parts of owning my own business that I am simply horrid at.  For instance, I am so forgetful.  It’s bad, really.  I have forgotten my camera more than once, I have forgotten the keys to a location I was supposed to shoot at, I have even completely forgotten I was even supposed to shoot a session all together.  Now, I feel like I should say that I have a much much better workflow now than I used to, and I have a checklist so I don’t run out the door without equipment.  That said, I know a few things about how to run a business, or else I probably wouldn’t still be doing this 8+ years after I first started shooting with a DSLR.  One thing I do know for sure, is that the best way to increase your business is through word-of-mouth advertising.  I have some super awesome friends and clients who have been quick to spread the love for Photography In the Light, and it has really helped me grow this little hobby into something I’m so so thankful for.

That said, it was good old fashioned word-of-mouth that brought this gorgeous family to me.  The Patrick’s live about 3 hours away in Raleigh, but they came into town to visit friends of ours and we managed to set up this photo shoot in the evening, just before they made the trek back home.  As “fortune” would have it, it was gorgeous all day until right when it was time for us to start shooting.  Luckily, it wasn’t actually raining, so I said a little prayer and we started snapping away.  Amazingly, the heavy clouds held it together, and we had a great time with some really beautiful light as it peeped through the dark cloud cover.

The location I used for this shot is the same one I posted a couple days back, and I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot of use in the future.  I love that it has the river right there, a little beach, some grassy areas, and big pine trees that the light comes streaming through.  We shot this session at around 6:45 until 7:30 in the evening.  If you are planning on or thinking about booking a session with me, you should know that the ideal time to do a photo shoot is either first thing in the morning after sunrise or right before the sun sets.  That’s not to say that I won’t do pictures at other times, but to get that nice golden light, doing the pictures in the evening makes all the difference in the world.

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – FREE Session Winner – Katelin Pinto

To celebrate the launch of the new blog, I hosted a giveaway for a free session to everyone who was sweet enough to check it out and leave a comment in the first week.  There were almost 100 (!!!) entries, but the adorable Katelin Pinto was the lucky winner!  When I informed her of her good fortune, she asked if I might like to do the shoot in a field with her guitar.  Well, I prayed about it for about 2 seconds and said, “YES!”

I have known Katelin and her family for a number of years and have always thought she was a radiant beauty, inside and out.  She just exudes confidence and joy, and brings a smile to everyone she meets.  When she showed up for our shoot in that awesome dress with her lovely instrument, I knew we were going to get some really memorable images.

We started out our session in a little field near my house and then drove out toward Newbegunland (sorry you non NC people; you don’t know what im talking about) to finish it up.  Just as we were leaving, we drove past an empty lot where the sun was setting and totally igniting the grass with golden fire-y light.  We threw the car in park (literally) and jumped out to catch the last few pictures in about 3 or 4 minutes.

I try to do free session giveaways every other month or so.  From now on, I am going to draw from the pool of people who comment on the blog to find the free session winner.  So, be sure to to leave comments, spread the love, and YOU might be the next free session winner.  You never know when I am going to do a giveaway, so be sure to visit often to get in on it all!  

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Families – The Lawsons

I have a handful of sessions from this beautiful family, but I wanted to show you this one, because it’s a great example of what a little bit of creativity, effort, and styling can do for a photo shoot.  Many times I hear from people that they want their family session to be something special and unique.  Now that everybody and their mamma is on pinterest, there is no shortage of great ideas and inspiration for making a photo shoot something really spectacular.  I love doing photo shoots that require a little bit of leg work and a heaping spoon of artistry, because what you get is something like this one.

Whitney is one of my dearest friends and a super talented photographer herself.  She is insanely creative and crafty, so when she pitched to me the idea for their family pictures, I wanted to go all out with props, styling, clothing, ect.  She was 100% on board and overflowing with her own amazing ideas, so this session came together flawlessly.  We shot this in October on a gorgeous indian summer evening.  The location was just a random empty lot that we had been eyeballing for the weeks prior.  The sun was just sinking down behind the pine trees and the glow of sunset was magical.

