Chantielle & Stevie : Expecting

she came into my life 4 years ago, as we set out together, along with 9 other amazing young people, to pursue Jesus by setting aside a year of our lives and diving into LIT. her story resonated with me. her testimony seemed to mirror mine and she immediately had a special place in my heart. i could relate to every single word she spoke as she shared with us who Jesus was in her life. we shared many laughs and many cries together that year and it’s a year i know that none of us will ever forget.

when i found out Chantielle was pregnant with her first child, my heart was so over joyed for her. Chantielle has such a loving and generous heart and i know she will be an amazing mother. having the opportunity to capture this incredibly special moment in her life was a dream come true for me. i can’t even put into words how much i loved spending the evening with her and Stevie. Chantielle & Stevie decided to do their photos at her parents home and it was beyond perfect. i love it when my clients choose locations that are perfectly them. and this shoot, this shoot was perfectly Chantielle. especially when we ventured out into her parents field just as the sun was setting:)

Chantielle, i love you! thank you so much for letting me be a part of these special moments in your life!

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on throwing it all in, shaking it up, and taking back out

finally having the freedom to build a business doing what i love can be very rewarding. i wake up every day so excited to start the day, my mind racing with a million ideas and anticipating great things. it’s a feeling i have never felt before and one that i honestly didn’t know was possible. it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

there are days, though, where it all feels a bit overwhelming. days when i push and push and push and see little to no growth. days where specific dreams seem to die and the questions begin to rush in like a flood. days where i write out our budget for the month and feel like i’m failing us. i look at our income and see that i contribute nothing to our household; every penny that comes in from photography goes right back to the business and we are left completely reliant on my husbands income alone. it’s these days that i want to give up, throw it all away, and seek a “normal” job.

i poured out my heart to my husband over skype the other night. my worries that i wasn’t contributing and feelings of selfishness in it all. tears beginning to well up as the feelings of defeat crept in. i felt stuck. stuck trying to make my goals and dreams happen as a business owner while contributing to our goals and dreams as a family. he listened patiently, and when i was done he spoke words that i will never forget.

“see this cup?” he said. “we throw in my pay check and we throw in your pay check… shake it up… take out money for rent, utilities, business expenses, etc. it’s all the same.”

it was a simple illustration and it was all that i needed. with reassuring words he changed my perspective back to where it needed to be, reminding me that the decision to begin this business was a mutual decision, that no part of it was selfish and that he 100% supports where we are and the road we are on.

it’s these days that make me so grateful for the husband i have. the husband who has encouraged me to take this HUGE leap of faith and follow hard after my dreams.

 

James & Rachel: Expecting

she is the soft spoken sweetheart-of-a-woman that i had the privilege of working next to for the 4 weeks i teller’ed before my husband and i made the move to Seattle. and on my last day we chatted about life in the big city and all the amazing food there would be. she joked about her pregnant appetite and i laughed. while our time together was short lived i know that i will always have a friend in this wonderful lady.

i made the drive down to her home town Saturday and we spent the evening taking photos of her dashing husband, beautiful baby bump, and herself. and we had such a great time. her husband is as sweet as she and i left with a heart warmed and softened by their love and excitement for their precious little one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engaged : Aaron & Catherine

When Catherine messaged me and asked if I was available to photograph her and her finance, Aaron’s engagement photos I was floored! And as we began planning the shoot I knew it would be nothing short of amazing. Catherine was the confident, lover of people who reached out to me when I first began attending my church in Oregon and Aaron & I went on a Spring Break missions trip together last year. As a few of the only “college age” brave enough to board the bus full of middle school & high school age students venturing to Camp Harlow & then to the GC conference Aaron & I had a lot of laughs. And as we went about the night, Chris & I photographing this amazing couple, we all shared lots of laughs and had an incredible time.

Aaron & Catherine decided where their shoot would take place and I LOVE it when my couples do this. Not only do they get photos that are 100% “them” but I also get to explore all sorts of new places and spaces,  and this couldnt make me happier.

I’m so excited for these two and can’t wait for their wedding this October… it’s going to be a party, no doubt!

Internet, this couple is incredibly photogenic and I had a very difficult time deciding which photos I wanted to share, so prepare for lots of them:)

The image on the left… GAHH… I’m IN LOVE with their adorableness!

Did I mention we had loads of fun?!

Aaron is a total shoe guy… so a shoe shot was a definite MUST!

We concluded our evening at Aaron’s family farm just as the sun was setting. It made for the most delicious light. YUM!

Camilo & Juri – Pre Deployment

my pre deployment photo sessions are ones that i hold most near and dear to my heart. as the proud wife of a soldier i know how incredibly difficult it can be for a family to be apart for months on end. and my goal as a photographer is to make it as easy as i possibly can on the families by providing them with images to cherish during the deployment months. so naturally i take advantage of every oppotunity possible to capture these military families.

we met up with Camilo & Juri in NYC while my husband and i were there vacationing for the week, and while the weather was less than cooperative we made the best of it.

i feel so blessed to do what i do and have the ability to provide them with these images before Camilo leaves, especially with the exciting news of their little bun in the oven!

