Kerri Banyas Photography bio picture
  • Hello Lovely!

    I am a creative mama with 3 crazy-adorable kids, One amazing hubby, 2 wrinkle-faced dogs, a passion for Christ, Uplifting and Empowering Others, and finding the Beauty in LIFE.

    In the midst of breaking up food fights and wading through a sea of Legos and Barbie dolls, I'm also dedicated to finding new ways to keep my family healthy & happy with fun DIY projects, delicious & healthy meals, an active lifestyle, and lots of love and lasting memories with family.....oh, and a little bit of photography in the mix.

    I adore this life I have been given and hope my struggles, my triumphs, and my story can inspire and encourage others to know that God's Grace is Unending.

    Thanks for stopping by my friend....I can't wait to share my life and my heart with you!

    xoxo,
    Kerri

I Lift My Hands to the Heavens | Kari Jobe Concert

Just in case I never mentioned this, something that truly inspires me is MUSIC.

It fills my soul and breaks down my walls and speaks to me when nothing else can. In the last few years I have really fallen in love with some Christian artists that came into my life exactly when I needed them and their lyrics were so perfect for my heart and where I was in the moment. One of my absolute faves is Kari Jobe…I am mildly obsessed with her Majestic album right now and when I heard she was coming to Grand Rapids for her Majestic Tour, I was sure that I had to be there!

If you have no clue who she is then check her out right now…I’ll wait (: http://karijobe.com

Thankfully I am blessed with some amazing friends who also were going and we were able to experience it together….these girls are the real deal ya’ll…(from left to right, Ashley, Selena, Me, Kelly, and Dee)…they are beautiful inside and out! I’m so thankful that my sweet friend Ashley from Chic & Pretty Events had someone take a picture of us all together because this almost never happens when I finally hang out with friends! Aren’t we adorable together??!! We were missing a few girls that couldn’t make it. but I can’t wait to see them next time for sure!

I’ve been living life unplugged so much more lately (more on that later) and trying my best to stay intentional about living in each moment and trying my best NOT to give in to the photographer in me and capture it all. Its been glorious to say the least! When the concert started I was able to capture one image of Kari Jobe singing before my phone died…and then I was left to simply soak in exactly what I needed to hear….lots of songs reminding me of exactly who God is and what He wants for me…and that I am not alone.

THIS song…it left me in a puddle of tears…because truth is I was still feeling completely broken inside and was trying to heal on my own more than I realized. As I stood there surrounded by friends and strangers, all with open hearts, I let go of some pretty heavy things that were weighing on my heart…mistakes I’ve made, things that have been done to me, and feelings of not being enough, not being worthy, feeling alone and lost and feeling like I don’t have a voice….feelings that I’ve kept locked up so far down in my spirit that I didn’t even know they were still there….but they were and they had been controlling how I see the world and how I react to people and everything that happens in my daily life.

Even when you don’t know it, hurt and pain can create a prison inside of you that will not allow you to have true JOY in your life and to GIVE and RECEIVE the LOVE that God intends.

I am so thankful that I laid all of these things at HIS feet again…but this time with my whole heart. I have faith that He will help me to take all the wrongs and use them to for good and to encourage someone to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep seeking God and His grace. Our weaknesses are our strengths through HIM.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Friends, I am pretty excited for this new path, God has been stirring inside of me for quite a while and He keeps leading me to tell my story, to not let my light stay hidden, but to SHINE for HIM. Often times, on the outside it can seem that someone has it all together, when truth is most of us do not….Lord knows I am a complete mess…but I’m still beautiful in HIS eyes. Thank goodness for that! I don’t know what all of this means, or where this will lead, but I am learning to say YES when He is placing things on my heart, no matter how scary or out of my comfort zone they may be.

Thank you friends for sharing this life and this journey with me  <3

My Crazy Beautiful Life

Friends….I haven’t blogged in months…and that’s probably because my blog was mainly revolving around photography…which is something I needed to take a step back from for awhile. I needed to take back my life, to make more time for my family, more time for friends, for God, for my marriage, to heal mentally and spiritually and it’s been so AMAZING!

One day soon, I will share my stories about many things that have happened over the last few years as well as the span of my life…and what is happening in the present. I want my blog to become more of a diary, to serve as a way to encourage and uplift and help others in some way. I’ll be sharing my life and my heart with you…and maybe a little bit of photography too. I will not promise to make things appear to be all polished and beautiful all of the time. I am rough around the edges, and most days I am simply trying to balance everything in life just like the rest of us…but I do promise to share with you my faults, my strengths and everything in between that make me exactly who God created me to be….and to explain why all of these things make us beautiful.

Friends, I will fail….I will take on too much….I will give in to frustration when I’m speaking to my children, I will let the dishes pile up and leave laundry undone while I chat a little too long on the phone with my closest friends, and I promise that I will most likely speak to my husband with words that are unkind more often that I should. Some of these things will become stories to share and some of them won’t, but know that behind the scenes, realness happens, battles are being fought, and some are even being won by God’s Grace! I will use all of this to grow and to continue to encourage and uplift others who are facing the same struggles. This is who I was made to be.