If you have family pictures on the horizon and want something extra special, don’t be afraid to ask!  I have done photo sessions with all kinds of crazy props…..vintage airplanes, tractors, tandem bikes, old vehicles, ect., ect.  I love trying new ideas and new locations, so dream BIG!!

Life In the Light – 1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

Oh, friend, if only by the grace of God we could really plant these words in the deepest part of our heart and walk obediently in them.  I have an app on my phone that, every morning, gives me a scripture to keep in the front of my mind throughout the day.  This is the one that popped up yesterday morning, and i’ve been thinking about it’s implications ever since.
So, the verse starts with the words, “Above all….”  Sounds like whatever follows is something we should pay attention to, right.  I mean, Jesus himself said that right behind loving God, loving others should be our greatest ambition.  Over and over again in scripture, it is clear that believers in Christ should be characterized by an uncommon love.  With the phrasing we see here, it is clear that loving others should be above many other pursuits we prioritize.  I can’t help but wonder, though, and grievously so, if that is really the case in my life or if it’s what I see in the church.
The church in America today looks pretty self-serving, in my opinion.  And, since the church is made up of believers, it goes to follow that we Christians are a pretty self-serving bunch.  I mean, just think about the kinds of things we say when people ask us to tell them about our church.  It probably goes something like this, “we have a great new building,” or “we have an awesome kids program,” or “our pastor is so convicting,” and so on and so forth.  Not that those things are bad, but I just don’t think that Jesus died so we could have state of the art sound systems and our own baseball fields behind the sanctuary.  I often wonder if a first or second century Christian, suddenly placed in the middle of one of our Sunday morning services, would recognize what was going on.
Not that I’m there either.  I mean, it might seem like I love others.  And, sometimes, for some people, I do.  I love surprising my friends with gifts.  I love paying for coffee for the guy behind me.  I love being able to watch someones kids for them so they can have a date night.  What credit is that to me, though?  I’m only loving the people who are easy to love in the first place.  What about my neighbor, though?  My literal neighbor.  The guy next door who is a little bit too talkative when we run into each other.  Or, my other neighbor, who is pushing 85 years old and is so grouchy that even his son laments of it.  What about the rambling homeless guy who wants to have a 5 minute conversation with me while I am wrangling my three kids on a walk.  What about the people who aren’t so easy to love?
I want to be able to say one day what the apostle Paul was able to say as he reminisced over his life and said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.”  How incredible it would be to be confident and know that I had done everything God put me on earth to do.  That I had accomplished His plan for me.  That I had loved and served and cared and poured myself out for the sake and for the lives of others.  I so desperately want to view others through the eyes of Christ.  To have the kind of love for those around me that points away from myself and directly to the Father.
After explicitly stating that we are to love others “above all,” we are told to not just love, but to love deeply.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of deep love, there are 4 people who come to mind.  4 people on Earth who I can unequivocally say that I deeply love.  My husband, of course, and my three children.  I love them so deeply that it scares me sometimes.  It almost feels like idolatry, if i’m honest.  Scripture is clear, though, that we are to love not just our family members with a deep love, but also our neighbor, and even our enemy.
So, I ask myself, what does deep love look like?  What is it characterized by.  The Bible says in John 15:13 that, “Greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friend.”  Deep love is, more than anything else, a selfless love.  I think that Jesus’ words in John were meant to be taken literally, however there is more to laying down ones life than just literally dying.  I mean, realistically, most of us will never be in a position where we have to choose to sacrifice our lives for someone else’s.  That said, what does it mean, what does it looks like for American christians today to “lay down our lives for a friend.”  I think it means putting others needs above our own in a way that seems irresponsible to outsiders.
I could write more than just a couple paragraphs about practical ways to put others needs above my own, but one specific way has been on my mind, so I want to leave you with that.  For months and months one word has been mulling around like seeping chai tea in my mind, the word “forgiveness.”  Greater love means putting someone else’s need to be forgiven over my need to hold a grudge.  And it’s hard, right.  It’s so hard think about forgiving someone who does not deserve our love at all, someone who seems to even take pleasure in our pain, but that is exactly what we are called to do.  Why?  Because that’s exactly what God, in Christ, did for us.
1 John 4 is full of incredible truth’s about God’s unfaltering love for His children.  Verse 19 states, “We love him, because He first loved us.”  Just like that, we are reminded that long before we felt remorse for our sin, long before the conviction of the Holy Spirit awakened us to our need to be ransomed by a Savior, we were deeply loved by God.  Verse 20 drives it home when it says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.  For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”  I’m not trying to add to Scripture, but it seems to me that this verse, taken to it’s logical conclusion, is saying that if we don’t extend love to others, than God’s love in not in us and we have no fellowship with Him.
I end with this prayer, “God, thank you for you love.  Thank you for loving me when I had nothing lovable in me.  Thank you for loving me before I even took my first breath.  I pray, Father, that you would give me eyes like yours.  I want to see others as you do.  I want to love like you do, with no strings attached.  Give me a heart of flesh that is filled with compassion and humility toward those around me.  Allow me to love enough to forgive those who have wronged me, to help those who won’t help themselves, and to hold the hand of a brother in need when nobody else wants to touch it.  Let my life be one that so overflows with your love that it leaves a trail of love behind it.  Thank you for your Spirit that dwells in me and enables me to love.  Convict me of any sin that is holding me back from extending your loving hand to those in need.  Help me to love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly before you, God.  Amen.”

