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November 22, 2014

Dearest friend,

When I was at your apartment the other day, looking at all of your impossibly cute things, I noticed a photo on your refrigerator. It was a photograph of you, from many years ago – you were young and smiling and your eyes were shut. Everyone else was cropped out of the picture. “What is this?” I inquired. “Motivation.” you replied, explaining that you were several pounds lighter in the photograph and you kept it on your refrigerator as a deterrent from misguided snacking.

I thought about this for a long time – I thought about this for hours after I left your house. Dearest friend – you are so beautiful. And do you know from whence your beauty shines forth? Your eyes! You have such a joyful spirit and it comes through in your laughing, expressive eyes every day. Now, I get it; you want to shed a few pounds. Fine – I don’t like that, but fine. But let me be clear that not for one moment – not for one moment EVER has your beauty derived from your waistline. Your beauty comes straight out from inside of you – it pours out of you with every laugh, with every furrowed brow; and every time the light catches your eyes the world gets a glimpse of the light inside of you. And it is beautiful.

So, if you must keep a photograph on the refrigerator for motivation – and I strongly discourage you thinking that you are anything less than perfect the way you are – then I implore you to please, please choose one where your eyes are open! Be reminded that your beauty shines OUT from those gorgeous eyes. Be reminded that you are made up of many things that make you more than just attractive – but that make you a complete and amazing individual.

When I visit my grandmother, I love looking at old photographs of her. I see her – her beautiful smiling eyes the same in youth as they are today. She starts the criticism “Oh gosh! I can’t believe I wore that!” but before she knows it, she too is rapt -unable to tear away from the memories held in those photos. It happens all too soon that life moves on – we change, our families change. Photographs are one of the ways we remember the past – one of the ways that we remember each other. They’re important, because you are important. So I guess what I’m saying to everyone is take pictures! Be in pictures! Smile! Open your eyes! Save your pictures, print your pictures, share your pictures (hire me to take your pictures!), and be remembered for the beautiful, perfect soul that you already are.


- Photograph by Kara Johnson Photography - Quote by William Shakespeare

– Photograph by Kara Johnson Photography
– Quote by William Shakespeare

  • Kara, What a beautifully written commentary on what so many of us are guilty of, myself included. You gave me a brand new way to look at myself. I usually like to be the one taking the family pictures, that way I can not have a “bad” picture taken. We are all too often critical of our “image”, when in reality we need to remember that we are created in the image of God. Of course, I do not think that means our personal appearance but our humanity and spiritual presentation of ourselves to others. Thank you for reminding me of that. And thank you for the beautiful picture that you shared with these words. I know that I am not impartial, to say the least, but she does have beautiful eyes, doesn’t she? You capture so many beautiful moments and this is one of my favorite ones! Best wishes, Carol

    • kjohnsonphoto says:

      Carol, Thank you again for your kind words and insight. I’m honored every time I get to take photos of your sweet and beautiful family and look forward to it happening again soon!

  • Tricia Barrett says:

    That was beautiful! Although I’m not over weight, I’m very much one to hide from the camera. I’m not the “photogenic type” but I am reminded that life is short & time passes quickly and with the recent passing of my Dad, it was sad seeing the lack of photos that I was in when the video played his life story.

    Thank you for the reminder & I will be more cognizant of being “in the picture”

    Good photography work!

    • kjohnsonphoto says:

      Tricia, Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m guilty of hiding behind the camera myself sometimes too. We can both work on getting “in the picture” from now on!

  • Emily says:

    This is gorgeous, friend!

  • Jen Snider says:

    Right on, friend. Lovely writing, amazing photos.

  • Jen Snider says:

    Right on, friend. Lovely writing. Amazing photography.

  • Holly Goodnow says:

    Kara, this is so beautifully written

October 31, 2014

Hey friends! Welcome to my new website! So the great thing about a new website is that’s it’s all shiny with new photos on it and widgets and buttons and things. That bad thing about a new website is that I haven’t quite figured out how to use all of the widgets and buttons and things. Hopefully if you’re stopping by to check out your photos, get more information or place an order then all will go smoothly. But if you find that you’re having problems with any portion of this website, please let me know! And then I’ll let Google know and it will tell me what to do next.  In the meantime, thank you for coming by!