candid

Billy Raffoul : Portraits by Liz Brown

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This fall, I spent 3 days on one of Billy Raffoul's first tours. It was a blast spending time with these folks and I hope we get to do it again! In addition to shooting the shows, I took portraits two different days: Sunday in Omaha and Monday in Kansas City. On Sunday, the neighboring brewery allowed us to shoot inside and on Monday, we utilized the nearby buildings. Thanks to Billy, Alex, Sara, Justin, and Interscope! 

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KC with the Boys by Liz Brown

Blake and I have come a long way since our first roadtrip last summer. I mean, literally. We've driven lots of miles in my little car. So far, we've successfully roadtripped every season, but this was our first adventure in Kansas City. We drove up early for the Japanese House show at Riot Room and spent the day eating food and drinking coffee and taking photos with Charlie. There are a ton of photos: this is your warning. But they're all of coffee or donuts or Charlie or Blake, so you really can't complain about that.

This first photo is of Joe's, where we had stellar BBQ. From there, we ventured to West Bottoms to get coffee at Blip.

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You know you've got good friends when they humour you for a photo like this. I hope I never grow up and always take silly photos and always dance in parking lots and always adventure and always laugh.

No trip to KC is complete without a stop at Doughnut Lounge.

Nearly the entire day was cloudy, but the sun ventured out for just long enough for a few photos with harsh shadows.

When you hold your camera above your head to take photos, sometimes you get some happy accidents.

Charlie took us to a part of town with cute little antique stores and it far too closely resembled the 1975's newest album art for us to pass by without a photo or two.

I'm grateful for these two human. One of the best Tuesdays of the year so far.

A Day Without Immigrants by Liz Brown

"He saw the need and he did something about it. He didn't just say he was for me or with me. He was actually with me...
Faith isn't about knowing all the right stuff or obey all the rules... it involves being present and making a sacrifice."
- Bob Goff

"I want to use my camera as a microphone." Jeremy Cowart said that and I haven't been able to forget it.
My camera is a gift. My sight is a gift. My words are a gift. The fact that anyone listens to me is a gift. Another word you could use is privilege.

So this morning I went and sat and stood on the capital steps. I sat on the curb next to a girl in a hijab. I was surrounded by the chant: "Si se puede!" And I cried. I feel selfish writing that. This day isn't about me. And I wasn't crying for me. I was crying because 3000 people (and counting) feel unsafe and unwanted in their workplaces and homes.

It's a privilege that I can work part time and spend my morning outside with a camera. These men and women didn't go to work so that they could be here. These teens skipped school. They risked a lot more than I did to show up this morning. The least I can do is bring my camera: my microphone.

I shot digital until my camera died, then film until I ran out of it. Then I felt useless. But you know what? Sometimes it's just important to show up and sit with people. Sit with people who are different than you. Cry with them. Listen to them. Use your gifts and your privilege as a microphone.

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To the men and women I stood beside today: I'm sorry. You are worthy. You are important. You belong.

This little gal was my step-sitting buddy.

I initially approached this area of the capital steps because of the lady with the green sign. She was enthusiastically leading cries and chants (I don't know what the word is for an impassioned but peaceful rallying cry). Then I saw the woman next to her. Those two women, standing, next to each other for the same reason. Unlikely comrades. In a pause, I asked them for a portrait. Beautiful. Strangers. Smiling. Side by side. Loving each other. Peacefully protesting together. love is present. Love does.

The man with the pink sign was so enthusiastic, grinning and leading cheers and chants.

Latte Throwdown by Liz Brown

To set the scene. Des Moines hosted its first latte throwdown, and I was honored to be the "professional customer" judge. Basically, it involved choosing between two cappuccinos at at time (like going to the eye doctor) while seated between two judges who knew a lot more than I do. The entire cafe was packed and it was quite fun.

Over the past 2 years in particular, I've been invited into rooms I don't deserve to be in. 
Sometimes that room looks like a stadium and I'm holding a camera. 


Sometimes that room looks like the bedroom floor of a new friend and I'm listening and eating something like pad Thai or pizza.

Sometimes that room looks like a car at night with the music way too loud or not at all and I'm alive, I'm alive. 

And sometimes that room looks like the bar of a coffee shop I've visited more times than I can count. Beside folks who know incalculably more about coffee than I do. Judging a latte art competition together. I have no business being here, really. But here I am. Invited.

What fun. What an honor. Undeserved. 

Every time I'm let into a room, into a stadium, or a home, or a business, or a life, or a soul: every time that is an honor. In a way, it feels like a sacred space. But only sometimes do I remember that and take the time to be blown away with gratefulness. 

I never want to take this life for granted. God, let me always be awestruck, wonderstruck at these opportunities. Big moments or small, I want to forever marvel over this life.

Enjoy the rest of these photos from the evening.

Indianapolis by Liz Brown

I hadn't been to Indianapolis since I was born, really. Then this November, we were there a little over 2 days, so I'm splitting the post into sections by days. The photos are relatively chronological; the following is my only photo from Friday. Mostly on Friday we were listening to Jason play and then eating and it wasn't quite the right moment for a photo.

Saturday morning began in our beautiful Airbnb. From there, we ate brunch (some of the best donuts of my life) and went antiquing and thrifting. I found the best denim jacket for $2.99, which you can see in the Sunday part of this post (keep scrolling). 

Saturday's photos ended with a dusky drive. On Sunday morning, after church (the same one my parents went to over 20 years ago!), we drove by the house I came home from the hospital to, then ate and explored Indianapolis one last time. (Photo of me was taken by Sarah.)