Doug & Cortney – Pre Deployment

in less than 24 hours they say ” i do ” and in less than a month they will say goodbye as he leaves for Afghanistan. when Cortney moved up to Washington from Arizona I couldn’t wait to get them in front of my camera for their pre-deployment shoot. and when Doug proposed soon after i KNEW i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture their overflowing love for one another.

Happy early Father’s Day:)

i can’t help it. whenever he’s around, i have to break out my camera and photograph him. he is my favorite nephew (i can say that because he is my only nephew) and the most perfect child EVER! and whenever we are around him Chris says “I want one.” in fact, he said those exact words last night as i gave him a preview of todays blog post:) someday… but until then we are so grateful for Miles.

while the guys were enjoying a bachelor party weekend with my soon to be brother in law (EEK! can you believe you will be a bride in just 11 days Taylor?!!), my sister, Lindsay, and i snuck in a mini photo shoot as a Father’s Day present for her husband. we had so much fun taking these photos and she was so excited about them that she told her husband early:) i laughed when she text me “so… I might have already shown Dana…” too cute!

luckily for you, dear friends, my sister’s inability to contain her excitement means i get to share these photos with you earlier than anticipated!

We’re coming to Eugene!

life has been crazy lately! from starting a side job, to shooting my first wedding, and everything in between, i can’t help but feel there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. and when i look at the big picture, and all that i want to do, coupled with all that i have to do, i feel like i can’t breathe. while i aspire to be the carefree person that lives one day at a time, with no thought of the future; the perfectionist planner in me doesn’t allow it. thank you sweetbabyjesus for my amazing husband who brings me back to reality, helps me refocus my attention on the present, and even comes to my rescue when i find myself with my head in my hands; turning off my computer screen for me and sending me on a run to simply clear my head. i have the best husband ever. and in a week we are unplugging completely, heading to NYC, and enjoying some much-needed fun! one of the best parts? we will return to my sister marrying her best friend! followed by a week in eugene, hanging with the fam. while we are there i couldn’t pass up the opportunity to schedule some photo shoots:) so, for 3 days only, i’m offering mini sessions! if you would LOVE to have some great updated photos, what are you waiting for? let’s schedule your shoot today! email me at justine@justinecirullo.com 🙂

 

XOXO

Justine

Wade Stockton Rediger – 2 months

we had gone to church together for a couple of years but had never really talked. in fact, i don’t know that we could even say that we were acquaintances. we simply went to the same church. that all changed, however, when our pastor asked us both to accompany him to Hannah’s House once a month for an evening service he would be leading. she, her husband, our pastor, and i would car pool together one friday every month and in that one friday a month we formed a friendship that is so dear to my heart. i would talk to her about my crush (now my hubby, holla!) and she would talk about how crazy work was and the next getaway she and her husband were planning. i cherished those car rides and looked forward to them every month.

when i found out Jered & Myranda was pregnant my heart smiled so incredibly big! this had been the desire of their heart for years and when little Wade was born i couldn’t wait to meet him! so when Myranda contacted me to take some photos of her little miracle man i was thrilled! i hung out with mommy and baby this past weekend and while little Wade wasn’t a fan of mommy setting him down we just went with it. he loves his mommy and it was precious.

Myranda, you are an amazing woman and an incredible mom! Hope you enjoy your photos. XOXO

feeling trapped

i felt trapped, and i didnt know why. every shoot, i left feeling as though i failed, as though i wasn’t adding up, i wasn’t good enough. i had these poses in my mind, shots i desperately wanted in my portfolio yet i could never seem to produce them… as well as others had. and there in lies the problem. rather than allowing myself to be inspired by the couple i was shooting or the scenery i was in i was constantly attempting to create what others were inspired to create. i had lost all trust in the creativity God had given me and became completely consumed by what others were doing and how they were doing it. and i felt trapped.

the feeling didn’t stop at my photos either. as a new photographer i find myself working on a website, pricing structure and marketing plan, all of which seem to not match up to those i follow. and the feelings of entrapment paralyzed me.

i read trevor dayley photography’s post titled pinterest is ruining me today and it was me he seemed to be writing about. i took in his every word as he spoke and couldn’t help but feel incredibly vulnerable as he called out my every weakness. i decided on sunday to stop looking at others work, stop comparing myself to those more experienced than me and start letting myself be inspired by what i love, not what others love. and his post confirmed my decision while giving me practical steps to putting my decision into action.

while i fight the feelings i have of insecurity and questions of whether others will approve of what i do i’m excited to allow myself the freedom to be who i am and produce the work that is true to me. i’m ready to be inspired by life and can’t wait for what’s to come!

check out this sign i found on the streets of seattle this past weekend! i love it:)