This is my out-of-the-world gorgeous friend Emily. Last year I took her senior portraits in Guthrie (and boy, does that feel like ages ago); this year she consented to be my model for a stylized photoshoot in downtown Oklahoma City.

I've known Emily since I was nine and she eight. (We were actually set up on a blind friend date. True story.) We played and grew and became teenagers together, practically inseparable. And then, like it sometimes happens, our lives took different roads and we gradually drifted apart for a couple years. But through a swirl of events, God brought us back together two years ago, when we were both going through trials and didn't even know how much we needed each other. And now? We're stronger than ever, and I'm incredibly blessed to have this girl at my side.

When I look back over Emily's senior portraits from last year, I see my dear girl Emily, of course; a face full of sunshine and laughs, a joyful but ever-so-hesitant smile. A young lady, on the cusp of womanhood, waiting to discover who she was in Christ and where He would take her. But now so much has changed. She lived at a Bible college in Hungary for six months and allowed the Lord to sift and shape and grow, and her love for Jesus exploded to enormous heights. She has taken hold of her identity in Christ. She knows who she is in Him and how lost she would be without Him. I have watched her fully surrender herself to the Lord's call for her, come through hard times with that incredible smile, and face life with the boldness, adventure, and triumph she has found in loving Jesus. In all the years I've known her, I've never seen her more joyful, more full, more alive. And that's what I love most about these photos: they are so fully, so richly, so genuinely Emily.

(And be grateful, guys. We braved driving in circles in downtown OKC, getting weird looks from odd and slightly drunk people, and nearly being abducted by two creepy guys in a kidnapper van just to get these photos. Yeah. Nobody tells you just how dangerous photography can be.)

One more thing, guys, and then I'll leave you to look at Emily's gorgeousness. I now have an official Facebook page for my photography business! Please go check it out and like and share and do all that lovely Facebooky stuff. But the real question is... do you live in Oklahoma and need some new photos? Because I would love to meet up with you and create some beauty. Drop me a message and let's book your session!


  1. GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS. yes, I want a photoshoot! I sorta live in oklahoma...in a roundabout-not-really-it's-just-across-the-pond-kinda-way...WHY DO WE NOT LIVE CLOSER TO EACH OTHER. I BLAME YOU.

  2. Oohhh, these are so beautiful!! I love the black and white ones of her in front of the wall, the one by the flowers, the ones with the bicycle (!!), and the last ones by the water with the sun setting---sooooo breathtaking. Emily is so pretty!

  3. aw! they are so beautiful and is she!

  4. *jaw drops*

    Emily, you are so gorgeous. It's so encouraging to hear about your experience in Hungary at Bible College and how your faith has grown.

    Payton, thank you so much for sharing and for doing such a wonderful job with these photos! You really have a gift for photography and I always enjoy seeing your pictures!

    Also, I recognize that coffee house...it is one of my favorites! :D

    Dani from A Vapor in the Wind

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely words, friend! It's people like you who inspire me to keep going with my art. :)

  5. Lovely my darlings! Absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Lovely my darlings! Absolutely gorgeous!

  7. Lovely my darlings! Absolutely gorgeous!

  8. Awww, you ladies are just simply the BEST. Thanks for your encouragement and support! Love you all. :)

  9. Awww Payton these are beautiful!! Do you have any tips on how to pose and still make it look natural/candid? Thanks!!! :)

  10. These are lovely! AND so exciting about your facebook page and awesome officialness! :)


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