Zoey + Artem: Our Story


I asked God to have His fingerprints all over my love story, and boy did he add all the twists, turns, intricacies, and beauty that I never knew were coming. I look back in gratitude at every up and down. Every person not named below that played beautiful and necessary parts in it. It all displays God’s love and faithfulness. The only time I’ve really relayed it in its entirety is face to face with people as we share coffee, a meal, or even over FaceTime. So reading our quick Q&A below won’t give you the entire story… but I wanted to share a little bit for now. It’s our beautiful story and the wild thing is, it’s just getting started.

What was your first memory or interaction? 

Artem: in 2017, Zoey was going through a training program to lead worship at Substance, the church where we now both work at. On the final night, I was helping run production in the Media Booth and remember hearing her sing and thinking, “Wow, that girl has some pipes!”

Zoey: It was in April 2017, and I was in the greenroom at Substance Church right before worship rehearsal, sitting next to Gina Zarletti. I was still really new to the church and worship ministry, so she was quietly telling me who people were as they came into the room before we started our meeting. There were about 20 people there and then Artem walked in. Gina said, “That’s Artem. He plays piano and is really artsy like you.” She then looked back and forth between us a few times (while Artem was entirely unaware of all of this) and then said, “Yeah i could see you two happening.” and i was like, “Okay I don’t even know him.” Haha! Way to go Gina.

What was one of the first things you noticed or enjoyed about the other person? 

Artem: She was very easy to be around. I didn’t have to try to be someone or act a certain way around her. She was okay with the long moments of quiet that happen when I don’t know someone well.

Zoey: First impression, he was quiet but intriguing. The very first time we hung out was in May of 2017. I initiated it because I really didn’t have any creative friends (or friends at all yet) at Substance. We got iced tea at Sencha Tea Bar and then explored around uptown Minneapolis, taking pictures and wandering around. I enjoyed the fact that he was more interested in tea than coffee. And as far as his personality I definitely noticed that he was very introverted and closed off, but it was intriguing for someone like myself who wears their heart on their sleeve. He was very slow to give up information about himself and it drove me crazy and made me want to hang out with him more and find out everything! I was definitely the persistent extrovert that budged my way into his introverted life :) 

You two were friends for a long time before you started dating. What did that look like? 

Artem: We had fun and went on lots of photoshoots together, exploring the city and learning about each other. We were able to share in our common interests like music and were able to support each other’s faith journey.

Zoey: At the beginning of our friendship we would grab tea and adventure around the city, doing photoshoots. We would see each other at worship practices and church, and text a lot about whatever was happening in our lives.

What was happening during the time between when you met and when you started dating? 

Artem: We were friends and then not really friends and then slowly friends again. I dated someone else for a long time and went through a tough breakup. It was a long journey of personal growth and becoming the people we needed each other to be before dating.

Zoey: We were close friends for the first few months, and I thought we were actually going to move towards dating, but he actually started seeing someone else! This was super hard for me at first, because it didn’t seem like they would work out and I didn’t understand why we had gotten so close just for us to be distanced by his new relationship. It felt like I was losing a best friend. I remember asking God about it and I felt him saying, “You two will be together, but not now.” That was a super big word to hold onto, but basically for the next year while they were together, I just gave him back to God and prayed for him and tried to respect the boundaries of him being in a relationship. I just gave him room and did my own thing. I told God, “If he’s for me, I know you’ll give him back to me.” I learned a lotttt about myself and actually transformed into a different person because of the work that God was doing inside of me through this situation. I always prayed for him. I prayed for her too! It was a year i needed to become the person that I needed to be, and Artem needed me to be before being in a relationship with each other. 


How did you move from friendship to a dating relationship?

Artem: I had just come out of a relationship and was taking time to heal and grow. Zoey was there praying for me and supporting me on the sidelines. We became closer and eventually it just happened because both of us were ready this time.

Zoey: After a series of events, he actually wound up breaking up with that girl and it kind of removed the barrier that had distanced our friendship before. So we just got to know each other as friends again. Even though I still liked him and knew the word God had spoken over us, I wasn’t going to rush into anything. Especially since I’d already told him once before that I liked him AND he just went through a really painful relationship and breakup. I was ready to just be friends for a long, long while. But long story short, one night when we were together i couldn’t shake the heavy impression that I was supposed to tell Artem that I still liked him. It felt like God was guiding me into it, saying “You can do it now or you can keep feeling like you’re holding a secret every time you’re around him.” So I told him I still had feelings for him, and apologized for the terrible timing. But he surprised me by saying he could see a relationship in our future. God did a supernatural healing in him from his past relationship and gently guided me into much needed vulnerability. So we started hanging out a lot, and we were just together all the time, getting to know each other again because we had both grown and changed so much in that year. 

Who made the first move? What did that look like? 

Artem: Zoey - When she initially found out I was dating someone else, she met with me and told me her feelings and that she knew I was dating someone else but that it was ok. I felt SO BAD, I never wanted it to get to that point and I didn’t want to hurt her. We then went through a period of time away from each other as we went through our own journeys. After a long while I went through a breakup. Eventually Zoey and I started spending more time together like we used to, and one night I came over to do laundry since my washer was broken. We were talking about life and things the Lord was moving us into and then she became quiet for probably 20 minutes. I let her have her time and when she finally spoke up, she confessed she still had feelings for me. I just said “I know” and we laughed and then talked about a relationship being our future.

Zoey: I guess as moves go... me. I told him that I still liked him. But then once it was on the table that we both saw a relationship in our future - he was actually the one who actually surprised me by referencing me as his girlfriend one day when we were hanging out haha!

When did you start dating? 

Artem: We became open with each other about our feelings late November 2018 but didn’t start officially (unofficially) dating until December 3rd. But apparently everyone knew before our planned announcement in the New Year anyways.

Zoey: Officially (to us) at the begging of December 2018… we would keep it a secret at work and online because we didn’t want the pressure of everyone else being involved in our relationship as it was just getting started. But then we made it public at the end of December, because all of our coworkers and close friends basically already knew.

What was one of your favorite dates you’ve had together? 

Artem: Going to the Walker Art Museum! We’ve gone many times and its always a blast to look at weird art and laugh at it together as well as find some super cool looking things that we can snap photos of.

Zoey: Definitely going to the Minnesota Science Museum together. It felt like we were being kids together and it was really relaxed. Artem loves knowing information. Just like. Knowing things. So it was really fun to be in a place like that and just watch him soak it all in and be so comfortable and curious.

