Jess | PTSD Empowerment

• August 21st, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

These sessions have become to mean so much to me. Trauma can have such awful and long lasting effects. Learning how to cope and manage them can take years learning tools, coping skills, defense mechanisms and more. And for many, it can go undiagnosed for years. Taking time to SHARE the struggle and the ups and downs of the journey through PTSD is something I am so VERY proud to have done.

Please welcome Jess to my blog. She is such a kind and beautiful young lady who has suffered from trauma since she was a young girl. Here is her story, in her own words.

 I wanted to do the PTSD/anxiety shoot with Devon; because, although I’ve shared my experiences with a few friends, I really trust Devon and wanted her to share with other victims her capturing myself and to encourage others to speak out about their struggles as well. 

 As I thought of what I wanted to share during my session, I thought of the numerous experiences I’ve had with anxiety throughout my whole life.

Growing into the woman I am today, I find that many young women are often shamed if they don’t have a good relationship with their mothers. At least that is how my story has felt.

It becomes hard on us to speak our story when other people, especially women, work to break you down. This is so heartbreaking when you are already struggling with having a bad relationship with the woman who gave birth to you. If you don’t agree with someone they just stop listening, and you get talked over or spoken at. Your name becomes spat on and you’re just this “stubborn” woman who has all of these agendas when you can barely keep up with your own life and goals for the days. I think the world has had enough of the people who just dismiss others and gossip. We that try to speak about our pain have often felt silenced or unheard.

I struggled early on in my life from being sexually abused, I didn’t have a trusting adult to go too. Was moved away from my extended family when I was about 5-6. I was far too young, and though my mom would often ask what happened, I felt smothered and far too embarrassed to say anything. And in time I pushed the memories away, at least from what I remember. I’ve often found myself shaky as well as dismissing anyone that would share their feelings for me. Some days I find myself wanting that true love, other days I find myself struggling to be the independent woman I’ve never really had a chance to be. Often I feel “stuck” unable to move forward.

For me, the image that stood out to me the most was the mirror images. Because of my past traumas, I’ve often thought of myself of this less than beautiful woman and always looking at ways to improve my appearance. And often, the beauty others might see outwardly, is much different than what I am feeling on the inside. I struggle with self confidence and I wanted to portray that in this session.

It has been a long struggle to get to where I am today. But I am proud to say, I am a fighter who has fought hard overcome my past. I am a survivor! Thank you for listening to my story. So very glad Devon captured it so well and I hope, though hearing and seeing my story, you are able to find the courage to fight a little harder, share your story and find the survivor in you too! ~Jess

Professional Headshots at the Beach

• August 21st, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

EVERYONE needs a beautiful professional headshots. Today most people are judged before they are met as others check out their social media sites and websites.

Kyndra wanted something fun and different for her professional portraits. So we headed to First Landing State Park , a perfect mix of woods and beach and always a beautiful Virginia Beach sunset!

We had a bit of a technical issue with my lighting equipment as it decided to go on strike during the shoot. But, I always have a few tricks up my sleeve and with some creative ideas using an on camera flash, a reflector and my super cool assistant, we overcame and created some beautiful AMAZING portraits!

I love what I do and am blessed to help others succeed with beautiful headshots! I’d love to help you with yours!

It’s Okay To Be Mad Sometimes|Creative Chaos

• August 14th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

It’s been a rough time with the world as it is. COVID19 and everything that you see in the news. I personally have been having a hard time with this. I dealt with postpartum depression/anxiety with both of my boys and didn’t realize that’s what it was until well after Andrew (my youngest) was born. I saw a therapist and finally…. FINALLY… got out of the funk that I had become accustomed to as my norm. Well now there is a new norm in the world, and I was MAD. I was mad that all of the things I’d lost interest in, namely getting out of the house… was not a part of this “new norm”. For a while I was just cranky and kept saying that I would come up with creative ways to keep my kids entertained. It’s more than just entertainment at this point, we’ve been at this COVID mess for almost 6 months with not much of an end in sight. I woke up day before yesterday just angry at the world, angry at God, angry at the situation.

This morning, God decided to give me a wakeup call. Looking back on it it was like he was screaming “WAKE UP CHILD! There is so much beauty to behold!” but of course, I’m only human and wasn’t paying attention. I decided to do my daily readings (which I’d skipped the last few days…) and go on to read all about “living in the moment.” Later, I turned on Jeremy Camp Radio (my favorite Christian singer right now) and the first song that came on was Jeremy Camp’s “Live In the Moment.” Okay, so it’s kinda redundant right? Love that song, but okay I get the point. Then the next song really hit home. Hillsong’s “All is New.” The first couple of phrases goes like this…

“Your love’s making all things new
You’re working in all for good
And for the things of this world
There is hope renewed
In the life that is found in You.”

Right there, I felt like I ran into a brick wall, looked around me and felt like I woke up from a dream. It is okay to be mad sometimes but I’d let it control me. Times are hard, the world is a hard place to live in right now, but I have to believe in something greater and that it will all be okay. Take in what beauty is around you, your kids, your family, the blue skies, music, whatever moves you. Just DO IT.

So seriously, here are some ideas of things I’ll be posting about in the future, because I am determined to not let this “new norm” be a “new funk” for me. There is so much to enjoy and “stop and smell the roses” during this time, let’s try some.

  1. Flashlight Tag – I did this as a kid, who remembers this!
  2. Races around the block – doesn’t matter your age!
  3. Gardening – I have a garden, I should learn about it
  4. Photography – This is a big one, I’ll explain more in one of my upcoming CreativeChaos blogs!
  5. Beading- one of my long lost hobbies
  6. Organization – I have gone through so much of my house it’s not even funny. I’ve found things that I didn’t know about.
  7. I have more ideas than I can list here but stay tuned every Friday for a new blog post!!!

Hang in there you guys, “this too shall pass” it sucks right now, but let’s not let it define us and the “funk” we allow ourselves to get into. There are so many beautiful things about this world and our lives, we just need to learn to appreciate them a little more. <3 We’ve got this.