I’m Laura.

I get excited knowing a woman realizes how beautiful she is. When she opens her heart to share that beauty joyfully with her world, I’m ecstatic.

This passion has grown out of some amazing interactions with high-school girls. While coaching volleyball after college and teaching English in Korea in 2010-11, I discovered that I care more about a teen’s understanding of her unique loveliness than her ability to kill the ball or write a 5-paragraph essay (and those are skills very near and dear to my English-major, middle-hitter heart).

After I bought my first big-girl camera 8 years ago and started photographing my mom as much as she’d let me, I saw up close that it’s not just young ladies but women of all ages who need continued affirmation of their deep, lifegiving beauty (believe me, I’m right there with all of you). And that carefully creating expressive and maybe even glamorous portraits of us is a great way to help out.

Now, photographing females is among my favorite activities, right up there with laughing at my hubby’s hilarity, singing show tunes or worship music at the top of my lungs and having heart-to-hearts over lattes (not necessarily all at once).

If you’d like to join me in that last one (and feel free to change out coffee for any drink you like), you’ll make my day by getting in touch and telling me so. I can’t wait to get to know you! (As of August 2013, my husband and I are living in Daegu, South Korea. If you happen to live in this area and would like to do some photos together, I’d love to hear from you!)

Thanks to my momma, who’s also my photography assistant when I’m in the States, for the before-and-after images above from November 2012. Both photos are “me,” I think. But I’m learning to believe in the beauty I can see in myself in the “after” photo, if that makes sense. I’d love to help you do the same.

More about me, if you must know….

I’m 31 years old and almost 6 feet tall, which makes me a generous 3 inches taller than my husband and already 4 years old when he was born. We’ve been married over 6 years, and I’ve worn heels around him about twice 7 times since we wed (I’m getting braver!). I grin and breathe a sigh of relief whenever someone thinks Josh and I are the same age.

Other than Wichita, I’ve only ever lived in the tiny Kansas town of Hillsboro (home of my alma mater, Tabor College) and the large-ish Korean city of Daegu where we live now (OK, and a couple years in San Antonio as a toddler).

My other post-college adventures have included telling people’s life stories as a feature reporter for a small-town newspaper, and helping the average Jane appreciate the cool science and tech happening at the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University.

I’ve never considered myself particularly fashion forward or polished, and in recent years, I’ve learned it’s best to rely on my friends’ opinions when choosing clothing and accessories. Even then, I go for simple and flattering, and call it a day.

I’ve about given up on losing my 30-ish pounds of newlywed weight gain before we decide to start our nice big family and the pounds invite their friends to visit.

I’m a perfectionist who’s finally starting to learn that it’s healthier, and even godlier, sometimes just to relax and let it be. One of the deepest desires of my heart is to be able to say truthfully, “It is well with my soul.” I hope our time together can help you do the same.

Still want to know more?

A visit to my Pinterest boards will give you a pretty good idea of what I find visually, emotionally and even spiritually inspiring.

Or go ahead and get in touch for that heart-to-heart!

Leigh Margaret Manning - Hi Laura!
My friend stumbled across your blog while looking for fall-ish things to do in the next few weeks. I’m super interested in the apple picking Daegu, by the way :-) We’re all living here in Korea (doing – yep, you guessed it!) teaching English. Anyways, I love your blog, I love your photography and you seem like a really awesome lady! I think your desire to encourage young girls is inspiring. I believe God has already used you and will continue to use you. Thank you for sharing!

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