What do you enjoy doing together? 

Artem: Everything! Going on adventures together, working at the same place, hanging out and relaxing just watching TV or playing video games. A better question would be what do we NOT enjoy doing together (watching John Wick 3).

Zoey: Honestly, most things. Very ordinary things! Running errands, working on creative projects, playing video games, writing music, cooking…eating? Haha. He’s the only person I can always be around and never get tired of.

What are some of your favortie things about the other person?

Artem: She can get along with anyone! And she’s so good with kids. She can handle all the social situations that make me uncomfortable and she has a heart of gold. She wears her heart on her sleeve so I never have to wonder who she is or what she’s thinking. She makes me feel safe wherever we’re at. She’s quick to care and she loves so strongly. She is overflowing with affection and compassion. She makes me feel seen in a room full of people.

Zoey: Artem is amazing. He is very analytical, practical, and thinks through EVERYTHING! I tend to make quick, ‘feeler’ decisions, and don’t always see all the angles or outcomes. But he does. Which makes it very easy to trust his judgements and know that he’s leading us well. I also love his sweet an playful spirit. He is so kind and gentle. I love how he has a good head on his shoulders, but has a very very beautiful heart. I love his humor. And the fact that it takes some intentional time and digging to get to know the real, real him. It’s an honor that not many people get to experience. One of my favorite phrases to use to describe him is “A haven in human form.” He is a safe place to lean into and be my full self with. He has the strongest arms to hold me and understands how sensitive and emotional I am - even if he doesn’t understand what’s going on inside of me. Hearing him pray with and over me is one of the most powerful and sweetest things. 

When did you know you wanted to marry them? 

Artem: Like right away. I finally had my priorities straight and knew what I wanted in a partner and she was all that and more.

Zoey: I think a few months after I met him. I feel like i’ve known so long - maybe I didn’t pin it as marriage at first… but I couldn’t imagine my life without him. We would be walking around the city or doing something mundane like going to Target and I’d think something like, “I just want to do everything with him forever.”

Tell us about the proposal! 

Artem: The first thing I knew was that it had to be around plants. Plants are SO Zoey. So I enlisted the help of our friend Jo to capture the moment and help me plan the day. I met with Jo a week before the planned date at the Como Conservatory and we decided where and how it was going to happen. The next week we met up to spend some time together in prayer and reading the Bible and I suggested we go to Como together in the morning. We got there and walked through some of the conservatory rooms and eventually landed in one of the back rooms near the koi pond. We started our reading time but I kept scanning the room to try and plan the exact moment and see where Jo was at. After waiting for a couple of groups of people to leave the area, the coast was clear and I started talking to her about a passage I was reading by chance and how it really reflected our relationship. At that same time ANOTHER couple ladies walked by looking at the flowers. As soon as they moved past, I turned to her and said, “Hey” and got off the bench and on one knee. The rest was a blur and I don’t remember it. Jo had to later confirm that I actually did ask her to marry me and that she actually did say yes.

Zoey: It was a Friday morning on May 10th, 2019. We actually decided we wanted to get married and started planning our wedding before he even officially proposed! Two days before he proposed, we had already booked our venue! So even though I knew the proposal was coming, I didn’t knew when or how. And he knocked it out of the park! He did SO much planning, I was so amazed and surprised. A few weeks before the proposal, he had suggested we start setting aside Friday mornings to meet up and have quiet time and pray together about our marriage and the wedding. (He is the sweetest) So it was an ordinary Friday morning to me - he was picking me up and we were going to do our quiet time at the Como Conservatory surrounded by all the plants! It was funny because when I was getting ready that morning, I thought for a minute, “What if he proposed there??” But by the time we actually got there and started reading our bibles and everything I wasn’t even thinking about it. Then we were sitting there and he interrupted my reading to share a verse with me and said something sweet about how it made him think of us. Then all of a sudden he was down on one knee in front of me and my friend Jo ran in behind him with her camera! I don’t even remember what he said, or what I said. I immediately started crying. It was just so overwhelming seeing him being down on one knee and so heartfelt. He is amazing. I’m pretty sure I said yes because the people that had stopped to watch around us started cheering. I was so happy and I couldn’t stop smiling and saying “Wow!”

What do you hope your future looks like together? 

Artem: I hope its an adventure. I hope there are ups and downs. I hope we really learn who we are and become who we’re meant to be, together. I hope its full of music and laughter (and eventually, kids). I hope we enjoy the good times and stay steadfast in the bad. I hope when we’re old and tired, we’ll always smile when we see each other.

Zoey: Better than we could hope or imagine. So very prepared by God. I hope it is rich with creativity… and sharing God’s heart with people who don’t know how much He loves them. I hope there are precious, curly haired kids with bright hazel eyes who love Jesus and share His light with the world. I hope year after year our love grows deeper and stronger, and that God stays our center through the joys and the troubles. I hope the future looks like loving and learning and growing and living out God’s adventure for us together.


(photos by Jordan)

The Aisle


I’ve been wondering 

As girls do

And I suppose boys too


But I’ve been wondering 


and who

and how is

you know…

the one that is my ‘to have and to hold’


I used to write a note to him

Whenever I thought of him 

This stranger

or unknowingly already a friend?

But now

I just talk to God about him


I praise God for whoever he is

How he loves God 

and how God loves him


I like to ask God:

Let him know I love him today

Let him know You love him too

Tell him You are for him

Tell him I am for him too

Would You give him a little note

telling him we’re thinking about him?


Because I feel like I am playing hide and seek

And me my Father are on a team

On our way to find this man

While he is on his way to find me


It is not a hurried game

And I am not hiding

It is not a hunt

We are joyful, and laughing

Me and my Father

Taking our time 

Even forgetting about the game

Getting lost in each other instead


And God gave me the sweetest image

Of himself, walking with me

Walking me to whoever this other man may be

Slowly. Tenderly.

As a father walks his daughter down the wedding aisle

Ceremonially slow.

At a speed you would never walk in life normally.

A sacred speed.

Savoring the steps.

Holding on to me. 


I feel like I’m walking down the aisle.

