Scars Project: Overcoming Hardships in Life and Turning it to Hope: Northwest Indiana Lifestyle Photographer


Scars Project: Overcoming Hardships in Life and Turning it to Hope: Northwest Indiana Lifestyle Photographer


Scars leave us vulnerable, cut open, pierced and marked.  We become branded with our stores, made different and changed.  Some scars are incredibly painful, seeping into our deepest identity, creating our deepest wounds.  Some scars leave us broken and blind, unable to see the light, crawling and inching towards mercy and grace.  But with any scar, in time, it has the opportunity to heal.  Many times, it is still weaker than before, still more prone to future vulnerability. However, it is also made more aware, more obvious, thus more attentive to us.  We now pay more attention in our lives to our areas of scars, thus providing transformation.  Scars can be used for beautiful healing, extreme redemption, and incredible growth to become someone better. 


I have many scars in my own life, some are healed, some are only in the beginning stages of healing, still open and oozing.  Yet, as I begin to process them and make steps humbly towards grace and redemption I change.  I grow more compassion for others, more understanding for those hurting in similar circumstances.  My heart softens and as I am weak, I become stronger in Christ, for as I lay down myself and my pride, and pick up the cross instead, my focus and vision changes.  My values are transformed, my purposed fixed and my eyes focused.  As I live broken and in need of Jesus, I become more alive than I ever could be on my own.  For, there is something so beautiful about the act of sacrifice, laying ourselves down and choosing others instead.  This is why Motherhood is one of the most beautiful things to me.  It is an extreme sacrifice of laying yourself down to care for and nurture the needs of your children.  Beauty.  This is why the act of service in the military is such a beautiful thing to me.  Laying down their lives and time with their families for the sake of our nation.  Beauty.  This is why the messy, the broken and the frayed pieces are so beautiful to me.  For, although there is certainly pain there, there is also sacrifice, and through the sacrifice comes wisdom, and through the wisdom comes grace and grace changes actions and grace shines light on the darkness, and that is a beautiful thing worth capturing.  Grace produces hope, and the world runs to hope!  

Vulnerable, Yet Set Free 

Here is a start to my own Scars Project I am working on this year.  It has been a beautiful, healing process for me.  Leaving me vulnerable, yet set free.  


Do you have any scars you have overcome or are struggling with?  I would love to champion them together!! 



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How to Prepare for a Family Session: Laura Duggleby Photography: Northwest Indiana

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How to Prepare for a Family Session: Laura Duggleby Photography: Northwest Indiana

First Steps: Mental Preparation: 

So, you have family pictures on the books and have found an amazing photographer to capture some amazing images for you and your family, but how do you prepare so that you feel ready to go and relaxed?

  • List out activities that are important to you and your family 

Let your photographer know what you like to do with your family, what comes naturally to you, how you and your family hang out, whether that be, hanging out at the park or watching movies.  This will help your photographer know what is normal and typical for you and your family and how to relate well to you.  

  • Think about details you love and want to remember in this season with your family

These seasons of life fly by so quickly so think about things your little ones are doing or traits you never want to forget so that your photographer makes sure to pay special attention to it during your session.  For example:  does your little one have some beautiful curls that you want to remember or are they crazy attached to daddy in this season of life?  What are personalities that you see within your children that you love?   For my sessions it is incredibly important to me that I capture these things that are special to you, because every story is unique, and every family has their own story.  And, life goes by so quickly.  I know that you are trying to balance it all, between raising your children, loving your husband, growing a business, and having a somewhat social life on the side.  I get it, life is hard to manage it all, so let me, or your photographer make sure you use this session to capture every beautiful piece of it! 


Deciding Time of Session

  • Sunrise- Are you a morning person?  Do your young ones wake up super early in the morning?  If so, this might be a good time to shoot to stick with the natural rhythm of your family. 
  • Sunset- Are you a night owl?  Do your children go down late and sleep in in the morning?  Then, if your photographer is able, sunset might be the best time for you and your family to shoot. 

It's best just to think about what might work best for you and your family.  Keep in mind, that either way things might get a little off from the norm, and that is completely fine, but keeping it as close to normal as possible if you have little ones tends to work best. 


Picking Attire

It's wardrobe selection time!! Here are some tips I like to give people for choosing what to wear. 

  • Mommas, choose your outfit first.  You want to make sure you are in something that makes you feel lovely and beautiful, and yet that is also comfortable.  The last thing you want is to be constantly adjusting yourself during a session.  
  • After your outfit is all set, dress your little ones and your husband.  Make sure they are comfortable as well.   
  • Coordinate, don't match!! Make sure you coordinate your colors, but don't match everything together


Day Before Session: 

  • Pack bag of “Extras”- Change of clothes, toys, diapers, wipes, snacks, blankets, soothers, etc. 
  • Set an alarm to wake up for sunrise session or to start getting ready for sunset session. 


