Dear You: Imagine us sitting down for coffee, tea and a decadent chocolate cupcake with a dollop of blush buttercream frosting. You'd tell me your story. I'd tell you mine. Knowing these were stories worth telling, stories worth keeping, I'd open my leather-bound journal, the one with a deeply-rooted tree embossed on front, and I'd begin taking notes. Our beautifully intertwined, scarlet-stained stories would fill pages upon pages with details scribbled on the side. We'd bear our souls, exchange laughter and tears, and wonder if we were truly crazy for revealing these parts of ourselves to another. You'd glance sideways, staring out the window, your hands folded loosely, but cautiously in front of your face. I'd tell you it was okay. I understand. I want to hear you. I'm here to listen. I'm here to tell your story. It's beautiful and bold, and you are fierce like a wildfire. Your life? Your story? It's ridiculously inspiring. It's complicated and nuanced. You are more than you've ever revealed. Your pain is as great as your beauty. Your past is as noteworthy as your future. Your joy is hard fought, packed and pressed down with a hearty dose of courage. The truth is, nobody will ever know the intricate ins and outs of you and your story. But here I am. Tell me more. Tell me your what, when, where, why and who. Feel no pressure. Just freedom. Freedom to be you. All of you. God has you here for a reason. Your story is significant. See the significance of your story.
Welcome! My name is Amy. I'm a writer, photographer and storyteller located in North Bend, Washington. I received my first camera when I was 9 years old and my first diary when I was 12. While I would love to know how many photos I've taken and how many words I've written since I received that first camera and first diary, it's impossible. There are simply too many to count. For years, I assumed photography and writing were hobbies, things I did naturally, with ease, on the side, for fun, without giving either a second thought. Slowy, but surely, I began to realize that NOT everyone carries a full-size camera with them everywhere they go. NOT everyone keeps diaries and journals and dreams about becoming an author someday. Yes, I suppose you could say that photography and writing used to be my hobbies. But I know better now. God called me to photograph and write while I was still a child.
It wasn't until 2003, shortly after I became a first-time mom, that I realized God was calling me to do something more with my gift of writing. It wasn't until 2014, a handful of months before I left my 14 1/2 year career as a speech-language therapist to pursue writing, that I realized God was calling me to do something more with my gift of photography. And it wasn't until 2016 at a hope*writers workshop in North Carolina that I realized God was calling me to merge my gifts of writing and photography to tell stories. Jennifer Pett, a fellow hope*writer, took 2-3 minutes to listen to my story and my dreams, and declared without an ounce of hesitation that I was a storyteller. Storyteller resonated deeply with my soul. Storyteller made perfect sense with where I've been and where I want to go. So here we are. I'd love to tell your story. With photos. With words. With all of my heart. Thank you for the honor.