But this aisle is not short 

And this aisle is not straight

Yet I am grateful for its intricacies 

its purpose

its beauty


I have my Father

And He is walking with me

We are together

And I know when we reach the end of the aisle

My Father will not leave me

I do not know who is at the end of the aisle

But I know He will be 


It is the sweetest thing

knowing He’s in it for the long haul

He has always been in it for the long haul

He will always be my first love

How gracious that He would let another man step in to love me too

Yet I know my Father will always love me more

That I know

And that I’ll hold


How special The Aisle is

That the groom does not get to share it with me first

My Father does

Then once I reach the groom

We get to go back up the aisle

A place my Father has already been with me


So darling daughter of the Father

My sister 

You have an aisle to walk too

And your Father is right here

Walking it with you

If you want to know //


If you want to know, I'll let you know:

I don't know all the things.

But I'll let you know the things I do.


If you want to know, I’ll let you know:

Everyone is not permitted admission to your heart.

You should love all.

But that is an outward flow. 

Do not allow whatever comes along the current to rush IN to your soul.

Do not let it be flooded by well-wishers in disguise.

Do not even let it be dripped on

By less than magnificent things.

Your heart. Your soul.

Is a sanctuary for the King of Kings.

Decorate it carefully

And dutifully

With wisdom







And other things that are fit

For the sanctuary of His spirit.

Then it will become so full

of His true treasures

That they'll turn into an outpouring current 

Which will be far stronger than anything  

That could try to come rush in against it.


If you want to know, I’ll let you know:

We were born broken.

We will feel broken.

But It is a lie that you must continue to live in that brokenness.

It is also a lie that you are the one who is supposed to get yourself out of it.


If you want to know, I’ll let you know:

We look for so many things to help us feel whole.

No matter what or who that is

It will not work.

It will not work.

It will not work.

It might work for a while.

But it will wear off

And wear us down all the more.

So ask your Father to piece together the brokenness

smooth out your rough edges

and fill in the cracks

the gaping caverns of your soul.

Even if someone else offers to hold your heart.

They simply will not be able to. 

Tell them no thank you, not yet.

And be wise enough

To let first, your Father alone

make you whole.


If you want to know, I’ll let you know:

Before you believe someone who says

"You are the most beautiful"

"You are more than enough"

"I never want to leave you"

"I don’t mind your brokenness" 

You must know it is your Creator who said those things first.

And we must not just know

But we MUST believe it with every ounce of our soul.

Because any other human

And their words

Can be taken away

But God

And His words

Cannot be.


If you want to know, I'll let you know:

I don't know all the things.

But I'll let you know the things I do.


Carrying Color


I like to think there are outside colors and inside colors. 

But ultimately, I'm learning the inside colors bleed through.

My outside colors are often shades of neutrals. 

Not too bold or distracting.

And if you took a look inside of me

I would like to think my insides are a pulsing, vibrant, emerald.

I would also like to think that emerald is starting to seep its way out of me.

Someone once asked me to think of my favorite color. And why it was my favorite color.

She asked, "If this color was a person, what characteristics would this person have?"

I said gray.

I chose it for its adaptability. Its ability to be both soft and deep.

Gray felt so chill, easy-going.

That's who gray would be.

The girl who asked me the question then said, "The color you chose and why you chose it describes the qualities you see in yourself as a person."


I did see myself as those things.

I still do, in some ways.

But you see. I cheated a bit.

Gray is not really a color, but in fact a transitional 'color' between two nonexistent absences of color, black and white. 

So if you asked me my favorite color today

I would say green.

The shade would probably change day to day.


That is my shade today.

It is bold


and vibrant.

Some days it might be sage green.

A gray-green.

It's softer


it whispers.

But overall, I would choose green.

For most of the same reasons I chose gray.

Green is still adaptable.

Green is still calming.

There is soft, and there is deep.

But there is something in green that is not in gray.

There is life. There is true color.

Pulsing, growing, thriving.

Sometimes quietly, sometimes boldly.

I like that.

What color are you carrying?

Maybe for you, that color isn't shades of green.

Maybe it is whispers of peach and rose

Maybe strong, reliable, comforting blues

Or deep, quietly emotive gradients found in a sunset.

What color are you carrying?

Whatever it is.

It looks so good on you. 


Let's Talk Plants.

All I used to want in my world was black. white. gray. 

I was hesitant towards color. 

But last winter my soul got a paint job.

Things were lonely, dull, and dark to say the least.

I didn't know why back then, but I now know. 

I was craving real life. 

I remember sitting in my living room alone one morning, looking to a corner of it and thinking, "I want that corner to be a little jungle."

So I bought one small palm tree. 

It was refreshing. beautiful. comforting to care for, and exciting to watch grow. 

But I started craving more. More green. More life. 

Slowly but steadily I began ushering in the greens, and if you step into my home today, you won't see a jungle corner. You will be confronted by a welcoming committee of roughly 20 plants spread throughout my living room. There are a few more sprinkled into the dining and kitchen areas, then a second jungle once you reach my bedroom upstairs. In totality, I think I have almost 40 plants throughout the house.

To me, these plants are portable life. 

Plants are the physical "Bios" kind of life, one of the Greek words for 'Life' used in the bible. To me, this Bios life points back to Creator, which points straight to His "ZOE" life - which is the uncreated, eternal life of God! 

God created us that we may not just have ordinary life, but embrace His ZOE life! God BREATHED His ZOE life into Adam at creation, and although that buddy messed things up a bit, JESUS stepped in so we are able to embrace that true life again! 

1 Peter 1:23 says "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of IMPERISHABLE, through the LIVING and enduring word of God." 

By us embracing HIS life, He becomes our REAL LIFE - and we can express Him through our living! 

He has colored my world with the most brilliant greens. 

He has colored my world with LIFE.

Once you let Him in ... once you let LIFE in,

You might start with one baby palm tree in the corner of you living room.

But then you will soon see 15, 20, 30 plants and counting. 

You will have a corner of life

Then a room of life

Then that life spills into your other rooms 

And soon enough

You will be hand-delivering that life to others outside your home!

In the past two weeks, I've given away two of my plants to friends because my heart wanted to give them a dose of life. A dose of freshness, and physical reminder to the spiritual LIFE God has in abundance for us to embrace. And just this weekend, I bought a gang of seven plants for my best friend's new apartment, because I SO VERY MUCH want it to be a place of LIFE for her. It was wonderful, even as we were buying the plants and I explained to the cashier they were for Kaylie she exclaimed, "Well! What a perfect gift! The gift of LIFE!"

I'm not talking about plants anymore, I'm talking about TRUE LIFE from God.

We are not called to keep this LIFE to ourselves!

Live YOUR life to show HIS life, because there is vivid color God longs to bring to others through you.  

Carry life. Carry it so obviously that people will ask where you got it.

