Shelby M'lynn Photography

Category: Personal

twenty-firsts are for drinking.

twentyfirsts are for drinking.

I will be photographing a medical mission trip in Kenya on my birthday this year — and that alone is the perfect gift for me. Because I won’t even be here to accept anything, and because I already have more than a fair share of blessings, I’m asking all my loved ones to remember me on April 6th by sending some love to the place I’ll be that day. Please donate whatever you would have spent on me to charity: water, to help build clean water wells in Africa!

Did you know that almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water? Every day, 5,000 kids die from water-related illnesses before they reach their fifth birthday. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections, and BioSand filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.

Every cent of every dollar you donate to my birthday campaign will be used to build clean water projects in developing countries. Charity: water funds their operating costs separately through a group of private donors, so 100% of all public donations will go directly to people in need.

We can help buy neverending drinks for an entire community — that’s got to be the most efficient 21st birthday ever.  : ) Here is the link to my campaign – please take a few minutes to donate! Absolutely anything you can give is very welcome. Thanks, friends. Grace and peace and Happy Tuesday.


Happy Birthday, little Blog

Shelby M'lynn Photography

I made my first blogpost one year ago today.

And I usually try to keep things on here strictly about the pictures – but for some reason, I want to share a little about myself today. I’m extremely reserved, and funny about the internet, so this is a bit out of character – but I feel like I should introduce myself to anyone who looks at my pictures, but doesn’t really know the person taking them.

(I’m adapting a blog challenge that the unequaled Torie from Modern Hepburn did a while back)

1. A little about yourself: age, occupation, major, hobbies, etc.

I’m twenty; a student and aspiring freelance photographer; majoring in English, Writing and minoring in Photography and Marketing; born and bred in Nashville, Tennessee; I like stories, pictures, and counting my blessings.

2. One passion in your life?

You might expect me to say Photography – but I want to talk about eucharisteo instead. One of my blog’s pages is dedicated to eucharisteo, and I make a post about it every Tuesday – but just incase you’ve missed it: “eucharisteo” is a Greek word that essentially means “thanksgiving.” And the reason I always say “eucharisteo” instead of, say, an English word is Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. She breaks down the idea of eucharisteo and tells how writing down a thousand things that she was thankful for changed her outlook on everything. She inspired me to keep my own list of a thousand gifts, so I use her word for it – eucharisteo.

I think that everyone – everyone – should read Ann’s book and start their own list. It’s become one of my greatest sources of joy, peace, beauty, and one of my greatest blessings as a photographer and writer. It’s opened my eyes to how kind God is to me, which makes me love Him more. I’m passionate about sharing that.

3. What is your Myers-Brigg personality?


4. What kind of person attracts you?

The Unselfish Kind.

5. 5 Things on my Bucket List

1. Learn to play the piano and relearn the violin

2. See the Northern Lights

3. See my mother become a published novelist

4. Learn to read Hebrew and speak sign language

5. Have my own darkroom in my own house

6. 6 ways to win my heart

(Are we talking about gentleman callers, here? Or people in general? I’ll do both.)

People in General:

1. love God and love other people

2. humility and honesty

3. listen to me – perhaps more importantly, don’t interrupt me

4. write me a good letter

Gentleman Callers: all of the above, plus:

5. call me “darlin'”

6. wear suspenders well – notice the emphasis on the well. If done wrong, it can be catastrophic. But if done well – oh. If done well.

7. What character traits do you admire most about your parents?

In my mother – her unconditional kindness, her choice of joy, her desire for beauty.

In my father – his love of learning, his fear of God, his work ethic, his timely gentleness.

8. What’s your favorite picture of yourself?

I’ve always been partial to this one.

Shelby M'lynn Photography

9. 9 Fun Facts

1. I hate cilantro and arugula more than I know how to express.

2. My parents almost named me Jacquelyn. Sometimes I wish they had, so I could’ve gone by Jack.

3. The only two times I have been asked out on real dates were within 48 hours of each other, and completely unrelated. I declined both. That said, I am not, in any way, opposed to dating. I promise.

4. Left-handed people get a Free Pass to Cool in my book. I keep a mental list of all the left-handed people I know.

5. My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life, but I don’t own a copy of it. I’ve only ever watched it on Christmas Eve, on NBC.

6. I watched my sister get my name tattooed on her back. It’s in a little butterfly. My parents’ and grandparents’ names are in another, bigger butterfly. But I get one just for me.

7. I spent one second of my life about 3 feet away from lightning. It looks exactly like you’d imagine it – white and blue and twisted like wire.

8. I’ve acted in not one, not two, but three silent films.

9. I drive a yellow Jeep Wrangler, and her name is Miss Daisy. I named her this, so when someone called while I was driving and asked where I was, I could say, “Driving Miss Daisy.”

10. 10 things that make me happy

1. a skirt or dress swishing around my legs when I walk

2. how cool and quiet the world is, just before the sun wakes up

3. getting mail

4. tea with milk, in a pretty mug

5. opening my own Bible

6. really good hugs

7. fresh flowers

8. stories and photographs from long ago, especially of my own family

9. when people feel beautiful in the pictures I take of them

10. counting my blessings

Alright. I’d say that’s more than enough about me. Now tell me a little about you, so we can be friends.