So if you came here looking to check out my latest session or swoon over amazing weddings and gorgeous seniors portraits then you may have to sort through some silly and some heartfelt posts that make up my real life….my CRAZY BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

Whatever it was that brought you here, I am so thankful you stopped by (:

 

Jessica + Matt | Millcreek Barns Wedding

Jessica & Matt had one of the most gorgeous events of the season! Their rustic chic wedding took place at The Millcreek Barns on the most perfectly gorgeous Fall day…with beautiful weather and simply amazing light….my absolute favorite! Their day was a breathtaking mix of rustic details & romantic vintage charm…complete with lavender from her mother’s garden. I was swooning all day over how beautifully everything came together for them….and melting over with how perfect they are for each other! Oh how I adore working with couples in LOVE! These two already know what it means to love and support one another as they helped each other accomplish many goals over the years, and they used every experience to fall even more in love with each other…LOVE like THIS is why I adore my job. Weddings are much more than a big day of celebration to me…they are the start of a wonderful adventure together…and a commitment to be there through thick and thin with each other…guiding one another through good and bad and each day growing more and more in love…

Jessica & Matt have that kind of love and I know they will have an amazing marriage!

What an honor it was to be part of their day!

LOVE the rustic signs at the Millcreek Barn!
so many perfect places for detail shots!
I was dying over her shoes by Something Bleu
…Jessica has some serious style!
Such a fun little bridal suite for getting ready…
LOVE her lace Casablanca gown!
You are so stunning Jessica!
such a gorgeous group of girls!

Matt is such a cutie! I just love these images of the guys that the fabulous Matt Pratt captured for me! so fun!

LOVE barn weddings! If I could shoot here every day, I would be in heaven!
Jessica’s mom grew all of this lavender in her garden…how perfect is that!
L
Happily Married!
love this one!
and these…how gorgeous are these two!
the reception was full of burlap, twine, vintage suitcases and vintage wedding photos of family…it was like a pinterest dream!
Their cake by Bit of Swiss was so yummy!

I LOVE this gorgeous light!
Their food was amazing ( catered by C K Catering )
and they even had their own specialty cocktail…so naturally I had to take a picture…looks so yummy!
their night ended with happy hearts and a full dance floor…best day ever!

Rachel + Max | Lake Huron, Michigan Wedding

Friends!!! This wedding is one of my absolute faves!! Rachel & Max are two of the sweetest people I have ever met…not to mention super adorable together! I almost flipped when I first spoke with Rachel about booking her wedding…she told me the story of how they met and how they were not only madly in love with each other, but they were also best friends who share a fabulous sense of adventure and love to have fun together….I knew right away that this was my kind of couple! Max proposed one summer night on a moonlit canoe ride on Lake Huron while visiting his grandfather’s cottage in Northern Michigan…and of course, she said YES!! Their love story is movie material! They planned an intimate & casual beach wedding with vintage and handmade touches…and they knew the perfect place to say I DO. Rachel & Max decided to return from California, along with family and friends from Cali & Oregon, back to his grandfather’s cottage to get married in the exact same spot that his parents were married years ago. What a beautiful tradition to carry on into their new lives together! I was thrilled to be part of their wedding day and I just know that they are going to have a wonderful life ahead of them!

Congrats Rachel & Max!

 

Rachel…you are stunning!
sorry ladies…he’s taken:)

Rachel’s aunt did the flowers…and she had no floral experience….um…I think she found her calling! GORGEOUS! 
I adore the navy blue and peach JCrew Dresses for the bridesmaids…perfection!
Max’s father and uncle played guitar and sang for the ceremony…including a perfectly written love song that his uncle created years ago… All these special touches and traditions were truly  what made this the sweetest day ever!

this next image sums them up perfectly….starting with the Rachel’s love of vintage things like this necklace that her grandmother passed down to her…. she knew it was just perfect for her wedding day….right down to their love of legos!Not only do they build them together, but Max even uses Legos in a program he works with to help kids learn math and other awesome  problem solving skills…how fun is that! By the way…I am also in LOVE with his vintage bicycle tie…swoon!

their private little beach was the best backdrop ever….nothing but the amazing blue water of the Great Lakes as far as the eye can see…

Max’s grandfather has the most perfect location for this wedding…its a perfect mix of woodsy charm with a laid back beach vibe…sand, pine trees & wildflowers…just gorgeous! and so are they!

yes…this is the canoe he proposed in…how perfect is this!

Shannon | Class of 2014 | Urban Couture Seniors Sneak Peek

Shannon is such a Doll! I adore her amazing blue eyes and gorgeous long blond hair…and she also happens to be sweet as pie too! She was a dream to work with! I can’t wait to show her the rest of her images…I just know she is going to LOVE them as much as I do!

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