And you can point to the ultimate Gardener.

He is the gardener of my soul!


He wants to be the gardener of YOUR soul. 

He wants to plant in you His life, and watch you TRULY flourish.

Our God does not leave us to be lost in a forest.

Seed by seed, our desire for real life with Him creates a beautiful jungle IN us - that we might not be lost in it, but found, familiar, and HOME there with Him. 

Stephany By Design

Styled portrait session with Stephanie Shoemaker


He's in the waiting

I wanted to write this post because I feel like a lot of the people who speak about patience and waiting are the ones who are on the "other side" - and have received what they were told to wait for. When it comes to relationships, there's the hip and happily married girl who's telling you - just wait! Have hope! You're going to find YOUR GUY! (Easy for her to say now that she's got him, right?!) Discouragement and comparison just sneak their way in!

But I'm hoping that because of my position of being smack dab in the midst of waiting, I can be a relatable source to where you're at and what you're going through in the realm of patience with a world telling you that everything you want can be yours NOW. Note: this can totally apply to more than just a future spouse - maybe you're waiting for your dream job, to receive your calling from God, or maybe it's something else! For a second I thought maybe I shouldn't write this, maybe I don't have as much validity as someone who's "made it" to the "other side" - but nope. Those are lies.  And there is so much value from what is found in the waiting. In your patience. The seeds that are sown and grown before a harvest.

Now, you may or may not know how much I love a good analogy. And I believe one of the ways God speaks to me is through spiritual analogies, real-time parables, if you will. He orchestrates somewhat of a production to get his point across to me. So, the following is just that - setting the scene at Joshua Tree National Park in California. 


I was recently visiting my old roommate in Arizona, and on the third day of being out there, I felt all this creative energy built up in me that I wanted to release into a desert-inspired photoshoot. (Hi, I'm from the midwest, this is a really exciting endeavor for me.) So I showed Kaylie some image examples of environments I wanted to shoot in, and she, having already been to Joshua Tree before, recommended we take a trip there to accomplish what my heart was itching to capture. 

So great! We set out - and after a few hours of driving and a pit stop at In-N-Out (talk about the best kinda DAILY BREAD, am I right?) we reached the sign "WELCOME TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK!" We were in! ...Or so I thought?

Now at this point, I was the one driving the car because we had switched positions at our last pit-stop, so it was me - girl who had never been here before - who was in charge of directing the journey for the time being. We drove on the main road without saying anything for a good couple minutes - my eyes darting from side to side at the landscape around me. It looked pretty good! Your typical "can't find this is the midwest" desert scenery. So after a bit, I proceeded to ask Kaylie, "So...do I just pull over kinda anywhere, or do I wait for a parking area or, how do we do this?" to which she replied, "Oh! We're not even really in the park yet! We should just keep going." Which sparked confusion in me because we had FOR SURE passed the WELCOME TO JOSHUA TREE sign a good couple miles back. But okay! I kept driving.

The following is the raw and naked example of my lack of patience, which was startling for even me to experience. What felt like driving for 20 minutes was probably not even 5, and I found myself asking Kaylie, "Are you SURE we shouldn't be stopping? I'm definitely seeing some scenery I'd love to have in a photo. I feel like we're missing things!" to which she would replied "I'm sure! The good stuff, the stuff you showed me you were wanting, is way further into the park. I promise!" The rational fact that she had been through this entire park before was nowhere to be found in my mind. I was so concerned on what I might be missing out on. 

Also, being the driver of the car was NOT helping. Keeping my foot on the gas and hands clutched to the wheel when everything in my being said LOOK! STOP THERE! PULL OVER! - it was a tormenting self-control exercise. Driving by the things I thought would look great. The things I thought I wanted. But I was (ever so thinly) trusting in Kaylie's word. 

Finally - after about 15 minutes and a 4th round of "Are you sure?" "I'm sure" back and forth between me and Kaylie, I had us pull over. Just to get some peace. 

But once we got out of the car we started snapping some photos, I realized this wasn't actually what I wanted. It had all looked okay when zooming through the road, but standing here, these pictures were quite flat and uninteresting. 

So we got back into the car, and I had Kaylie get back behind the wheel. It took SO much pressure off of me. The voices inside that said "STOP HERE - LOOK THERE" were silenced as I wasn't the one in control anymore. There was a new driver to get us where we were going. One who knew where to go, and even more, knew what I was looking for even when I had not seen it myself, but merely showed her what I wanted. 

The next place we stopped was GREAT. It had aspects that I didn't even know I was looking for, full of the most interesting looking cacti and gentle hills  in the background. We had a good time capturing each other in this environment. But eventually, we knew we needed to move on, and there was more in store. 

Now, something I failed to mention before was how we had each brought 3 different outfits to take photos in while going through the park and its various scenery. And If you're REALLY paying attention, you'll remembered we've made two stops. That means two outfits, and one more to go. 


So we got back into the car, encouraged from that good stop, but ready to push forward onto what was to come. From the beginning, because of the reference photo I had shown Kaylie, she knew I wanted the environment to have massive boulders that we could post up next to and make all my desert Vogue dreams come true. Yup. I said it. Desert Vogue dreams I didn't even know I had. 

As we were driving along Kaylie pointed out, "Look! Up ahead! There are the boulders! Do you see them?" I looked to where she was pointing and realized 2 things. 

1. I could see them, I knew they existed, but they seemed SO. FAR. AWAY!

2. Because we were 'so far away' they didn't really catch my eye because they looked like a very small pile.

But the question was, "Do you see them?" So. My answer was. "Yes!" They indeed existed.

We kept driving, and after a few miles and bends in the road later, I knew we had gotten to where we were supposed to be. I saw the whole picture. It was not a small pile of boulders, but massive rocks surrounding both sides of the road, with cacti and green palms mixed in to the terrain. It was all the things I had gotten glimpses of before, and EVEN MORE. My excitement was SKY HIGH. We pulled into a parking area and I proceeded to whip out my last - and FAVORITE - outfit. I distinctly remember confirming with Kaylie, "So we're SURE. This is the final stop. This is best? This is the place where I'm gonna be using my favorite outfit." And Kaylie replied, "Yes. This is it. We're almost at the end of the park." 

And that was all the assurance I needed as I went into the car to start changing my outfit. 


