Photography: Elizabeth Messina

I'm having this strange week...every time I see something beautiful I simply tear up. I'm not much for crying in public, which makes these impromptu bursts of emotion even more unusual for me. To be honest, I think the most true statement I can make about my plans and goals for the future is that I simply desire to create beauty around me....that inspires in some way. If I can make a living doing so that is even more a blessing...but I actually would feel completely contented if others even just simply enjoyed what I did.

I feature so many talented artists and designers here on JARFLY, many of whom I consider mentors from afar (whether they realize it or not). I gawk at their ability to create such unique craft and truly drip love into everything they create. I can only hope and pray that as I mature as a graphic designer, photographer (dare I say it) and artist...(perhaps writer?)...that I can also acquire the skill of inspiring others with my work and pastimes...if even a little. I believe inspiration is wrapped up with a lot of being peace, another admiration, another creativity....topped with a little courage and more than Perhaps that's why all things lovely now leave me happily crying.

All Featured Photography by Elizabeth Messina

Question: What does inspiration feel like? I think it feels like the photo above, so delightfully captured by Elizabeth Messina. If you read the introduction to this blog post, I want you to know that when I speak of masters of their craft and mentors from afar....I mean it for Ms. Messina more than anyone else. I have never met this amazing woman, though I know people who have been lucky enough to work with her. However, I feel like I understand just a wee bit of her heart and perspective on the world because her photography is so achingly beautiful I often simply can't stand it.



It's filled with whimsy, softness and a gentle touch. It's so rare that somebody can capture that with such simplicity and spirit...not to mention on film (yes, film! remember that?) using mostly natural light. It really leaves me breathless and drives me to walk around my neighborhood taking pictures of mailboxes and leaves with my old film camera.

Elizabeth is the proud Mama of three and says on her blog that she holds hands with her husband as she falls asleep every night. It's so encouraging to see a woman working so hard and enjoying success in her work....but at the same time seeing bits of her soul relfected in her family....her greatest love...while reading her blog posts. 


Kiss the Groom is a unique and stunning wedding blog penned by Messina. It is hands down one of my favorite sites to visit. I can always count on her to have a simple yet profound experience or thought to share...which is of course are always paired with the most splendidly rare and beautiful photos. 

Elizabeth has been voted one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world, yet she makes herself so available on her sites and shares her work and small glimpses into her daily life with such ease and tranquility. If you are not a follower of hers on instagram, I highly recommend it for daily doses of quick prett-i-ness.

If you'd like to learn more about Elizabeth Messina and her work, I think you'd really enjoy her latest book, The Luminous Portrait. It's first and foremost simply great for keeping on the coffee table or bedside for when you need a little boost of lovely. Yet more practically, she gives amazing tips on how to build your photography skills and in particular....learn to understand and embrace natural light. Later next month I'll be sharing some photography experiments using her many tips and doing a little book review as well.

What does inspiration feel like? I'm still learning that...but as I typed's must look a little like this...and I also think it settles you deep in your heart with a warmth  that we are all capable of such great heights and great love. I feel really lucky  to take some of that in while enjoying Elizabeth Messina's photography and perhaps one day in the of her workshops.

I am also not ashamed to admit that being able to have my portrait or work in some form photographed by her is certainly on my bucket list....wish me luck ;) And thank you Elizabeth for sharing your talent with us with so much joy, humility and grace. You are lovely.

To the JARFLY readers I hope you are coming off the holiday weekend with ease and enjoying the early inklings of autumn. You are so very appreciated!