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The Art of Finding Adventure Anywhere.

Take the First  Step

Whether it be stepping outside your front door, onto an airplane or into your car for a little road trip, just do it.

My first step off the Chicago commuter train, on my way to Ireland last summer, lead to a wonderfully spontaneous interaction with a pastor from Honduras. In broken Spanglish we spoke about my travel plans and he prayed over me for safety and for FUN!


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Make Friends

Open yourself up. Learn when it is ok to trust strangers and DO IT! Soon they will become your lifelong friends. 


Meditate

Allow yourself to fully experience a moment, then reflect upon it. You will remember so much more this way.

Even though adventures can be exhilarating and propel you forward with a building momentum, don't go too fast. It can get messy that way, quite literally sometimes. 


Practice Patience

Instead, learn to have patience and wait however long you must for that perfect moment. 


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Find Beauty

Even in the broken things. Admire it with reverence, and try not to exploit it. 


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Take Risks

Don't be afraid of the dark. I will admit I am, but you never know what beautiful things you will find there. 


Explore the mundane

See the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane. It will change your definition of adventure for ever. (It's easier on the pocketbook too!)


Soak in the Culture

You don't have to go far for this. Pay attention to the culture around you. Breathe it in; let it resound in your ears. Add a little color to your life. 


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relax

Don't forget to RELAX! 

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Jennifer & Sambo

Jen and Sambo have the kind of love that creates a well of hope within anyone who encounters it. Their love of each other, their love of justice and their love of God has traversed the Atlantic Ocean, and numerous cultural barriers, the later of the two being especially interesting. Apart, they are both incredibly intelligent, driven, and passionate about social justice. Together they are a powerhouse. 

Keep an eye on these two. I can't wait to see what life has in store for them!

If you're recently engaged and looking for a photo shoot, make sure to check out the promotions I have right now on the blog.  

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The Hawkins

I have had the joy of seeing the Hawkins family grow from the very beginning. Seven years ago, I witnessed Jesslyn walk into the church a Galbreath Girl and ride out of the church on her husband's back as Mrs. Hawkins! Since then, I have documented both pregnancies, births, and now a little piece of their home. Jesslyn is a wonderfully wise woman who brings an atmosphere of peace wherever she goes, but does not lack in courage when needed. Keep your eyes glued to the Best Sellers list, because the eloquent words this woman weaves are going to powerful in print. Eric is an encourager of the adventurous spirit, and he teaches his sons well. More times than not, he has a new project started when I visit, and finished by the time I come back: genuine jack of all trades. Their children, well just look at them. Adorable. Elliot is a curious kid with a big heart, and man does he like to run! Hudson is coming up on his second birthday now and has the most mischievous eyes I've ever seen. They are a truly incredible family. 

If you'd like family pictures of your own check out the discounts I'm offering and send me a story of your favorite adventure!

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Discounts and Giveaways!

(UPDATE! I have received a few requests for an extension due to the fact that many people are working on finishing up their semesters and exams. If you haven't submitted a story, you now have until May 14th at 11:59pm! Even if you don't want a photo package feel free to submit an adventure story and you'll be entered to win a giveaway!)

In celebration of my new website I have a few discounts and giveaways to share with you. 

Here is the fun part. Each promotion is tied to a section of an upcoming hiking trek I am planning across Europe! 

I'm a firm believer in finding adventure in everyday moments and living life to the fullest. Either in the comments, or on my contact page send me a message telling me which promotion you would like, and tell a story about your favorite adventure (Can be in the past or in your dreams!) On May 14th I will choose one entry for each promotion. In addition, each story will be entered for a GIVEAWAY! 

Giveaway #1 

One person will receive a "Photo a Day" book with images I make in Ireland, Scotland, France, and Norway. 

Giveaway #2 

Four people will receive a set of custom postcards with my images from either, Ireland, Scotland, France or Norway.
 

Promotions

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Wedding for the price of a multi-city plane ticket. You'll be sending me to Cork, Ireland, and bringing me back from Ålesund, Norway. 


Price: $1800 (a $2500 value!)

Includes: 

- Engagement Session
- 10 Hours of Photography
- 2 Photographers
- A Blurb Photo Book
- Online Proofing
- A flash drive of High Resolution Images 
- A 5x7 Print from Ireland and Norway. 