The air felt different at this last location. A cool breeze had picked up, and even though we were hanging out in the desert while it was pushing over 100 degrees...it was not at all miserable. The entire time we were exploring it was blissful and freeing. This final environment paired with my favorite outfit caused me to loosen up the most - my confidence kicked in as I leaned into the boulders like old friends. The best was truly saved for last, and these were BY FAR my favorite photos of the day.

All this to say, I feel like what the Lord was trying to teach me through all of this was to trust His leading and timing. In the same way that Kaylie had been to Joshua Tree and was guiding the trip, God already knows every road and bend in my life while I'm just driving though it for the first time. It feels better and is easier to be patient when we get out of the drivers seat and let Him take us through. Because of free will, we're able to stop where we think looks good, but He'll always call us back to the promise that He has the best in store for us. When we think we know what we want the 'picture' to look like, He is gently smiling, knowing how wide our eyes will get and how much our hearts will swell when we reach what He has for us.

This lesson at Joshua Tree just snapped me back into purpose and patience. I know God has given me this gift of singleness right now. I know there are so many things I want to grow more deeply in to become more whole before I can find a man who is also whole. Not perfect. But whole, and ready. 

That's something else the Lord taught me this week. Don't look for your better half, just look for another whole person. And make sure you are whole yourself. Do not strive for perfection, but for WHOLENESS. Being READY. Athletes don't go into the game with an injury. Don't rush into a situation you aren't healthy enough to handle yet, or that wound/sickness is just going to get worse.

Trust God. Grow in Him. He will not let you miss what He has for you, and you will certainly not miss it if you are constantly in communication and oneness with the Creator of your soul. He is a good Father who gives good gifts, and He waits until we are ready to receive them because a part of His goodness is His timing. So hop into the passenger seat and trust the One who was, who is, and is to come. 


Woman, where are they?

    Just this past week, God put a story from the Bible on my heart. It’s one I’ve definitely heard before, but I never searched much further into. Found in John 8, it tells about a woman caught in adultery who was then brought in by the Pharisees before Jesus and a crowd in the temple. The Pharisees were completely shaming her and were ready to stone her for what she had done, as was the penalty for breaking the sacred law taught by Moses. They asked Jesus what He thought should be done to her - thinking they could trick Him. But the truth they didn’t see was that Jesus came to refresh the law with grace. And that’s exactly what this story shows. 

    Jesus answers the pharisees in verse seven, saying, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

    This was an amazing answer, and one that turned the tables on the Pharisees, making them look completely foolish. Because even though they were seen as holy teachers of the law, none of them could honestly say they’d never sinned. Jesus was just kind of saying… come off your high horses, guys!

    So after the Pharisees left, more frustrated and embarrassed than they thought they would be, Jesus asks the woman, (v.10) “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” to which she replies, “No one, sir” (v.11). And the statement that follows next is what hit me in a new way as God refreshed this truth for me. Jesus says, “Then neither do I condemn you.” He not only says it, but declares it. The voices she heard condemning her were gone. And Jesus' voice was a sweet sound of protection and grace. 

    In this story, it was revealed to me that the Pharisees are a lot like the voices of the world. There are so many voices who make it their duty to shame you, or confuse you about how you should see yourself. They are quick to put you on trial, and give you disqualifications that say, “You shouldn't even be living!”.  I think it's also worth noting in the story that after Jesus challenges them, saying the one without sin should cast the first stone, they didn’t all leave at once. It says in verse nine, “At this, those who had heard began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first.” THE OLDER ONES FIRST. Why is that? I believe it's because there is such an epidemic of PRIDE, especially in younger hearts. As the oldest ones were the first to back down, it was harder for the younger ones to grasp… Woah… maybe I’m not on the right track. Maybe I don’t know everything there is to know. Maybe there’s some truth in this grace replacing condemnation. It was harder for them to set down their stones of pride and know-it-all-ness. And I can say young hearts struggle with pride, because I am a twenty one year old woman myself. I'm a young heart who has had to lay my pride before God.  I'm not saying this to provide a label or excuse for people to hold to, but calling it to attention as something we should be aware of and intentional about combatting. 

    And maybe just as the pharisees brought this woman to trial, even YOU feel quick to put yourself on trial for some things, letting past shame or mistakes cling to you. But Jesus enters in to say that He has gotten rid of all that. Because He is here to shower us in forgiveness, grace, and newness. Jesus calls off the world. Jesus disqualifies their claims. He says - who are they to accuse you? And that leaves you the space to life your eyes… and realize no one is condemning you for your past anymore. Not even Jesus. He calls off your condemners. Leaving you forgiven and free, with a chance to walk into new life.

    I’ve been so grateful for the refreshing reminder of this story last week, and just this morning I was listening to a sermon, when a little bit into it, the pastor started talking about this EXACT same story. So that’s what prompted me to write all this. This pastor addresses so many other good points and goes a bit more into the mysterious part of the story where Jesus is on the ground writing in the dirt with his finger. I’ve included the link to that message bellow, which I think could be so eye-opening and freeing for so many others, as it was for me. 


Blessings as you go forward, forgiven and free ~

// Zoey Jean 

photos by  Max  

photos by Max 

To be with Him is to be home

We can only run so far 

So fast 

So hard

Before we find ourselves

Stumbling down

To our knees


We can only run

So far

So fast

So hard

Before a part of us

Quietly begs 

To go back home. 


You will find yourself tired



and empty. 


You will find yourself walking

then wandering

then jogging

And finally sprinting in circles 

Thinking you can run your way out of them


Run your way out of 'lost'

Run your way out of 'tired'

Run your way out of 'broken'

Run your way out of 'lonely'


But human.

You and I 

Are not built 

To run like this



You and I 

Are not built to last

Too long on our own



We are meant to have a home.


If you know anyone best,

It is surely yourself. 

So you will know the moment

When together your mind and body will heave,

"We are done.

We are tired.

We are lost."


You will hear yourself say  

"I remember this place 

Where I could rest not just my head

But my whole body

My soul

My being 

And it was called Home."



I am not talking about your home


I am not talking about your home



No, I'm speaking 

Of another Being 

Who is our home

Who created our beings

And left a bit of himself

Inside us

So we will always know

The way back home



Paige Culley

Here are some shots from my recent portrait session with Paige! It was non-stop raining this whole day, but she was a champ and wanted to shoot anyway! I'm so grateful for her willing spirit and good energy! Such a cool human! 

