I’ll start off this blog post by sharing a quick shot that Shari and I took while we were waiting for the rest of the family to arrive at the Shreveport Riverwalk this morning.

Distant Gaze

Ain’t she purty?

Anyways, Times of Refreshing is over. For non-POBC types, Times of Refreshing is a religious meeting held annually in several different cities around the States. It’s always a kind of high-octane meeting, even by pentecostal standards. *nudge, nudge*

Anyways, I have to be honest and say that I entered into this weekend absolutely drained. I had no energy, I was grumpy, I was mentally absent, and I was wondering whether or not I would make it through the weekend alive. I seriously didn’t know how it was going to go…

Well, I have some good news (and the obligatory bad news). The bad news is that I’m even more exhausted, mostly mentally and spiritually. The good news is that it was a great weekend that saw a lot of great results, especially with the students in the youth group. It’s always an incredible feeling, even when you’re 100% wiped out, to watch your students that you’ve seen struggle through month after month finally get something that they desperately needed at the altar.

Besides my wife and my family (my small circle of closest friends are part of my family, by the way), those students are the most important people in the world to me, even the ones that have already graduated and moved out of my department. Don’t get me wrong; I love the adults in our church too, but those kids are my life. When they go through it, I go through it with them. When they’re experiencing a high point, I’m up in the clouds with them as well.

High school is an emotional roller coaster ride already. I thought that when I graduated, I’d be out of that stage in my life. Then I started working with the high school youth and realized one day that I was subconsciously experiencing their highs and lows along with them. It’s absolutely exhausting, even when the schedule isn’t as packed as it has been in ’08. But you know…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’m going to bed. Bye.


7 thoughts on “M’Dear

  1. James Wilder says:

    Your photography rocks. The round shadows…is this your lense or photoshop? The vivid colors is cool.

  2. Mark Eric says:

    You guys make one photo-licious couple.

  3. Matt D. says:

    man… eating up the processing and tiny DOF on that image – is it from the 85mm f1.8?

  4. ryanaustindean says:

    Thank you guys.

    James, the vignette was added in Aperture 2, but can be done in Photoshop as well through Filters -> Distort -> Lens Corrections (if I remember right). Then go to vignette and play around with it until you get the look you want.

    Mark, I’m working out, getting a haircut, and spending some time in the sun before our anniversary session. I looked at our engagement shots again last week and was reminded that I looked like Casper with a dark, spiky helmet on his head. And yes…the buttons.

    Matt, that is indeed my 85mm f/1.8. Missing the “L,” but I am but a poor college student. I’m sure you can empathize, good sir. I tried straightening the image as well, but it was one of the few that actually looked worse when I angled the horizon properly.

  5. Heather says:

    Ryan, that is a beautiful picture of Shari!

    I think you’re getting the hang of this whole “picture taking” hobby of yours. LOL! Fantastic….

    BTW, when is your site going to be made public?

  6. ryanaustindean says:

    Thank you, Heather.

    Actually, I had a great friend (whom you know) Email me yesterday and wants to design my site for free. The one I designed had some issues I’ve been trying to fix, so luckily he caught me before I went back to Blu Domain.

    I’ll announce the site when its’ up and reveal the designer (with his permission) with a big thank you and plug for his work.

  7. Matthew D. says:

    Sweet. Yes, yes… we’re both quite familiar with the ever continuing search for more ways to buy more camera gear without actually spending college money… haha.

    I thought about the 85/1.8 but decided I’d leave that job to the 70-200…. just splurged on a 50/1.4 which I have yet to get to shoot someone with (other than a sorry self port)… arg the excitement!!

    If I win the lottery I’ll buy us both an 85mm f1.2 Mk II L. Not playing might reduce my chances though…

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