Monday, June 22, 2015

Recent Photography Sessions

If you follow me on any form of social media, you may have caught onto a little something....
I love capturing life as it unfolds. It brings me great joy to be behind a lens + it has become a sweet form of worship for me: finding beauty in the mundane and creatively expressing it through a photograph.

In the past three years what was planted as an interest has bloomed into a passion + a rich part of my everyday.

A thought ran through my head. A thought that turned into a daydream. Then a prayer.

What if? What if a small business bloomed from my passion? What if I got to do two things I absolutely adore: stay home with my kiddos + capture photographs?

“We make things happen when we make the choice to shift from denying of the unknown to starting.” 

Cheers to the beginning. The beginning of a passion, dream, and prayer.
Along An Inland Sea Photography 

The Hamlin Family// Park Point- Duluth, MN

This family. You guys, I cant even. I have known Stephen for many many years. He once gave me a black eye playing raquetball + we're still friends years later. Then He introduced me to His beautiful lady who would soon become his wife. I fell in love with Angela quickly. Her humor is on point + she loves sitting on the couch talking about life over a cup of coffee as much as I do. We're a good match. They have created the sweetest little family, and when they asked me to capture them to celebrate Llewyns first birthday- I was honored to say the least. We had the best night on the glorious shores of Lake Superior as the sun set. Ending the session, Angela + I jumped into an unseasonably warm Lake Superior for the first time of the summer. A night to go down in the books. 

Thank you guys for being you. For being such a sweet example of a family who follows after Gods heart. And for creating adorable children. I love you guys.

If your interested in having me capture you, your family, or a treasured event:
You can contact me at: for pricing + availability. 


We would love to hear from you!

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Conversation

“Papa…can I hold him a little longer? I just want to memorize every inch of this precious little boy.” 

“I gave him your eyes…and that dimple in your chin…” 
“I see that Papa…He’s perfect. Absolutely perfect. Will he have my spirit and tenacity?” 

God smiled…”Is that what you call it? Do you think your daughter will find that a gift or a curse?” 

“Hmmmmm….I guess given different circumstances…BOTH!!” 

“ Fair enough….God breathed in deeply…”He will know you, don’t doubt that. His sister did! “ 

Oh yes…my Audrey Bella…I kept her longer! It was hard to give her up. She was my first. But yes…she knows me. I love that. You know she calls me Papa too? “

God smiled…kindness radiating from his eyes…”I know everything” 

“Of course you do…I haven’t always known that or believed in You. But You were patient with me. When my eyes were finally opened I have never doubted Your presence or Your plan for my life.” 

Even through the cancer Patrick?” …..
“Even through the cancer Papa”…..

“You made me proud son….you really did. And as a Father, you know what I mean. You left a legacy for your children and your children’s children…Your story of faith lives on in them.” 

“I just need to breathe in his sweetness a moment longer”…..

“It’s time son…You’ll remember”

“It’s time my sweet daughter…..breathe Anna….you’re doing so good…I’m so proud of you….A little longer…almost there…one more push
“It’s time son”….”I know Papa…I know” 

"Oh look at the love in that room Papa....they are blessed to have found each other" 

"It was always my plan"....." Audrey...and Raleigh" and the rest you will just have to wait and see....

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord...plans to prosper you...not to harm you...plans to give you a hope and a future"  Jeremiah 29:11 

Raleigh Patrick 
March 22, 2015
12:57 am
7 lbs. 11 oz. 
20.9 inches long

Written by my beautiful Mother: Laura Plys
Most photos credited to her talented self as well! 
She writes a blog about choosing joy in the midst of the rawness + pain of this world. 

She is a gift. As is this.
I hope it blesses you as it did us. 



We would love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Valentine Tea for Two

This year was awfully sweet. 
A few quiet moments before our world is forever again changed with the arrival of a new babe. 
Just the two of us. An hour long Taylor Swift dance party. 
Chocolate covered strawberries. A million "I love you's." 
And overdose on sugar + a dress that passed the twirl test. 
A few photos + mama sentiments from our special day: 

I pray you see that this is just one expression of my love for you. Most days my love is articulated through far less dazzling manner. In the morning breath kisses. In the cleaning of breakfast dishes while my coffee reheats for the fifth time. While I bundle you in many layers before we make our way out the door. Or snuggle you with books to read and no agenda. In the moments of extending you grace. Or the moments you offer forgiveness when my plain humanness & exhaustion birthed irritability instead of compassion. In the way my heart races as you battle sickness, and rock you til your fever subsides. In the nightly stories of Jumpy the Frog, and holding your hand until you drift into sleep. In the drowsy middle of the night runs for water. Or tiny toes kicking my face after you climb into our bed. In the burned dinner. Or undercooked macaroni. In the hundreds of times of tying your laces, or zipping your coat, or adjusting your mittens. In a million and one ways throughout each day as our lives play out in seemingly mundane moments to the soundtrack of Sesame Street & Daniel Tiger. 