If you're interested in booking your own portrait session like Paige's, email zoeyjeanphoto@gmail.com // 

Bryce + Hailey in MPLS

Recently, my friends Bryce and Hailey (+ Hailey's brother Wes!) came to visit Minneapolis! I had the best time hosting them and taking them around my city for the two days they were here. It's so sweet when friends are visiting, because it makes me think outside the box of my day-to-day patterns, and come up with fun things for us to do - like going to the Foshay tower downtown! Bryce & Hailey love creating and capturing with cameras like I do, and the city scenery made for some particularly rad shots! I even played around with some double exposure techniques to mix things up.

Enjoy the shots - and go explore your own city! 

the gentle things


I’m being intrigued by the delicate. 

Drawn to the meek things. 


The sweet whispers.

The small notables. 

Honest moments.

Soft spaces.


I’m being intrigued.

Because I have a growing desire to be gentler 

In a world that is telling me I must always speak up, speak out

and stand for something. 

Right now, I am standing for the gentler things. 

As I am learning that gentle does not mean weak

or boring

or invisible

But it means a controlled strength. 

The art of undeniably being

 unapologetically feeling

fully knowing the power behind who I am as a created woman

without forcing it on anyone else. 


A moment ago I glanced out my front window

caught my reflection

and thought about what someone would see if they peeked into my home, with the most innocent of curiosities. 


They would have seen me. 

Blissfully alone at my dining room table

Eating my favorite vegetables that I just cooked up for dinner. 

Staring out into my living room

Blankets thrown across the couch from my afternoon nap.

Further into my kitchen they would see a sink full of dishes I had to take care of later.

If they stuck around they might even witness me singing my heart out over the volume of the rushing water and banging of bowls and pans as I cleaned.

I hope they would have seen that I was not lonely.

But maybe they would not.

Maybe I would be the only one to know how much these simple, comforting, routine moments meant to me.   

And maybe that’s alright.


Because I’ve learned to love this space I’m in.

This space of coming down from my tower. 

The tower that I stood on top of, shouting to let other people know who I am.

You see, I wasn’t asking people to tell me who I am. 

No, I was sure of who I was.

But why did I so desperately want everyone else to know too?

Why is it not enough for me and my Father to know.

Why was I trying so very hard to let people know 

WHO i was

Instead of Whose? 


I am learning. 

I am learning to only shout for things worth the volume. 

And I am learning the value of a whisper. 

The sweet intimacy of soft spoken words. 


So I am being intrigued. 

By gentle.


And meek things.


Because I believe I have a heavenly Father who is waiting to give me much.

But how can He 

when I have already packed myself with so much, ‘much’?

Like a child trying to stick all she can on a piece of paper covered in glue

when there is simply no more room to adhere the feathers and beads.

That is me. 

The little girl who wants every sparkling, colorful, pin and ponytail in her hair. 

But who I am learning to be

is the little girl who just wants her daddy to braid her hair. 

To set aside my sparkles and clips.

To sit nicely. 

And have Him do something that I am just too small to do on my own.



I am falling in love with being small. 

Embracing the delicacies.

Collecting the gentle things. 

So that there is all the more room for Him.

And others.

And for my smallness to be able to fit just perfectly 

Wherever it might need to be. 

// all photos styled & shot by Zoey Jean // 

The Kinda Tour - Minneapolis

Last night (11.5.16) I had the insane opportunity to photograph my favorite band LANY at Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis, MN //

This was so special, being able to channel my passion of photography towards a band that means so much to me. The experience was all so brilliant - taking the familiarity of operating a camera and combining it with the flow of knowing every word to their songs and being able to enjoy each moment while documenting it was truly special.

Oh and Halsey made a surprise appearance at the end and sang ILYSB with the boys. It was a dream land. Trying to imagine any concert that could top this experience.

Enjoy the shots. And go tell LANY I'll be their next tour photographer //  

- Z 


* "Hella Obsessed" hand lettering by Emily Poulin 



Whale Talk

I think sometimes we need to feel like we’re surrounded by life in order to live more. It makes sense. Even as an introvert - I find myself waking up and having days where I need to go out and be surrounded by other people, even if it’s just the bustle of a coffee shop. Even if no one is talking to me. Even if I’m not working my brains out, editing photos or answering emails. Just to be in a space where energy is flowing - THAT is life-giving. 


I am confident that no other female on the planet would like to make the following analogy towards themselves - but I’m gonna say it …


I feel like a beached whale.


Not in a “Wow why don’t these jeans fit me like they used to” way, or “Oops can’t wear crop tops this season” feeling … I literally feel out of my element. Stuck on the beach. Out of my ocean. So close to it… right next to it… but unable to get back into the flow of its life-giving energy. 


I feel like I’m spread out, laying on a beach - and not in a vacation sort of way. In a beached whale sort of way. If you didn’t know, a beached whale is usually dying or already dead.


Not exaclty California dreamin'.


*Please note, I’m talking about my dead energy, muted emotions … I have a good quality of life, and this is in no way me hinting into wanting to end my physical life.* 




Would I rather be where I’m at, immobile on this ‘beach’ instead of being over my head and drowning? 


This whole whale analogy made me quickly realize I didn’t have much knowledge on whales, and prompted me to hit up Google to type in questions like, “can whales drown?” and “why do whales beach themselves?” 


I really hope the guy sitting next to me at this coffee shop isn't glancing over my computer as my eyes pour into articles on the most morbid times of a whale’s life. Sorry dude. Google is my college. It’s where you get to learn about anything you want, exactly when you want, FOR FREE. Move over. 




It brought to my attention that whales can in fact drown. They’re mammals after all. They don’t breathe underwater, Zoey. They live underwater, but they NEED to come up for air. Therefore they can drown by holding their breath for too long, or getting water in their blowhole. 


Then. They can beach themselves for a list of various reasons - it can be intentional or not. But. The fact is they are already dead or dying when they do so. 


Yikes. This blog has turned from educational to morbid in one foul swoop, and I’m becoming very self-conscious of the fact that I am sitting in a coffee shop writing a piece about whales and how I can very much relate to them.


With all that being said … to answer my question above: “Would I rather be where I’m at, this idle “beached whale” or … this struggling drowning, “didn’t pay attention to how long I was diving, now I’m drowning” whale?


My answer:


I want to be a happy whale. I want to be a normal whale! I want to be a whale that is IN its element. Swimming in my ocean, chillin’ with my pod. 




I think we forget that option. You can be a normal whale. A really cool, mighty, graceful, freaking WHALE. (Person). 


So watch out. Don’t stay underwater too long. Don’t dive down too deep that you forget to come up and breathe! 


