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what if

© Tina Vega Photography

What if we all threw caution to the wind and made the choice to love others in a radical way? Giving money to the homeless guy on the corner or reaching out to every cause/charitable organization that twists us inside out.

© Tina Vega Photography

What if we quit worrying so much about how it would look to reach across the divide and instead worked to understand our differences? What if we tried putting ourselves in another person’s shoes every single day? What do you think would happen if we chose to do that with people we have demonized or marginalized?

holy trinity lutheran church, new prague // © Tina Vega Photography

What if instead of making self-fulfillment our aim, we pursued the hearts of people? All people.

© Tina Vega Photography

What if we stopped making excuses, stopped assigning blame? What if we simply just started loving the people around us to the best of our gifts and abilities?

© Tina Vega Photography

Jesus was a radical lover of people. Scandalously so even! Because of his heart for people he broke religious law and tradition by healing on the Sabbath. He also had a conversation with a Samaritan (a race utterly despised by Jews as having no claim on their God) – a woman who was ostracized because she was unmarried and living with a man. He touched a leper (Hebrew law stated this was wrong). Jesus also allowed an immoral woman to not only kiss his feet but wash them with tears and cover them in perfume. He dined with the religious and non-religious alike, putting people above the law. In fact, he criticized the religious leaders of the day for doing the exact opposite! They might have been spot on in outward appearances, but Jesus accused them of ignoring the more important aspects of the law:  justice, mercy, and faith.

© Tina Vega Photography

Christ’s way is people-oriented rather than task-oriented. It focuses on relationships, not works of law.  His way cannot be imposed according to an externalized written code because it is written in the heart of the Christian. When a person truly believes that Christ died for their sinful, broken self and allows Him to reign over every aspect of their life – changes takes place from the inside out through the work of His spirit. Outward changes come AFTER, as believers turn to God’s written word seeking to know Christ more.

What if as followers of Christ, we quit worrying so much about the law and put people first? What if we believed God to be who He says He is and trust Him for all of the rest?

I imagine a whole lot more loving would be going on and a whole lot more people might come to know Him.

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meg | minnesota high school senior session

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I met Meg a few weeks ago at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for her senior photo session.  It wasn’t, however, our first time meeting.

© Tina Vega Photography

We go back.  [The artwork above was drawn by our oldest shortly after moving into the neighborhood.]

© Tina Vega Photography

Waaaaaaay back!

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I have watched her grow from a little girl into a beautiful young woman.  Gifted with the young children in the neighborhood and an animal lover.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Always wearing a smile.:D

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Here are several more of my favorites from our time together:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I hope you enjoy the rest of your senior year, Meg!!!

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all-things autumn | minnesota family photographer

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I met up with my friend Kelli a few weeks ago for a family session at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

My favorite time of year there with golden sunlight, pumpkins, and scarecrows at every turn.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Here are several more from our time together:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Thanks again, Kelli, it was a pleasure hanging out with your family!

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birthday party for two | minnesota family photographer

© Tina Vega Photography

What could be more fun than photographing a birthday party for two?

© Tina Vega Photography

Photographing a birthday party for two at the apple orchard!

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

I met up with this group a couple of weeks ago.  The twins were turning TWO and family gathered to celebrate the special milestone.  There was a petting zoo and several play areas for the children:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

And as you can see, it was the most perfect autumn day.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

After working up an appetite, we moved indoors for the rest of the party:

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

It was a pleasure working with your lovely family, Alyssa.  Thanks again!

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