rise up

FILED IN: Personal

“I asked.”

That was my favourite answer to give whenever someone wanted to know how I got involved with being the photographer for Rise Up.

Well, actually, I told Catholic Christian Outreach that they should hire a photographer (ahem, me) for their annual young adults conference. I wanted to go & figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask – if they said no, I’d still attend, just with one less suitcase.

Because I asked, because I had the guts to put myself out there, I had one golden moment after another in Calgary for the 10 days I was visiting. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave: -30°C weather & all.

It was an honour to be working alongside the CCO staff. They know how to hustle & they understand the importance of sharing the gospel. I loved being part of their team for a few days.

Catholic Wedding Photographer_0001Catholic Wedding Photographer_0002Catholic Wedding Photographer_0003Catholic Wedding Photographer_0004Catholic Wedding Photographer_0005Catholic Wedding Photographer_0006Catholic Wedding Photographer_0007Catholic Wedding Photographer_0008Catholic Wedding Photographer_0009Catholic Wedding Photographer_0010Catholic Wedding Photographer_0011

I’m still chewing on all the notes I have in my phone from the conference, taking the truths I heard over & over throughout the week and exploring what they mean for my life.

The biggest take-away for me was trust. Trusting that God will come through for me. Not clambering for His attention, grasping after Him like an orphan, but rather trusting that He will come to me. He will meet me where I am.

And He will exceed my expectations.

That mostly had me thinking about my business. And men. But that second thing is a whoooole ‘nother conversation, okay.

Catholic Wedding Photographer_0012

It’s been almost a year of full-time self-employment for me. The couples that have graced my life have been bold, spirited, and daring, showing me that settling isn’t allowed in any area of life. Actions, not words, show how committed you are, so be all in. With love, with work, with weekend coffee dates, with silence so loud it breaks your heart, with something so much bigger than yourself.

At the root of all this, this gutsy way of living life, is trust. Trusting that God has your back. Not turning in circles, craning your neck round & round, to see if He’s really there, but rather standing still, knowing that He’s the one keeping you warm when that cool breeze of trouble blows by.

Catholic Wedding Photographer_0013

2014 was the year of being fearless when I didn’t even know I was doing it. Taking a leap of faith when God called me to self-employment because, even though I was scared, I was certain I would be taken care of. I had no idea how, but I knew it would work out.

The week I said yes to God’s call I booked three weddings. I had only photographed four weddings the year previous, so that was quite the jump in clients. I ended up photographing 12 weddings last year; 24 men & women that God knew I needed in my life for more reasons than just their wedding.

Plus their bridal parties. And their families. And their crazy friends.

What incredible people I’ve been blessed to meet this last year.

Catholic Wedding Photographer_0016

2015 is the year of great expectations. Of being gutsy. Daring. Audacious.


Intentionally, this time.

I am going to ask great things of God because I trust He is greater than anything else.

So here’s to Rise Up, a conference full of young adults who want to do the same, put on by staff that live this out daily. Let’s see how God moves over this next year – see you in Montreal!!

Catholic Wedding Photographer_0015


To see more photos from Rise Up in Calgary, check out the gallery.

And then check out CCO’s website. And their facebook page.

And give ‘em a follow on Instagram to see how God is reaching university campuses across Canada.


Contact Laura // Connect on Facebook // Follow on Instagram