FRIENDS | Cyntya, Ellise + Heather | Charlestown, MA
Exploring the beauty of deep friendships through photography is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. I got together with Cyntya, Ellise, and Heather last weekend, and gosh it was so uplifting! We started off at Zume’s Coffee House in Charlestown, then wandered down to Paul Revere Park, and then to the Charlestown Bridge. They met in Boston, and wanted to capture the location, as well as the dynamics of their friendship. I asked what they normally do together, and they said, “pray!” so that’s how we ended our shoot. How cool is that??
These girls are the real deal. We talked about how they became friends, the importance of vulnerability, and how working through conflict actually brings them closer together. Instead of sharing myself, I asked if they would write about their friendship so I could share it with you all. They take friendship seriously, but also have a butt-load of FUN together, and that kind of joy is so contagious! My hope is that you will be inspired to dig deep into your own friendships (no matter what your ‘relationship status’ is) and be reminded how important, life-giving, and beautiful friendship was designed to be.
Not many photographers shoot friendship sessions.
That's because we live in a cultural moment when most relationships between friends are situationally-dependent, fun-while-they-last, instant-gratification comforts that don't bear the gravity of serious romantic partnerships, or the permanence of family ties, or the independence of self-relationship.
What makes our friendship different is that we are not seeking gratification, comfort, permanence, or independence. We seek to show each other God's radical passion for his family, united in Jesus, fighting for a promised future.
We are not in this to fill voids in our happiness. We are not in this to rewrite our lives around each other. It sure as heck isn't comfortable sometimes -- we are friends who constantly tackle tough topics together -- and we go out of our way to show each other love. We know this time together isn't permanent, and we aren't trying to change that. Our friendship is a beautiful glimpse of an eternity in community; each of us will be there, and so we can rest easy knowing that in this lifetime we will someday be apart. Our friendship transcends the instability of this lifetime.
And as for independence? We are incredibly different people: Cyntya, the passionate, loving, protective one who would love to be independent and in control of her situations; Ellise, the uplifting, charming, sunny one who would love to have life go according to her independent plans; and Heather, the pensive and adventurous one who would love almost nothing more than to be self-sufficient and independent from any other humans. We are wildly different, but all share that same dangerous tendency towards independence. But God? Well, he has a different command for us. That's one of the reasons he created our friendship together. We've grown, and thanks to each other, have started to embrace his command to be dependent. It's not a popular idea in this age, but we are certain that it is, in fact, what God intended all along. To be fully dependent on him, and also depend on each other.
So for us, this friendship shoot is a chance to share our counter-cultural friendship with you. Our dependent, transient, sometimes outside-of-the-comfort-zone, self-denying, others-gratifying friendship. Our Jesus-centered, missional friendship. And man, we are so happy that this gets to be ours forever.