When Sarah of Beauty Bespoken reached out about collaborating, I couldn’t wait to say yes and make it happen. Sarah is a San Diego-based make up artist with the most beautifully airy aesthetic, and planned to be in DC for a week or so with her husband. After looking over her portfolio, I couldn’t wait to work with her.
We came up with a clean, minimalistic shoot idea rooted in our shared faith in Jesus Christ. There are many references to ashes in the Bible surrounding grief, sadness, and sorrow. But God doesn’t leave the broken in their brokenness— He gives promises of joy in the midst of the sorrow, and never wastes the pain of His people.
“And provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:3
We decided to incorporate charcoal and ashes into the into the minimilistic shoot and use the art form to communicate a “rising up from the ashes” idea— that joy comes in the morning.
The timing of this shoot was particularly significant for me. Postpartum depression has become a friend I’m still learning to live with, a heavy friend that influences my choices and colors my days. The transition to two littles has been mostly sweet, but a little hard. And Buck had a lot of overseas work travel in the first half of the year. It has been a tricky season— lots of creativity is required to live well with in it, to end our responsibilities and keep priorities in line.
The day of our shoot, I had Isaiah 45 echoing in my head. The promise of “treasures from darkness and hidden riches in secret places,” all that we would know God more deeply, more intimately.
Our sins and our sorrows are many, but His mercy is more.