Want to be a dreamer, be one Anytime you please and please save me one: An end-of-summer thank you

August 30, 2016


No photographs in a blog post on a website for a photography business? I must be crazy. Or busy. Or both.


Yes, the final option sounds right.


As I have said in numerous posts as well as in my introduction, I am a storyteller. I started this world as a writer, using words to create my images in the best way I could: With your imagination.


As man who taught us all so much about imagination, Gene Wilder, has left us as I write this. All evening, those words that have periodically bounced around my brain since I first saw Willy Wonka have hit hard, with a thump, somewhere in my cerebral cortex. The beautifully eerie melody paired with the gentle lyrics “If you want to view paradise, simply look around to view it/Anything you want to do, do it/ Wanna change the world? There’s nothing to it” have been an anthem of mine for some time, but even more so after this summer.


Before the explanation, a little story.


When I was in eighth grade, I had a wild imagination. True to my INFJ self, I was metaphorically (and perhaps literally) zipped at the lips—quiet and unexpressive to others while an entire laser light show exploded inside. All the colors that corresponded with all the feels were present, presenting me with wild idea after idea. It was a bright, vibrant imagination that directed me through middle school and high school.


But as I grew, each light dimmed, one by one, until it was out. It wasn’t a flipped switch—my imagination was just out like that. No, it was more like a candle; each dream that flickered and frolicked in my imagination was smothered by each new pragmatic thought. A journalist and photojournalist in northern Minnesota, Kayla? Really? Do you seriously think you can make a living just making things or taking pictures of things up here? Honestly, can small town girls survive in the big city?


The answer to each question blocked the light of imagination, and thereby a part of a life I never thought could exist.


Do not get me wrong: Life is good. But as I tell my students, sometimes the last time you’ll be honest with yourself is in your youth. I know that’s the last time I was realistic about my dreams, before I came just realistic.


Then you came. To here. To my blog. My page. My Facebook. My Instagram.


My focus this summer was on building this business that many of you have graciously supported. While it was last summer’s creation, this year the focus has been on the creative side and building a brand you can come to trust. In addition to that, this summer was the first summer where I could simply and purely photograph you. Capture your dreams in action. Seal your goals and achievements in time. Every time you have invited me into your world it has been like a crack formed allowing my long-hidden light’s rays beam through, illuminating one dusty imagination.


So, no picture can capture the thank you I have for you being here. These 524 words so far cannot even do that duty. By just being here, you have brought back a little of what has been lost, and giving me more than I could ever imagine. As Mr. Wonka wisely sang, “[t]here is no life I know to compare with pure imagination/ Living there, you’ll be free, if you truly wish to be.”


Thank you, readers, clients, and new friends, for bringing me back into my imagination and helping me be just a little more free.  



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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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