I love images. I LOVE seeing. I love holding my camera in my hand and creating something that will last. When you look around, you see things. You may remember them for a while, or keep something close to what you have seen in your head to think about next time you want to. But a picture saves that place, that time, those colors, that image forever. So, it would be safe to say, that I have kind of have based my faith in God and life itself on what I see. I know that is sad, but really how many of us do that too?
While at Beach Reach in Panama City Beach, I met one of the most beautiful, sweet, loving girls ever. Her name is Jenna, and her seeing-eye dog is named Bilko. Jenna, as you can obviously derive from what I just said, is blind. As soon as I saw her, I was drawn to her. She was always smiling and talking to people. The idea of her not being able to see really fascinated me. (I know that sounds bad, but really I mean that God was tugging at my heart to realize my fault of only seeing Him in what I see, not what I feel.)
I, of course, went up to her, introduced myself, and began what I am sure was a very long speil about how I am a photographer and how she is so gorgeous and how I wanted to feature her on my blog and how I love her dog and how … Well, yeah, you get the point. I was a mess.
Jenna was so sweet and understanding. She smiled and talked to me like it was no big thing. While in my heart, I was struggling so deeply with how I had been acting towards my faith. I asked her about how she sees things, and her answer is STILL resonating in my heart. I’m trying to wrap my mind around it. She said she sees in feelings, in sounds, in light, and in what people describe to her.
Whoa. My mind was blown. I see with my camera. How often do I act as if I am blind to the feelings of this world or God? How often to ignore my ears like I am deaf? How often do I SEE someone and judge them on what I see INSTEAD of their character or voice?
Your story really has touched me. You are so … I cannot even find words, my dear. I can only pray and hope that God will teach me, THROUGH you, to see with more than my eyes and to be like you. To never judge on looks or appearance, but to see people for WHO they are, not WHAT they look like. Thank you for letting God work so powerfully through you. Oh, and tell Billy that he better not find another favorite blonde girl to follow around! ;)
Now, I wanted to share some images of Jenna and Bilko with you and pray that God touches your heart by this sweet, sweet girl and her faithful helper. (I’m going to describe all of these images for Jenna, so when she reads this post, she can see with us.)
I love her smile in this. I feel like Jenna is really showing. Her hair is blowing around her face, a huge smile is beaming out, and the blurred background of the columns coming from her right shoulder makes me happy! I LOVE some good lines in an image. Jenna, you are totally GORGE!
Now, meet Bilko. I love him, really. He is looking off to the right in this image with those huge brown eyes. So cute. I feel like I may need some practice on dog portraits though! Ha!
Now look at that team! I love them together. Jenna is standing up again a pole, and Bilko is just watching, patiently, by her side. That huge smile again! I die!!
Now you can see just how much Bilko LOVES Jenna. He is looking up at her with such a sincere expression! Ah! I love it.
My absolute FAVORITE from shooting Jenna and Bilko. I feel like it sums up their relationship perfectly. The way Jenna is leaning down and relying on Bilko and how happy he looks to be helping her. I just LOVE it.
I hope Jenna’s story touched your heart as much as it did mine.