Slowing down + looking up


There is something breathtakingly wonderful about a people coming together under one roof, to eat a meal, to talk together, to soak in the sunlight, to inhale coffee. My mother, youngest sister, Caroline, and I have made a tradition of it on Saturday mornings. Just us three for breakfast at la Madeleines. So much truth and growth have come from these mornings - when we linger, we slow down.

Sometimes, in this fast-paced society it's hard to remember that it's ok, it's better - to slow down. It's when we put down the phone and pick up the book, close the laptop and open the journal, ignore the noise and listen to the quiet -->> we have begun to really understand, to create, to move forward. 

This past week I began a photography course with some of my favorite photographers - the Parsons. Just two weeks into this journey, I have learned so much about creative flow, inspiration, time-maneagement, and (very importantly)….the dangers of social media. I've begun to realize how much time i've wasted on social networking. It's like i've been so glued to that screen, that phone, that icon, that I've missed THAT moment - real moments happening NOW. Happening HERE. And it grieves my heart. To think that I could come to the point that only a screen, only likes, only comments matter to me. Not my sisters eyes, my mothers smile, that strangers presence. This realization has really changed how i'm approaching life - all of it. 

I'm putting down the phone more, leaving the notifications un-checked, and reaching out. To life here. Life now. 

Sometimes it's hard to remember why I do what I do. Why am I a photographer? Why do I take photos? Social media sometimes confuses my 'why'. Gets it all mixed up. But it's mornings like these - with family, with a meal, with the sun, with another breath the breathe - they make me see…this is why. This is why. 


-Elizabeth Bristol

"leave a piece for me" | poetry


"small and bare 

let your hands fall where they may,

let the farmer sow his seed

new growing things spring from ditches and empty fields

leave a bit on its own - you never know what may come

earth -- sod turned and sifted. When will you give it a chance?

it isn't dead, though brown and grey and dry

broken things grow the tallest trees 

give a turn to budding roots

rays and streams from grey skies

tread soft, speak low


the earth has won its war

shoots and blossoms broken through 

and ivy gathers for the girl with the crooked smile."




Hello there. I'm Elizabeth Bristol. And this is my blog. I've put off putting this thing out here really because I've been afraid. Afraid of what people would think, whether they would like it or not, afraid of not having enough to say, to post, to muse about, to give to the world, afraid of writing, photographing, editing, fixing, finalizing, thinking, polishing. Afraid of failing, afraid of creating. 

But I have been growing and learning so so much over the course of this year, and this is one of them:

I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.
— Saul Bass

You can't create anything beautiful if you're not willing to begin. To take a stab at it. To mess up, to make mistakes, get your hands dirty, to develop skill, to learn, to grow. Nothing truly beautiful comes the moment you begin. It takes time, it takes hard work. It takes the willingness to try new things, to let go and let God take the reigns. To let Him run the show ----->> if He's the one behind it, He will make it run. (better than I ever could) 

So here's to creating. Here's to doing the scary + brave thing. The thing many are afraid of, few try, and everyone loves. Here's to the good, the bad and the ugly days of good, hard work. Of making something beautiful that points to the one true Beauty. Because it will pay off in the end. It will touch a heart, heal a wound, break a boundary, revive a soul, begin something new.

Here's to putting fear behind you and starting something crazy + brave.

Here's to beginning.


From several weeks ago when my darling friend Megan + I played with lights and shadows