Meet the photographers of WhoIsBeautiful! These ladies are passionate about photography and passionate about helping others realize their value, beauty, and identity in Christ. Each of these women have a heart to capture the person as God sees them, to share their story in truth, and present the beauty of God’s creation in its most natural form. They are using their cameras for good and God is blessing them along the way as well! Please take a moment to read through their bios. Hear their hearts as they share their love for God, photography, and others.
Hi my name is Alicia Zinn! I am 27 years old… I have been chasing people around with a camera for over 10 years now but didn’t start calling myself a photographer until 2008 so going on 5 years now I have been a pro! Wow I haven’t really done the math in a while! I am just starting my last semester at Christ For the Nations in the Worship Major which is where I find myself because they don’t have an Art Major! So I am an artist to the core… Honestly I started taking pictures because it was a faster way to paint a picture! I found a love for it. I feel like I should add that I did come by photography honestly as far as my genetics are concerned! I could also say photography was in my blood because both my parents did photography as a hobby in while they were still enlisted overseas in fact it is one of the things they had in common when they met in the Philippines. My father even had a darkroom. I learned a lot of the technical stuff like the proper settings for aperture, ISO & shutter speed and such from them.
A while back one of my friends told me they weren’t photogenic and I took it as a challenge. My heart is to capture the natural God given beauty that shines out of each of us. I long to see each person as God sees them… That is why I named my studio In His Eyes! This is basically a home based operation. But I have been working on a new project. I want to open a Coop Photography & Art Studio Similar to the way a hair studio is run to help photographers and artists share the overhead cost of buying & running a studio. Instead of renting expensive equipment and space on our own I want to buy it and have it available for others to use at the studio where other photographers can pay an affordable monthly or quarterly rental fee to the use of everything and the space. As I finish out this semester I am in the process of getting business plans on paper and hope to open sometime later this year Lord willing! Outside of the arts I have a passion for People mostly investing in them! I have been supporting missions for years and look forward to visiting many of the missionaries I have been supporting over the last few years someday soon! I am single but God willing not forever! In all honestly I have waited a long time and am ready for that to change but isn’t every other single CFNI student! I am an artist I love to paint and work with others who do! Art and Photography are my main passions aside from my Family, Friends but mostly My Lord! I am a Christian and believe that following Christ with your life takes more than just calling yourself a Christian! If we can’t put actions to your faith than whom are we really serving? I spend most of my days with my heart open as well as my hands! It is incredible to see the things the Lord will put in your hands if you just leave them open for Him to fill! If you follow me personally on twitter you will read my bio as follows: Artist, Photographer & Girl After God’s Heart!- I am me and I like it that way!
Because I am! I love people and so enjoy seeing the best in them and do my best to have it shine through in the pictures I take of them!
Read Alicia’s Story
I was born and raised in Little Rock, AR. I am a wife to a wonderful and very supportive husband and mother to 2 girls. I graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. I have always had an interest in photography, and after having my first child, it grew into a passion. Seeing my precious baby girl, I wanted to capture every moment, every emotion, but lacked the technical skills. After years of practice, self-teaching, observation, and trial and error, I have grown and am learning to capture those moments and translate them into beautiful photographs. However, I am ALWAYS striving to grow and learn more! My day to day life consists of homeschooling my 1st grader, entertaining my 2 year old and snapping pictures any chance I get! I have a heart for missions, children, being creative and always trying to conquer new things!
I am so excited to be a part of Who Is Beautiful. Growing up and still today, I have always felt very average. Average height, average weight, average looks, average intelligence. Nothing special. When I was single in college God had a prophetic word spoken over me that I will never forget. He said, “Your value is greater than you think”. I hold those words very close to my heart because I know that they are true. I remember hearing those words like it was yesterday because it was what I needed to hear then and what I often need to remind myself of now. It is very easy to get caught up in the day to day monotony and feel unimportant, but God wants to say to so many daughters, wives, and mothers that they are more valuable to Him than they could ever imagine.
One of my favorite scriptures is Ecc 3:11 that says, “He has made everything beautiful in it’s time.”
Courtney has been toting around a camera since she was a teenager, taking photos of local bands and children of friends and family. In 2005 her first children, a set of twin boys were born. Their birth reignited her interest in the art. Wanting to capture every milestone of their development, Courtney went through many rolls of film in their first year.
Courtney now owns Courtney Yarberry Photography and photographs portraiture and weddings in Central Arkansas.
