central ky family
lifestyle photographer

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because you are so loved.

May 18, 2018

Hi, I'm cilla!
I am a loved, incredibly imperfect, storyteller of life, love, and joy. Photographer to some of the most genuine and beauty-filled people in KY.
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session day
prep list
Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.

Hi, friends! It has been so long since my last post and I miss you immensely. Over the last…oh…seven years, I have tried with all my might to blog on a regular basis and I’ve promised the moon and stars. Today, I will promise this, I want to write. I think of all of you often. I am going to take it one post, one day, at a time. Here is my love for today…

Some of you may recognize the beginning of this from the newsletter on my last birthday. Consider this my mission statement. 

I always thought “by the time I’m 40 I will have it all figured out”. Now that 40 is ever so near I am letting go of that. I don’t want to have it all figured out. I want to learn and grow and heal. I want to live with grace. I want to let go of perfection. I want to laugh and love loudly. I want to breath and hug slowly. I want my eyes to always be open to the beauty and heart ache of life. I want to soak every bit of it in. I want to dance in my kitchen. I want to say yes to what’s important and no to what isn’t…and I want the courage to know the difference. I want to use every single fall along my journey as a chance to grow and heal and learn the deep lessons that only the falls can teach. I want to know that my unique sensitivity to life is never a weakness, even when it feels like it’s a heavy burden to bare. I want to dip my toes into the ocean as much as I can. I want to collect all the seashells I can carry in my hands. I want the sand to find it’s way into every nook and cranny of my car, my towels, my hair, and anywhere else it tends to find because it means I was there. I didn’t worry about the mess…I worried about the joy. I want to sit alone with God every morning before the sun even rises. I want to sing even though I never seem to know the right words or have the right melody. I want to walk and run and hike because I have legs that will carry me. I want to cry…I want to cry every tear that needs to escape my eyes because tears mean I feel and feeling means I am alive and I am human. I want to hold hands. I want to witness the majesty of God’s creation ALL around me, in all the ordinary moments because God created every bit of it…and created ME. I was worthy of creation. I want to run through the sprinklers. I want to embrace my curly hair and my thighs. I want to wear the swimsuit. I want my life to be dictated by joy…not anxiety…not fear…not depression…not trauma…not worry of what others may think or the need to please…not unhealthy food choices. I, also, want to eat the damn cake because every now and then we need cake in our lives people. I want to blow out all the candles and make all the wishes on shooting stars. I want to kiss. Oh how I love kisses. I want to dig in my garden and eat fresh tomatoes and strawberries before they ever make it to the kitchen. I want to love the world the best I can and I want to love my people with fierceness. 

My best friend likes to remind me that on our last day of elementary school (for us that was 4th grade) I cried and said “but things will never be the same”. What I didn’t realize then was the same is true for every single day of our lives. This day will never be the same as the day before. This too shall pass. Life will continue to move quickly and things will continue to change. Time, like all the best things in life, is bitter sweet. It gives us life and love and moments that we will always cherish, but it also takes them away. My sweet little boy who I can still hold in my arms will, hopefully, one day be too big to pick up, will no longer ask for “night night tickles” or for “one more minute”. The spins and kisses and hand holding I get from the one I said “I do” to are not guaranteed for tomorrow. The only choice I have is to love. The only regret I don’t want is the one that says I didn’t love enough. 


Why? Because I am already loved. YOU are already loved. We are loved for our imperfections, not despite them. Each thing that makes up your life…my life…each tear, each heart ache, each fear, each worry, each mistake, each joy, each laugh, each struggle, each trauma, each beauty filled, breath taking, brutal..soul stomping..awful…thing in your life and my life…is just another color of who we are. Sometimes it may look messy up close, right in the middle of it where all the noise is.  Some days it will feel dark and lonely and like there is no color left in the world and you’ll feel like you can’t breath. Some days you’ll be filled with so much color and light and beauty that your heart will nearly burst with joy. Some days we’ll feel lost. Some days we’ll feel content. When the clutter clears, and the dust settles, we will look back and see the artistry in the colors…the artistry in the dark and in the light…the artistry in our becoming. Not becoming who society or our fears tell us we should be. Becoming the one love and life has made us to be. Sometimes full of happiness…sometimes full of darkness…full of joy…perfectly imperfect humans. Loved. Love. 

The words “everything happens for a reason” use to roll smoothly off my tongue. Now, I hesitate. I hesitate because I’ve seen childhood cancer and I know I cannot look at those parents and say those very words. What I do believe is this…there is always love. In that love…there is beauty. Beauty isn’t always light…love isn’t always easy or even visible. Beautiful, awful, heart wrenching, things full of life and purpose can come from the darkest of days. We live in a broken world full of pain, and at the same time, we live in a joyful world full of beauty. Each make up our unique painting that can be used to bring more love into the world.

My purpose is this…to use my dark…to use my light…to use my sadness and fear…to use my happiness and joy…to use my trauma…to use my life…to use my love…my arms…my voice…my unique painting…my camera…to love the people in front of me…and to remind them they are loved.

So much love,


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I'm Cilla and I'm so happy you're here! You'll find bits of writing about this beautiful, messy, joyful, love-filled life...both mine and the families I get to photograph year after year. 

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session day
prep list

Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.


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Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.

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