Day of Session:     

  •    Give extra time for preparation! 
  •    Try to leave early. 
  •    Wait to dress baby or small children until you get there in case of spit-up or messy snacks in car on commute
  •  Breastfeeding: 
    • 1. Either feed beforehand if you would not like to have it documented within the session, OR 
    • 2. Make sure to try and plan the feeding schedule to have a nursing during the session
  •    Bring soothing tools, blankets, favorite toy, or snacks to help calm child in case of a meltdown
  •    Extra change of clothes for you post session should baby spit up or anything on you! 
  •    Don’t forget baby necessities- diapers, wipes, clothes, etc.  (An extra outfit is always great with little ones)


Final Thought: 

  • Enjoy the Session!  Once you are there, make sure to just let things be and enjoy the time you have with your family all together.  Soak in the moments as they are happening.  Love those close to you well.  These moments are ever passing and these memories matter.  Your photographer will capture your family beautifully!  Enjoy the amazing story that is being written just for you! 



Ready to Start Planning your own Family Session? 


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Grateful Hearts in Business: Laura Duggleby Photography: Northwest Indiana

Revelation for Business:

So, something came to me this morning and it hit so strongly that I felt I had to do something with it, to create something from it and to invite others in.  So, here is a bit of revelation for you.  Do you ever get stuck feeling like you are never where your hopes and dreams are for your business?  Like you are always behind, always failing, never measuring up?  I know I can be super successful with some bits and pieces of my business and yet feel as if I am failing all at the same time, because I always want more for myself.  There is a piece of this driven heart and driven spirit that I believe is good, as it continues to drive me forward in achieving new things, however, it is also incredibly detrimental to my mental health and well-being, never being good enough for myself.  It all came to me this morning as I read through Psalm 78.  


Psalm 78: God Never Being Enough for You: 

Vs. 15-16" He split the rocks in the dessert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like the rivers" 

vs. 17-18 "But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the dessert against the Most High.  They willfully put God to the test, by demanding the food they craved". 

vs. 20 "When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly.  But can he also give us food?  Can he supply meat for his people?

This entire chapter really hit home for me today.  How many times has God supplied exactly what I needed for the day, and yet I continue to whine, complain and look down on my circumstances, because I am not getting the food that I am craving, I am not accomplishing the dreams I have for the future right now?  God is good and gracious, and yet how many times do I essentially tell God that He is not good enough for me, that He is not providing me with enough or helping me in the ways I want Him to, like a genie in a bottle?  I am so guilty of this, and as a result, my business suffers because I continually look at the negative aspects or the what-ifs instead of the thank you and have happened for today.  Are you ever with me in this?  Anyone else have water gushing out before them, and yet continually seem to focus on the cravings they are lacking?  What is it with our culture today that we are so caught up in the future and dreams that we forget to be grateful in the here and the now?  Don't get me wrong, dreams are amazing and essential.  They are needed in business and life in general, but they should not suck the joy out of the present and blind us from the incredible moments happening daily.  

From Inadequate to Grateful: 

So, what I have decided, an action step I am going to begin taking is to begin to write down my successes in my business each day.  To praise the little things, to be grateful for each step along the way.  For that is truly important in and of itself, is it not?  Being grateful in the small things allows us to remain humble in the big things.  And as I hope that my dreams are fully accomplished and then some, it would all truly be a failure if I get there and yet have an ungrateful, prideful heart once I am there.  That is not the life I am wishing to live.  I must correct my attitude, my way of thinking now, while I am small in order to have any hope of maintaining joy as I grow.  


So, practically how am I going to accomplish this?  I have decided that I am simply going to start a hashtag #gratefulheartinbus .  This will be a place that I am committing to posting to once a week in order to keep me accountable to remaining grateful in the small things and acknowledging the small accomplishments as well as the large.   I would love for you to take part if you would like as to create a community of fellow business entrepreneurs all rejoicing and remaining grateful in the platforms we have been placed in.  You can be a photographer, a designer, a florist, a massage therapist, a personal trainer.  You name it.  Let's create a space to be encouraged by one another and continually able to see the small gains of each other and rejoice and uplift each other.  

Changed Minds Change Character

I truly believe that as we change our mindsets, our character changes as well.  The outpouring of our hearts change and we can truly be able to live within the hope and freedom we were created for.  I don't want to be stuck in the bondage of failure any longer.  We each have a very specific and unique purpose, and there is enough business in the world for everyone, so let's strive to walk away from comparison and negative self talk about our own businesses and walk in the freedom to hope and dream, being grateful for one small task at a time, one person at a time, one gift at a time.  I truly believe that as we take that next right step, like I talked about in my last post that we will be on our way to greatness.  It may look like a lot of tiny failures even, but I know that as we look back we will see the mountains we have climbed.  Cheering you guys on!! Cannot wait to see your successes tiny and small alike as well! 

To read more about just doing the next best thing, check out my previous post: When you Feel Like you Don't Know the Way

And, don't forget to start tagging some images #GratefulHeartInBus to share some of your successes each week!!  (Or more! ;) Post as often as you would like!) 


~Let's do this together friends,