An All Inclusive Engagement Shoot for the price of a Eurail Pass. I will be hitchhiking most of the time, but for the longer trips...a train it is!

Price: $275 (a $400 value!)


Includes: 

- My Premium Engagement Package
- Up to 4 Hours of Photography
- Multiple Locations
- Online Proofing
- $50 Printing Credit
- A flash drive of High Resolution Images
- A 5x7 Print from France

A Family Session for the price of a plane ticket from Paris, France, to Ålesund, Norway.


Price: $200 (a $250 value!) 

Includes: 

- 1.5 Hours of Photography
- Online Proofing
- A flash drive with High Resolution Images
- A 5x7 Print from France or Norway

Mini Portrait Session or Headshot for the price of a Ferry Ticket from Ireland to Scotland. 

Price: $70 (a $125 value!) 


Includes: 

- 30 Minutes of Photography
- Online Proofing
- A flash drive with High Resolution Images
- A 5x7 Print from Scotland 

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GIFs: I'm in love.

Here it is. I finally figured out how to make a gif. This was probably a fad a couple years back, but I am in love. Here are just a few that I had prepared for in 2012. (Jamie & Leah yours will be up as soon as I figure out why its not working) Keep your eyes peeled!

Janelle and I jumping into Lake Superior on her first Backpacking trip. 

The Guys we met and invited to swim with us. We ended up hiking the whole day with them. 

Mike & Jenna Stoll (now wed!). The most joyous couple I've ever met.

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We are all connected.

I had planned to launch this post on Easter. The images are from a year ago Easter day. It was warm, and the sky was perfectly overcast creating a larger than life soft box. Instead of posting it, I deleted it. At the moment I was frustrated by my failed attempt to be ahead of the game. Now, I am encouraged because it enabled me to share something that I learned this Easter and have now had some time to reflect on. The photos are from last Easter because I was not able to go home this year. I spent the day preparing tables for families and friends to eat. Usually this brings my heart joy, being able to serve people, but on this day all I could think about was how I'd rather be spending time with  my family. I was bitter. When I got back to my apartment that evening, it was quiet and I had some time to think. How many times have I been blind to the burden I have placed on someone in order to make my own life easier or for entertainment? I would have loved to be with my family this Easter, but I am oh so grateful for this experience. Knowing that the products I buy are ethical is important to me, but now my eyes have been open not only to my consumer power but how my actions may have an unethical effect on those around me. 

So here you are. This is my family, the driving force behind my growth and drive to seek justice.

 

 

 

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Kindred Spirits

From the moment she recognized my Anne of Green Gables reference, I knew Kestrel and I would become co-adventurers. We met just a few days before she was heading home to Washington for the summer. Our afternoon was spent drinking tea, walking through the Westside, and talking about photography. For any of you that don't know me, those are three of my biggest loves. This girl is very dear to my heart, she has since been a partner in exploration, my second shooter, and a source of inspiration and challenge to keep moving forward with my work and dreams. 

These images are from two separate adventures. The first set from this morning on the frozen waves of Lake Michigan. I am winter fanatic. The snow, the ice, the crisp air and numb toes, I love it all. Getting up before dawn and driving down to the lake with this little lady refreshed my spirit. I bought a Mamiya C330S TLR this summer and even though these are digital images, I have an itch to think in squares. Less and less, in my personal work at least, will you see rectangles. Enjoy!

 

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This is me.

Throughout the year I have had the opportunity of meeting some wonderful couples and  I will share a few glimpses soon but for my first post here I want to share a little piece of me. Well actually this is a very big piece of me: my family. Over the years with some additions and subtractions we have come to be known as the Bergalkins Family. This is a little impromptu photo booth we decided to do at Buela's house. 

 My Momma (Buela): Strong. Hilarious. Courageously Beautiful.

My Momma (Buela): Strong. Hilarious. Courageously Beautiful.

The Bergmans: Gentle. Adventurous. Inspiring. 

Adelyn: Pure Hearted. Bold. 

Me.

The Bergalkins Boys: Brothers I couldn't have picked out better myself and nephews too cute for words

The Hawkins: Wise. Go-getters. Freakin Awesome Parents. 

The Galbreath Girls. 

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