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Courtney + Chris: Frankfort Engagement

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Courtney + Chris: Frankfort Engagement

Lake Michigan, a late summer sunset, and Courtney+Chris: just a few of our favorite things!

Back in August we hopped into the car on a Saturday afternoon for a road trip up north to meet two people who we would later fall head over heels in love with. And yes, you guessed it. Those two beautiful people would be Courtney and Chris! While adventuring around Frankfurt, it didn't take long to realize that we had hit it big with this fun, adorable, and kind couple that we instantly became friends with.

Having to wait until next summer to see thee two again is a bummer, but we are so excited for them and beyond honored to be sharing in their wedding day!

Sending the soon to be Mr+Mrs Bowen all the love and summery beach vibes today on this bright and sunny fall day!

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel and Shah Garba Raas

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel and Shah Garba Raas

Garba night is arguably, hands down, one of our favorite events during the weekend long Indian wedding festivities. In many instances it's the first night where the majority of both families are able to come together and celebrate with one another the union of the couple. The night is often filled with unending laughter, dancing, AND THE COLORS ARE INDESCRIBABLE!

It without a doubt is a night of excitement, parting, and unity. From the rehearsed dance numbers performed by Aparna+Ankit's family and friends, to Aparna's flowing and utterly enrapturing dress, and every other gorgeous sari in that room that night this was one of the major highlights from their weekend for us.

And on a day like today when the rain won't let up and it's all gloomy and overcast outside, we could all use some beautiful, swirling technicolored dresses in our lives!

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel and Shah Mehndi Party

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel and Shah Mehndi Party

For over a year we had waited for the kick off of this special and wonderful weekend. From an elaborate and colorful engagement ceremony to a dreamy evening of engagement photos out on Lake Michigan, we knew this would be one of the most exciting weekends of the entire year for us. We had already fallen in love with these two probably a hundred times and we were so ready to spend these three amazing days with them.

Aparna and Ankit's weekend long party started Friday evening going into Memorial Day Weekend at Ankit's aunt's house with all their family and closest friends together to celebrate them. That night alone was such a whirlwind of excitement, joy, and laughter and it without a doubt was honestly the perfect start to such a weekend as theirs. 

So much love for these two, and this is just the beginning!

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Paige + Noah: Lake Michigan Engagement

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Paige + Noah: Lake Michigan Engagement

I met Paige a few years back just before her and I set off with a group to Zambia, Africa on a relief and documentary trip. Luckily for us a nice long layer over in London, England and what seemed like an unfathomable amount of time on the various plane rides provided us with plenty of time to get to know each other. Instantly I knew that this was a bright, generously kind, and outright hilariously funny girl that would one day meet a man just as equally wonderful to match.

Enter Noah. It wasn't long after we got back to the states that I started hearing Paige talk about him and there wasn't a question in my mind that she was smitten with him. Over the next year or so after that, through some trying and growing adventures shared between the two of them, Noah and Paige started dating and honestly I could not have pegged a better match for her. Noah's carefree lightheartedness was only surpassed by his compassionate demeanor and it was evident in every look and every smile he had around her that his heart was Paige's and her's alone.

Getting to watch these two grow together as a collective unit, ready to set out and change the world, has been incredible and altogether a blessing for all of their friends and family. These photos just begin to scratch the surface of how much fun, love, and joy is shared between these two for the other, and that is the honest to God-truth.

-Matthew

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World Water Day 2017: WasteWater

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World Water Day 2017: WasteWater

Today is World Water Day, a day focused on bringing attention and awareness to the global water crisis. Despite the many advances in technology, a rapidly expanding global economy, and various social justice initiatives in just the last decade alone, there are still 1.8 billion of the world's population who use a source of drinking water contaminated with waste, putting men, women, and countless children at risk of contracting deadly diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and even polio.

Since 1993 World Water Day (formally World Day of Water) has chosen a theme centered around this crisis to help educate the global community on how we might together work to end the injustice of unclean water which is a key contributor to extreme poverty. This year's theme is WasteWater, a growing and systemic issue which is threatening the environment and putting future generations at even great risk than they currently already are at. Wastewater comes largely from our homes, the cities we live in, and from both industry and agricultural development which then flows back into the natural world without being cleaned, treated, or reused first.