“I’m so excited to be part of this project! I believe that every woman should know and celebrate her God given beauty and be proud of the woman she was created to be. Society has painted a portrait that tells women that they have to look a certain way and act a certain way in order to be beautiful, and it’s simply not the case. I look forward to photographing many amazing women so that their stories of faith, strength and beauty can be made available for everyone!“
Courtney lives in Benton, Arkansas with her husband of 10 years and 3 amazing sons. She is a volunteer photographer for Red Thread Sessions and Inspiration Through Art. In her spare time, Courtney loves to spend time reading, journaling, knitting.
Do you find it funny to introduce yourself in writing? I do! I am not a natural writer and rarely follow the rules. I find that I identify myself by my titles and by physical location. So we shall start with location as my introduction. I currently reside in Hawai’i on the island of Oahu but am relocating to the Washington DC area Summer 2013. I am a wife of a Marine Pilot, mother of 4, and a photographer. I have a good sense of humor and laugh at myself often. I love deeply and forgive easily. I love candy, but hate the dark. No really I am thirty something (shhhh!!!!! don’t tell) and would sleep with a night light if my husband would allow me. Really when it all boils down I am a simple girl who loves simple things. I am who God made me to be which is a raw, honest women who loves to see and encourage the good in others.
As a mother the moments that I love most are the simple days enjoying simple moments. I feel my photography conveys that in that it is simply about the family, the child and or the beautiful women I have been blessed to capture. I like to keep it simple.
When I was asked to join the project I was excited, scared, nervous, and flattered all at the same time. What I loved most about this project was that women were not being featured because of their physical appearance, but how God has guided their imperfectly perfect path. I am so thankful for the talent I have received and cannot wait to capture these women in their true beauty.
Shawn has always enjoyed taking pictures of people she loves! Her mom has a photograph of her at the age of two carrying a camera around the house! As a young teen, Shawn had dreamed of becoming a photographer/artist one day. Over the years she strived to capture every detail of her life. Starting with her parents wedding in 1980, then to her friends growing up and onto her children and family as an adult. Later on people began asking Shawn to take family pictures and photograph their weddings.
In 2005, Shawn became pregnant with her third child. The pregnancy was not only a surprise but was complicated from the very beginning. At 26 weeks, Shawn went into premature labor and almost lost her life and the life of her child. During this time God went to work in Shawn’s life equipping her with peace she never experienced before. He also began working to move Shawn’s life on the path that would lead to the beginning of her photography career.
After three months of NICU, Caylan Maree came home from the hospital. Having to stay in the house for three months Shawn picked up her camera and changed the setting from the green box to the manual mode. She began investing time in learning and pursing photography. In the spring of 2005, Shawn was approached by her neighbor and friend to photograph her grandson. Shawn Hodges Photography officially was born in January 2008. The business celebrated five years in January 2013. She has won several awards through her local photography guild. She has had the privilege of meeting many beautiful people and being a part of many of life’s most beautiful moments through her photographer career. Shawn owns and operates her own studio in her hometown of Henderson, Texas.
Recently God worked in Shawn’s life through the Who Is Beautiful Ministry. As He healed her scars and spoke life and identity into her heart, He also planted a desire to be a part of the Who Is Beautiful Ministry. Shawn wants to help other woman and teens find their identity and beauty in Jesus! Shawn is so excited to see what God will do through this ministry. She is experiencing first hand how God can restore life and value. She is planning to impact the kingdom of heaven with the hearts of many beautiful women!
Shawn resides in Henderson, Texas where she was born and raised! She is the proud mom of three children Cohlyn, Cannon and Caylan.
Read Shawn’s Story
Stephanie Hosszu has had a camera in her hand since she can remember. Digging through her parents pictures from the 80’s you will find many prints of stuffed animals posed on chairs and holding props. From those humble beginnings she began a journey to become the professional photographer she is today. She is the face behind Stephanie D Photography which can be found online at www.stephaniedphoto.com
Stephanie is thrilled that God has brought her to Whoisbeautiful.org. She first realized that her camera could be a ministry to women, when she was doing a shoot at the Portland Rescue Mission’s center for women and children. She was taking pictures of a young woman who was a former drug addict and prostitute. As she showed the girl the small screen of her camera, the girl started crying and said “I am beautiful!” You see, this girl knew that God was changing her on the inside, but still saw herself as the prostitute and drug user on the outside. When Stephanie realized that she had a small part in helping this woman’s mindset change to how God saw her, she knew that this was the ministry God was leading her towards.
Stephanie resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where there is a picture waiting to be taken around every corner. She has three children ages 12, 8 and 4 and a husband of almost 15 years. When she isn’t taking pictures she enjoys reading, catching up with friends on facebook and relaxing with her family.