FOCUS ON Charlotte
WHY START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS?
Our passion is for people. Our art form is photography.
Since the beginning of our story (Megan speaking), Delyn has always been the dreamer. The faithful dreamer. For those of you who may not know our story, Delyn’s venture into professional photography and artistry has come from a mixture of hard work and favor. There’s a rolling joke that he #startedfrommcdonalds, as his early jobs out of high school were a string of fast food jobs, including Mickey Dees. No matter what he does, he works hard, and he used those jobs as a stepping stone, picking up lots of skills and lessons along the way. Those jobs led to a run with Starbucks where he was positioned to meet a local photographer, who essentially took him under his wing and provided a platform to really dive into the amazing gifts he was blessed with. Position and favor. A season of learning, and growing, and stepping into a profession that he was called to. He continued to work hard, and soak in the knowledge around him, and continually focus on refining the raw talent he was gifted. He’s admitted to me that photography has to work out for him, because he doesn’t have a fallback. But what we’ve embraced is that we don’t need a fallback when we serve a God who always provides.
Before we got married, Delyn shared with me a dream he had of running a photography company together one day. As I mentioned, he’s the dreamer. Initially, I wasn’t on board with the idea. I was terrified by it. Keep in mind, I didn’t have a background in photography. I was a hobby photographer. I enjoyed taking photos and have done it for fun as long as I can remember, but I didn’t have the confidence that I could ever be good enough to step out and declare myself a photographer by trade. After all, I’ve only been shooting in manual for two years. If you want to quantify things, that’s not a long time! My mind went places like: What if we fail? What if we can’t pay the bills? What if? And it stayed that way for a while.
But we spent more and more time together with our cameras, and spent more and more time receiving revelation from The Lord about our future, and our gifts, and and our anointing. And one day, I stepped out in faith and came into agreement with Delyn’s dream for our future. I had to lay down a lot of fear, and doubt, and insecurities, and stop putting limitations on how God could work through us if we did this the right way.
A little bit about my work history: I spent 5.5 years combined in Property Management and Real Estate. I think I was good at. It was safe. I was positioned to meet people and share the gospel in a really unique way, but I kind of burned out in that industry (oh, the grief I took in student housing!). My time in Arkansas has been confusing. I went through THREE jobs in one year. That was completely out of character for me. And if that doesn’t put your identity into question, I don’t know what does. But God taught me so much in this season, which was coincidentally (and difficultly) our first year of marriage. I learned that my profession doesn’t define me. It doesn’t now, and I can’t let it define me in the future. What I can do is use the talents I was given, and steward them faithfully. I think that this season of trials gave me the push I needed to have the courage to try something brave. Halfway through my struggle, I read Garden City by John Mark Comer (READ IT!). He challenged me to consider that “if your dreams are all about you, then your dreams are way too small. You need to dream larger. Larger than your job or career or net worth or name or body. You need dreams as large as Jesus’ vision of the kingdom."
Since then, I’ve been fully on board with this dream. Sure, it’s terrifying to move halfway across the country to start a business, and hard as heck to leave our people, and daily we’re offered thoughts of why it would be easier and safer to stay. But a good friend of ours recently reminded us of some advice she gave us upon getting married, “Always do the brave thing”. This is our bravest, most faithful step and our biggest adventure yet. Come along with us, we’ll keep you updated on our move and everything along the way. It won’t always be easy, but we know it will be worth it.
“Eternity is calling your soul. It inspires you to awaken, to dream again, and to take risks. It asks you to pursue visions that are shaped not by fear or selfish desires or manipulated emotions, but by the glory of God and the reality of heaven.” --Judah Smith, How’s Your Soul?
We’d be lying if we told you that this move is only about photography. It’s about so much more. We feel like God placed this area on our hearts for a reason that is much bigger than photography, or The Stirewalts, or anything of worldly measures. We believe there is a kingdom purpose for us ahead. When news broke about the riots in Charlotte, we received lots of questions if we still wanted to go through with our move. Absolutely. This is a city that needs hope and peace; this a city that needs Jesus. Now, we’re not trying to say we’re going to “save the city”. There are some amazing churches in the area, and we hope to join a local church whose mission is to reach out and to share the gospel in a relatable and practical way. We know that there are plenty of Christ followers in the area, but we fully believe that every person has a unique voice and anointing. We think God wants to use us there.
Neither of us have ever lived in North Carolina. Our families both moved around a lot growing up. And mine happened to settle in Lake Norman about ten years ago. I have to be honest and admit that following the loss of my father almost six years ago, I never thought I’d return to the area. It was a place of pain and loss. But I’ve seen it transform into a place of healing and restoration for my family. And it has become a place of promise for my husband and I. My dad’s favorite scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, has become a declaration over this land and over future generations: “For I know the plans I have for you... Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” We’ve always had peace about this plan. Even through the ups and downs, the excitement and the struggles, we know that we are called to this place.
“In moments like these, we desperately ned to know that our lives are defined not by our successes and failures, but by our position in Jesus.” --Judah Smith, How’s Your Soul?
So we’re jumping into this new adventure.