Eastern North Carolina Photographer – Families – The Driver’s

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is one of my mini session from Spring 2013.  I do mini sessions twice per year, in the spring and fall.  A mini sessions is like a little condensed version of a normal session.  I book them in back to back 3o minute sessions, usually 4 or 5 at a time.  For an investment of $100.00 you will receive the 30 minute session (of course), professional editing and retouching of all images, and at least 15 images on a hi-res non-copywrighted disc.  You can print these pictures at the location of yours choice (I can’t recommend high enough).  Most of the time, there will be well over 15 images on your disc (sometimes as many as 25 or 30) and some images will include B&W conversions as well.  A mini session is a great way to get updated pictures of your family throughout the year or to check things out if you are a new client and aren’t ready to commit to a full session right away.

Fall Mini Sessions will be November 9th.  There are still 4 openings left, so if you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible to secure your spot.  I am offering sessions in the morning and evening to try to accommodate as many people as possible.

So, now that you have information about mini sessions, let me introduce you to this gorgeous family.  Nicole is a fellow coastie wife and her husband was doing his duty serving our country, so, unfortunately, he didn’t make it to this session.  The Driver’s have the three cutest kids in the world (other than my own, says this unbiased photographer).  Seriously, though, their eyes are just to die for.  The first time I met Nicole was at a baby shower and I commented to our mutual friend about how stinkin’ gorgeous she was, to which my friend replied, “wait till you see her kids!”  Well, she was right, and as soon as I met her little crew of rascals, I couldn’t wait to have a chance to do a shoot for her family.

I have a special connection to this mamma and her little trio.  We were pregnant with our 3rds at the same time.  I remember when she found out she was having a girl, I was so excited for her and hoped that we would be getting the same exciting news.  Sure enough, we both had girlies. Avenlea and her little princess are so blessed to have their older superhero brothers to protect them!

“Show me your silliest faces!”

“OK.  Now show me how much you love your brother!”

In color and B&W, because I can never choose.  Which one do you like best??

This one is my favorite from the session.  I just love how she looks so content and secure at mammas side.  Baby girl <3

I’m not the only one who has a little peanut of a baby.  Miss I is about 6 weeks older than Avenlea and they’re both little teeny mammas.

Boy Party!!!  The little ones always love when the truck comes along for a session.

“It’s a wrap!!”

M o r e   i n f o