And beware of the beach. One of the reasons whales beach themselves is because they get confused or misinformed, and all of a sudden the water is too shallow and they get stuck on the beach and can’t get back in the ocean. 


Find your flow. Don’t get too shallow. Don’t get stuck in the depths. Come up to breathe! Find your pod. Slap your tail on top of the water when there’s danger. (okay, too far?) 


Thanks for reading about me and whales. I think it’s helping me get off this beach and back into the ocean. Which is the difference between us and whales. We have legs. We can dive back in. 


Go get ‘em tiger! (err…. whale?) Person. We are people. Be a cool, mighty, graceful, person. YOU. 

Pink, White & Blue .

Excited for my photos to be a part of Greta's branding process as she begins a new singer/songwriter career. This shoot was a combination of the softest colors and a touch of tomboy. 


Northern Minnesota Roadtrip

Just a week ago, a group of friends - old and new ones - all jumped into cars and made our way up to Palisade Head in northern Minnesota. The purpose was for an H Influencer Meet-Up, but ultimately, it was just a time to be with friends, experience life together, and get our hearts & minds stirred up in all the creative opportunities in front of us that day. 

Here's a look at the photos I captured throughout the day: 





Zolivia takes NYC : part 2

Hello humans of the internet!

Hopefully you read Part One of this NYC blog series and you're all briefed on who Olivia is & why we're in New York together. 

Because in THIS post I'll be getting into the traveler's details of anything and everything we have to say about this trip! (myself speaking for Olivia, cause again - we're basically the same person)

So if you're heading to NYC anytime soon, or just want to live vicariously through us - this post should be satisfying to both of those situations!

Day 1 : Sunday

After navigating buses, subways, and the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, we arrived at our AirBnb with great relief around 2 in the afternoon. I'm gonna preface this whole experience by saying there wasn't a day of this trip that we didn't break a sweat because of the high temperatures. Which you wouldn't really expect from a trip to New York? But in the summer it's just heat, radiating off of a city built of asphalt and reflective buildings. So that's the perspective. Thanking the Lord for the breezes, air conditioned establishments, and countless iced drinks that kept us going.

Now that you know how hot we were. Let's move on. 

Next on Sunday's schedule was to meet up with my friend Elise, who had recently moved to Brooklyn from Minneapolis. We met at Dough Doughnuts on Franklin and OH MY GOSH. We took it upon ourselves to taste test a LOT of doughnuts on our trip, but these win. Hands down. They were even vegan. I could eat one of their pistachio doughnuts every day. 

Also - it was never a question of how many doughnuts we were going to get. Half dozen or bust. 

After some catch-up chats and savoring the doughnuts made by angels, we were all off to catch the 5:00PM service at Hillsong Church in Manhattan! 

I love experiencing different churches when I travel and being able to come together with other believers that I don't even know & worship our Creator together. We have Christ in common and that's all we need. It's also so refreshing to hear different speakers and gain new perspectives from what they have to say. It was all so, so good. Grateful for that time.

After the service, we were all pretty hungry, so we headed over to 12 Chairs Cafe in East Village, which served a fusion of Middle East & Eastern European cuisine. 

More simply put: their food was incredible.

I got a fresh mozzarella sandwich, Live got a Brie sandwich, and Elise got the most amazing salad. ALSO LET'S DISCUSS THE POTATO PRODUCTS ON THE TABLE. We all shared sweet potato fries and their 'house fries' (the plate with round fried potato slices) and they were both just so fresh and good. Not pictured - our appetizer - which was the MOST amazing hummus served with warm pita. Even now that I'm back home, I still crave that fresh hummus. I'll be eating some Sabra and I'm like. What even is this. Where's my 12 Chairs Hummus. Need that. 

So after our dinner, we said goodbye to Elise and grabbed an Uber to Webster Hall for a concert. 

FUNNY THING about this concert - one of my best guy friends was in the band that was performing. Hence why we were even there. BUT GUYS - this whole thing is really exciting. Just because of the fact that we're both from the midwest, hailing from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota, and THERE WE WERE in NEW YORK CITY together?? Like. The chances of being in the same city (of 8.5 Billion people) at the same time as one of your closest friends (1200 miles from your homes) completely coincidentally? YEAH WE THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY RAD.

Oh also it's Kyle. Kyle Featherstone is the guy. HI KY. 

I've known Kyle for 4 years and our friendship is one of my favorites! He's one of the people in my life who knows the realest, rawest version of me, and I love that. We like to pretend to be really cool in photos but we're probably two of the biggest dorks you could find. Even when we're in NYC.

After shooting some photos & listening to their set, we called it a night and made the journey back to the AirBnb. 

The only two requirements we really had during our online search for the perfect AirBnb was :

1 : a bedroom with white walls & good lighting. 

2 : rooftop access for photo and hangout purpose 

Bet your bottom dollar that's exactly what we booked.

So Sunday night, we headed straight for the rooftop when we got 'home' and spent some time up there before calling it a night. 

Day 2 : Monday 

We let ourselves sleep in a bit, then started our day by grabbing brunch and coffee at Brunswick Cafe

9/10 would recommend because of the cozy yet modern aesthetic vibes, good food - and Olivia really enjoyed her drink. 

What? Does that a mean I didn't enjoy my drink?  

No. i really really didn't. I got a chai latte. And it tasted like a chai tea that had been left to steep for 30 seconds. I was basically drinking poorly spiced water. So. If you go here - get a regular latte! Get the avocado toast! Get the bacon & egg croissant! But avoid the chai at all costs. 

After we got our fuel for the morning, we set out to do what we do best!

Wander around and take photos. We hit up the Brooklyn Bridge & Dumbo areas of Brooklyn 

We knew we were going to call it an early night because we wanted to get back to the AirBnb rooftop in time to take sunset photos - 


We went into West Village for dinner because we had our hearts (and eyes and stomachs, and basically every part of us) set on experiencing The Butcher's Daughter - a 'vegetable slaughterhouse' with an earthy boho, yet clean and modern vibe. The whole place was fresh, in every sense of the word - including the sick music which was being queued up by one of the waiters, who noticed I was vibing and singing along with every song between bites, and came over to recognize my appreciation for his selections. (one of the songs, newer to me, was a song called Panic Chord - Hucci Remix. Do your ears a favor and go listen after reading this post FOR SURE. Make sure you're listening to the remix though.) 

*sorry there are no photos of the food we ordered, but this was one of those 'we're so hungry and this food looks so good, I don't even know what a camera is right now'* 

After the flawless Butcher's Daughter experience we hopped back onto the subway and made it back to our place in Brooklyn just in time to get some golden hour rooftop photos :

Day 3 : Tuesday 

This day was the day we had planned to meet up with Jess (IG : @life_is_sweeeeet) for lunch and then explore and take photos for the rest of the day. 


We took a whirl at another donut shop we had our eyes on : Dough Doughnuts

the Hibiscus (pink frosted) and Cafe Au Lait (left of hibiscus) were the best ones. Their glazed and sugar ones were just sort of average. Also these doughnuts were huge. We honestly only took about two bites of each, and combined that was about 3 doughnuts finished between the 2 of us together. These doughnuts were just HUGE. Between the flavors and the size, we just preferred Dun Well over Dough HANDS DOWN.  

So after doughnuts and walking around the botanical gardens (which were also a bit of a letdown) our day picked up when we met Jess for lunch.

We went to a small Parisian cafe whose backyard outdoor dining was a dream.

I was in desperate need of some protein because all we'd been consuming was carbs, carbs, carbs, so as soon as I saw "Peach and Salmon Roe" on the menu I thought - YUM! Salmon with a peach sauce? Cool. That sounds great. I'll have that. 

Olivia : "What's 'Roe' ? "

Me : "I don't know Live I just really want Salmon."

So we ordered, talked, I went off to the bathroom and when I came back, Olivia looked like she definitely knew something I didn't know. Then she said :

"Well. We found out what 'Roe' means...

It's fish eggs."

So on a plate in front of my eyes was a a caramelized peach cut open and in place of where the pit would have been, little orange jelly spheres overflowed. Little fish eggs. I was about to eat fish eggs. THE MENU DID NOT SAY CAVIAR. UGH.

I was a good sport and tried them out, and they did in fact last like salmon, just in little flavor beads.

They lacked the true texture and sustenance I would have experience had a REAL salmon been on my plate. This is my sob story. All I wanted was some protein. Not a warm peach stuffed with salmon eggs for $17.00 

Yes. That's the other sad part to this story. Tears about that money. 


We went to Sweatshop which is a coffee shop in Brooklyn known for putting ice-cream in their coffees. That's right. I got a cup of espresso + vanilla ice-cream + sprinkles. And it was lovely.

Midwest coffee shops, get on that. 

After Sweatshop, we adventured around Williamsburg, which is where Jess took most of the photos found in my last blog! 

This is Jess! ^^ had to snap a few of her during our adventures :) The light coming through this fence was just too cool. 

After walking around Williamsburg, we headed back to Jess's apartment in Queens because she had two Shiba Inus we needed to meet. 

Jess also had killer rooftop access that we took advantage off. And we may also have snuck into the next apartment building over to use their rooftop as well :) 

Day 4 : Wednesday

This was our last FULL day in NYC so we decided to get up at sunrise and go to the roof to do some portrait shooting of each other. We went back to bed promptly after our half our shoot. 

after waking up for the second time that day, we decided to go to Toby's Estate for some avocado toast & coffee. This day basically consisted of us going around to coffee shops and thrift shops, until we made it to Little Italy for dinner at the most delicious (and expensive) Italian restaurant. Afterwards we were on our way to meet my cousin in Central Park where 'Opera in the park' was happening. It was a nice low-key day in the city, only documented on our iPhones, which was a nice break after non-stop shooting the past days. 

Day 5 : Thursday (BYE)

This was our travel day. We woke up, packed up, went to a juice bar down the street that we went to the very first day we got here, and hopped on the subway to make it to Port Authority. I think 5 days was just enough to freely explore and experience just enough of NYC to fix our travel bugs. Eating good food, drinking good drinks, and getting a fresh creative spark that can only be found when you leave your familiar for a bit. And getting to experience it with someone you love so much? Bonus. 

Here's us leaving our AirBnb and thinking about all the subways, buses, and airplanes we were about to deal with for the day. It was the saddest moment when we realized we had to say goodbye to each other on the shuttle at the airport. Back to Missouri for her - Back to Minnesota for me. But then we were texting each other again within a few minutes ... so, it's not so sad. 

Zolivia takes NYC : Part 1

One of my best friends Olivia (IG: @oliviariddering) and I have been crowned 'ZOLIVIA' by one of our mentors, Nicole Matthews, due to the fact that we're 99% the same person and basically inseparable when we're in the same environment (which isn't frequent, seeing as she lives in Missouri and I live in Minnesota. But we text each other every day, even if it's just to talk about what we're eating. So we're definitely as in-tune as we could be with each other's lives).

I guess the name comes down to the fact that it's easier to say ZOLIVIA instead of separating us out. But we're not mad about it! We'd agree that we're basically the same person anyway.

So what were we doing in New York?

Well. I had a wedding to shoot there on Saturday the 18th of June, so I texted Olivia seeing if she wanted to meet me out there after the wedding and we could spend the week in NYC together. Naturally. (this was also all before we had even met in person) 

Back in January, were both chosen to be ambassadors for a company called The Bloomerie and were made aware of each other's existence through that. I'm not sure at what point we turned from new, careful, acquaintances to constantly texting each other about everything - smoothies, pancakes, wine, PIZZA, New Girl, Friends, Marvel, boy news, our similar family habits, and a million other things we have in common. And forget double-texting. I know when my phone goes off 3 times or more in less than 5 seconds - it's Olivia - and there are probably 5 more messages coming, so I should just sit tight till they all arrive. I love it because that's how I roll with texting too: incoming - you're about to receive 3-8 incomplete yet important (or not) thoughts via blue text bubbles from me. You're welcome. 

Also we're both photographers. And are completely content planning our days the day before they happen. So we knew it'd be the bomb spending a week exploring New York City together.

image by :  Forever Photography

We planned our entire trip via Instagram and picked restaurants, coffee shops, and good photo-shoot locations through the app. You could say we're low-key (high-key) social-media researching experts. Apparently. 

We even planned to meet up with another photographer I'd found through instagram - Jessica (IG: life_is_sweeeeet) I told her I was on my way to New York, wanted to meet up, and she was more than happy to adventure around with us - and capture some photos of me & Live together. 

I wanted to have this Part 1 post to feature Jess's photos of us, and then ZOLIVIA takes NYC : Part 2 will get more into the details of everything Live & I did, documented, went to, drank, and ate over the week :) Stay tuned for that! Enjoy Jess's images of us bellow : 

all images by Forever Photography