I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!



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September 30, 2014

Pursuit 31 Conference | The Meaning of Joy

Thank you Elle Meredith Photography

I recently attended a women’s Christian gathering, Pursuit 31 Conference, at Winshape. I attended the conference two years ago and it was so life giving. My friend, Anna, messaged me about this year’s gathering. I was on the fence since I had a hectic wedding schedule. But I was easily persuaded because of my last experience. I left in the middle of my busy season with a LOT on my to do list, but I was excited for this year’s Pursuit 31 Conference!

My Experience at the Pursuit 31 Conference

It was an incredible and overwhelming (in a great way) experience! While I was there, I realized I was too consumed in my “to do” binder rather than my values. I didn’t know exactly why I was going to Pursuit 31 Conference, but God had a plan to steer me where I need to be. During the conference, they talked about the definition of success. As Bob Goff (YES! I got to meet him!!!!) said in his talk, “Look at where you’ve come, not where you’re going”. We need to celebrate the little steps along the way instead of looking for something greater in our business. Otherwise, we will end our lives in disappointment because we were continuously looking for something more.

I’m a Bob Goff fan, so my notebook was filled with so much Bob wisdom! I loved that he noted, “There’s a difference what you’re able to do and what you’re made to do.” AMEN.

The Meaning of Joy

This was the theme of the conference, so I had a lot of time to really soak in this word. It’s actually a key word I use in my business. It’s how I photograph and what I attract from my clients. Joy is actually a word that comes from within.

But the truth…

It is hard to love on ourselves because we can be SO harsh and critical. As Bianca Olthoff said in her talk, “We aren’t the artist, we are the canvas”. Would you ever criticize God’s creation? No. So we need to love ourselves for who we are inside and out.

The INCREDIBLE speakers, the friendships, worship, and community time was just what I needed this year. <3 Check out this highlight film!

Pursuit Conference 2014 – Conference Highlight Film from Stephen Diaz on Vimeo.


To Bob Goff … Thank you for laying the truth out on the table. I don’t think I have laughed and cried at the same time like that before!

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To Justin and Mary… I have ALWAYS admired your speaking abilities. You have a way of words unlike anyone I know. So effortless and soothing. Thank you for being vulnerable and raw on stage, especially with being the first speaker of the week!


Katelyn … Thank you for being a friend to all of us at the Conference! You have an amazing gift and you are MEANT to speak and lead! I know you are working yourself to the bones and admire your hard work and dedication.

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And to everyone else I didn’t get to mention and take photos, thank you for the AMAZING experience from day 1! I learned so much for you all! More importantly, thank you Karen for making this happen! You are changing lives with living out Gods plan! xoxo

  1. Cyndi Messick says:

    Beautiful post. Maybe I should have gone with you! Struggling to find balance in life is a difficult thing. Maybe you can teach your mom a few tricks!!! 😉

    My favorite line in the whole post … “yes, even the cat.” LOL!

  2. CCW - Caitlin says:

    Stephanie! The conference sounded amazing and I’m glad you were able to take the time to go 🙂 You’re doing amazing things, and I think we all feel that stress every day of prioritizing what’s really important. My kitties give me the evil eye if I’ve spent too much time on my computer designing, so I totally get that! You spoke to me with that one! xoxoxo

  3. […] loved what Stephanie Messick shared about Bob Goff’s talk during the […]