According to the UN Water council, by reducing the amount of our wastewater, and then also reusing it in our homes, gardens, city green spaces, and so on we as a planet can create even more sustainable water habits and bring this crisis one step closer to being a begone era.

In response to the crisis of unsafe drinking water there are many organizations and non profits who are working diligently and tirelessly to bring access to this safe water to everyone around globe by 2030. Just a few of these organizations include:

With our support, from people like you and me, we can make that goal a reality and not just a benchmark. Together through partners such as these we can bring an end to the water crisis in our life time and provide safe and clean drinking water for billions of children the world over.

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Bye Felicia... I mean, 2016

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Bye Felicia... I mean, 2016

2016 has in the most literal sense been one heck of a year. Both with high points and moments of moruning and sorrow. For our team we celebrated 5 years of storytelling and had the opportunity to help tell so many stories of some wonderful and amazing people around our world. While some days were more difficult than others (as that's just life some times) we each enjoyed the many lessons we learned along the way these past twelve months. But if we are being honest, nothing can quite sum up how excited we are for all the promise and hope held within 2017! Here are just a few of the things that our team is looking forward to this coming year...

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In 2017, I am looking forward to new creative endeavors... to growth, discovery, and wonder. I look forward to connecting with old friends and making new ones. To learning more about myself and the world around me. And not least of all, trying new local pizzas!

-Alan

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The fresh start of a new year is what I am most excited for in 2017. Most people fear the unknown, but I am excited for the opportunity that it brings. The opportunity for growth and change. We can't go backwards, but here's to going forward and all the stories that lie before us!

-Kristin

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While I'm without a doubt looking forward to the bigger things 2017 has lined up, like traveling to new places, finishing up projects that I'm eager to show to the world, and creating new ones that are just ideas as of right now. I find myself almost being more excited for the quiet moments- walks through the forest, movie nights, grabbing a cup of coffee, and doing so with the people that have grown very near and dear to my heart.

-Andrea

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The things I'm looking forward to the most in 2017 are watching films I've never seen, hearing songs I've never heard, reading books I've never read, and creating more stories about love and hope, all with friends or in solitude. Newness, that's what I'm looking forward to the most. Oh, and the new Chik-fil-A locations within short driving distance.

-Adam

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This past year has been quite the adventure, both in good ways and not so amazing ways also. But through it all I am thankful for the blessings that I was able to receive and the lessons that I learned. More than anything I  am looking forward to the many ways that my passions, my art, and my faith will be stretched in 2017. Growth isn't always easy, but it is necessary. While I am uncertain all of what this year will bring with it, I pray that 2017 would continue to teach me ever more what it is to care for my neighbor both here and abroad.

-Matthew

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In 2017, I’m most looking forward to exploring new places, meeting new people, learning about other’s passions, deepening the relationships I’ve already been so blessed with, and taking time to ponder more. I’m also equally excited and terrified to be graduating and figuring out how to be a real person too I suppose. Onward and upward!

-Noah

 
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2017 is going to be great, because my eyes will see new places, my heart will bond with new people, my ears will hear new music, my hands will experience new art and new stories and new connections, as well as hold my very first college degree, which means that I will be in the beginning of a new stage of my life. 2017 is going to be great, because it's a fresh opportunity for all things new!

-Chloe

 
 

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Silver and (Squad) Goals: A ShadowShine Christmas Story

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Silver and (Squad) Goals: A ShadowShine Christmas Story

Christmas is such a fun and joyous time of year. From the bright colorful decorations and displays, to the nostalgic feelings of child like wonder that the season stirs within each of us - this is honestly one of the most wonderful times of the year. And while presents and gifts and material things tend to be on our minds for the holidays, the truth is that it isn't what you get that makes the day so festive and bright, it's who you have by your side.

As we begin to look toward the end of this year and think back on all the journeys, adventures, and stories we've been able to share in telling - just this year alone - we are incredibly thankful for this team. These wonderful people and artists that make up our family. The real present is being able to call them friends. 

From our squad to yours this Christmas season, Merry Christmas and may you all have a very blessed holiday season and New Year!

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