In the commonplace of the everyday, my love for you is never mundane. It is polished and refined by the current of our ordinary. It's roots running deeper with each day, each kiss, each prayer. 

And though these few flashy moments seem to shout my love for you. 

It's the million tiny moments that all whisper "you are loved, darling" that echo the loudest. 

We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trades of Hope

Oh great mammon of form and function, careless consumerist consumption. Dangerous dysfunction described as expensive taste. I’m a people disgraced by what I claim I need and what I want to waste.

 I take no account for nothing if its not mine. Its a misappropriation of funds, protect my 90% with my guns. Whose side am I on? Well, who’s wining? 

My kingdoms built with the blood of slaves, orphans, widows, and homeless graves. I sold their souls just to build my private mansion. 

Some people say that my time is coming.
Kingdom come is the justice running, down, down, down on me. 

Time to make a change. 
Leave your home, give to the poor all that you own. 
Lose your life, so that you can find it. 

Josh Garrels, Zion & Babylon

I’ve listened to this song at blaring volumes hundreds of times. Its super catchy. The same kind of catchy that currently keeps “Shake It Off” on repeat in our home. Joshs’ message one though that if I really let sink in, I would have turned off after the first listen. Holy convicting. 

After years of listening to this song, it wasn’t until last week that I started to see the story behind the lyrics. David and I curled up on a blustery evening to a Netflix documentary. Truthfully we’re making a valiant effort to not watch as much sleezy television (Sorry, Bachelor you lose. Parenthood- you still get my heart on Thursday nights) and documentaries are educational? I’ll keep telling myself so at least. Yes, basically we transported ourselves to a virtual classroom in our own bedroom on that snowy evening. 

We watched a documentary called, Black Gold. Besides the incredibly breathtaking backdrop of rolling Ethiopian farmlands, there was nothing pretty about it. Like the lyrics of Zion + Babylon- the documentary addresses fortunes built on the backs of the poor. Or in this case, the best part of waking up- built on the torn feet of Ethiopian farmers. 

The truth is- you can’t have your eyes opened to something like this. + Continue to brew your morning (non-fair-trade) coffee in peace. Trust me. 

As a blanket statement, across the board- I am a blind consumer. Don’t for a minute think I’m writing from a high horse of a house filled to the brim with organics + fair trade. I’m in the same boat as the majority. Target is my jam + I love end cap clearance racks.

Yet, I face the tension. My heart longs for justice. For people around the globe to know their true worth in Jesus. A worth which could start tangibly with getting paid an honest dollar for their work. I long to see a world where women aren’t forced into sex slavery because it is the only option to feed their children. A world that doesn’t strictly depend on charity because folks are given opportunity. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?


Trades of Hope is a company that is truly a breath of fresh air in an age of greedy consumerism. A company founded on a desire to change stories. Women around the world who thought their story was stuck in pain + poverty are now experiencing stories full of hope. Trades of Hope works with artisans around the world providing a way out of hard won circumstances. The stories behind the artisans they work with are as diverse as the stories of you + I. Some have been rescued from sex slavery, some from war torn countries, others fighting against AIDS, while some just haven’t been given a chance at fair work. Yet there is a similar thread woven into each of their stories. A thread of desire to provide for their families. A restlessness to want to see the dreams of their heart come into fruition. 

Trades of Hope waters the dreams of their heart by paying artisans a fair trade. Fair trade is a word that is thrown around, but what does this actually mean? Trades of Hope artisans make approximately 6 times more than they would normally made in the context of their country. TOH does not run as a charity or a not for profit. They believe sustainable business is a long term solution for change over charity. They are instead a missional business that serves as a link in the chain to create sustainable business for both women in underprivileged countries and women in America. They pay their artisans 100% of the asking price for their products so they can make a fair wage. A fair wage that allows the artisans to feed, clothe, house, and educate their children. They believe this model is a successful way to break the cycle of poverty + offer hope. 

A sweet friend of mine, Sandi Erickson is a compassion entrepreneur working for Trades of Hope. She is passionate + her heart explodes when she talks about all the work Trades of Hope is doing. She recently let me play with and photograph some products from their spring line as I prepare to host a party of my own this Thursday. As I read each story behind their products, I was encouraged that my purchases could make a lasting impact in the lives of women around the world. 

Whether it be Jewelry. Coffee. Clothing. My prayer and challenge to both myself & you: 
That we would see people as higher value than products. 
That as consumers we would educate ourselves in how items are made. 
That we would fight for justice and as we do our small ripples would create waves of differences in the lives of people around the world. 

We are super excited to be giving away the Clear Springs Infinity Scarf from Trades of Hope New Spring Line! (As seen directly above!) 

Thank you to Sandi for partnering with us! 

If you want to shop Trades of Hope or get in touch with Sandi you can do so here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway