three photos for three friends

Once I become someone’s friend I am very loyal to them. This little post is my love for friends who will always live in my heart, celebrating the sweet family that they are. No matter the distance or time between our two little families, there will always be the same spirit of friendship & trust & encouragement.

❤ Happy 5th Anniversary, M & R ❤
May your family’s love always be light spilling from windows into the night,
inviting others in to the warmth you share.


(^ Possibly my most favorite photo I’ve ever taken.) I believe this photo comes a little bit close to capturing how I see this woman, this dear sister of mine: a classic, essentials-only beauty full of life-giving love & true femininity


I have glimpsed our Father’s love through this brother of ours & it is sweet sweet sweet

estella eye

You never know where the light is going to find you, illuminating beauty for a sweet surprise. I got this photo in the car on the way to the park (where we got the above photos) while this gorgeous, slightly-grumpy little star was strapped into her carseat. ◆


The Most Obliging Butterflies


Flying excited loops, distracted landings, erratic circles, 


they say, “The flowers


drenched in sun


are the sweetest.”


They tell us, 


“Follow me!”


“Come, scruffy robin, from the shadows!”


“The earth is gold and though we are here but for a moment, we know it is worth savoring.”


“Look and see! Do you know the freedom in the Gift? How wide, how deep, how far?”


“The breeze knows it, the grasses know it.”


“We know it. Our wings flirt with the sun, sipping earth’s dew.


We land as jewels bestowed, undeserved. Do not refuse what you could never earn.”


“Let us teach you


how to say goodbye


to this golden summer light


and summer creations so frail.”


“Caught, visible, for a season,


time for rest is coming now.”


“There is no need to hoard! You may gather all you can, yet there will always be more.”


“We, the secrets in the light, 


want you to know: it’s all for you.”


“Our colors, which we are glad to give, will become your memories.”


“Receive freely in surrender for the next season will bring more of the Gift,


even if all the summers of time were fit into this day.” 

 These photos were taken with an experimental Lensbaby lens and its movable optic attachment. All the blur / tilt-shift-y-ness you see on my blog is from this lens!


Cathedral’s Heart

untitled (1 of 39)

soundless, light descends to declare

untitled (2 of 39)

otherworldly love of detail


untitled (6 of 39)

the northern pine woods frame and breathe the heart of a cathedral

untitled (4 of 39)

manifold vertical lines

untitled (9 of 39)

seek to bind

untitled (10 of 39)

earth and heaven, man and God


untitled (11 of 39)

tall airy weightless pines

untitled (12 of 39)

remind me

untitled (13 of 39)

who calls you toward heaven


untitled (14 of 39)

and created this space

untitled (15 of 39)

wide enough to fit our chaos

untitled (16 of 39)

offering us to the Father of lights


untitled (17 of 39)

we dwell here afflicted by shadows

untitled (20 of 39)

sharp fear, dimming confusion, the waiting of change

untitled (21 of 39)

yet there is a stillness

untitled (22 of 39)

older than the trees

untitled (23 of 39)

who endures


untitled (24 of 39)

and whose seeing Heart casts no shadow.

The Vibrant Hum of Light and Design-Made-Pattern

A Language spoken-sung, breathed; inhaled and exhaled from the undistractedly patterned lives of tiny creatures ◆ A Song I could not quite hear, though with it the path was soaked through as the generous July sun ◆ A minute, teeming drop of nature clinging to its original purpose, glowing with Life; a remnant ◆ A wanderer trying to understand and being swept into its current, having forgotten something the flowers and bees still remember…

untitled (1 of 16)

Templates borne and realized in living, nobly and without shame.

untitled (2 of 16)

Work and purpose lived, beauty and design’s intent: intertwined.

untitled (3 of 16)

The hum of light and nature’s feasting unseen.

untitled (6 of 16)

The dignity in a hummingbird-being’s secret rest.

untitled (7 of 16)

The uncanny and safe-making unity of flying birds. || Away. The dual flock, I.

untitled (9 of 16)

|| Gather. The dual flock, II.

untitled (13 of 16)

|| Still. The dual flock, III.

untitled (14 of 16)

Setting and pattern echo the Garden. The communion of nature and light, and we its fallen royals…

Creator King, reteach us the Song, sow still its seed. Speak to us the language of Your Kingdom, that we may hesitantly pronounce words and phrases now… And sing freely and fluently in Fullness. Restore all with Your Breath of Life. Overlook not Your lost and ruined Image-bearers, who have forgotten and ignored much Good. We root ourselves in Your faithfulness. AMEN.

Captured 7.24.15.

All photographs and words by Kelly Grace Collins, all rights reserved.

macro frost

Images with which I returned from my first excursion into the world of macro photography… Frost crystals on the veins of last autumn’s grounded leaves. Taken with manual focus.
untitled (4 of 14)

untitled (6 of 14)

untitled (3 of 14)

Nikon D7000 + 105mm f/2.8. All photos on this blog taken by me. All rights reserved.



against the backdrop
of such a God
with such a history
    with creation and humanity since the Genesis

what can we say when You shine through?
when we said You would not, could not
when gloom of cloud and shroud of murk are forced to show themselves prisms
    proven, cultivated, placed bearers of Your light

You see all, yet hide us, when You outline our forms
wounds, scars, secret thoughts of sin–vulnerable, visible
yet wrapped in You, for only You see this way
    Gentle Maker, we are safe in Your eyes

praise to the One (!)

who makes darkness turn to light unexpectedly
who forces our sin-shrunken perspectives wider and wider open every day
who sees our entire beings
    and looks with love.


untitled (1 of 6)


untitled (2 of 6)


untitled (3 of 6)


untitled (4 of 6)


untitled (5 of 6)

The sunset, as visible from McHenry, IL on Nov. 29. After a completely grey day in every sense of the word. Photos taken by Chris and me, all rights reserved.


the Healer and the camera

deer (1 of 1)

A miracle photo, truly. I had less than a second to shoot this buck when I spotted him running off the field… A prayer shot up and somehow my super-manual lens was in focus. My first time outside after being quite sick for a few days. Such a gift. D7000 + Lensbaby Composer + Edge 80 Optic. All rights reserved.


brilliant Secret, aflame

Autumn… the dry rainbow after the storm of summer’s heat ◆ Relief in coolness and colors after relentless heat and unchanging green ◆ Rages and riots of colors that slowly and grandly sweep from the north across the land. ◆

A moment… How can such death and loss of verdancy be so charm-laden…? Examine a leaf closely and you will observe its decay. Weight, gravity, pulled-to-earth… Perhaps this “season” had no place in Eden; perhaps seasons had no place at all. Our Autumn is a time of loss, change, and preparation for winter’s cold and long sleep. How may Autumn flourish so resplendently, in laughing and burning? A celebration of emerald finally turned luminous ruby, citrine, and topaz; an invitation to revel in flames of beauty; nature’s brightest gala. Unnecessary grandeur? Unneeded splendor? Unplanned magnificence?

Troublesome pairings.

But. This existence may be. For this lament of the trees, the lungs of the earth bleeding brilliantly–is the revelation of their true nature, true substance. The Autumn rainbow has been with us all summer–only we could not see it. Autumn illuminates to us all the Sun’s colors stored, at last released to human eyes as summer’s viridescent life fades. Seen is the true, fiery image of the Sun, brought forth in the trillions of annual deaths of Autumn leaves. Wonder and amazement at a secret un-kept.

So as the Heart of God.

The forever-assumed flesh of Jesus, earned and bought by His death, shared with us–flagrantly on display, embedded within our unchangeable history, a thread of purest gold… The depth of Passion in suffering no longer a secret; the reflected Father unveiled; this light-giving, illuminating thread gives forth His secret–He, God Himself, would come this far to reveal Love; to flow Life into our lifeless bodies, to be one with us. The face of God is brightly, freely, and openly seen in Jesus, Heaven’s flame and radiant Jewel. He, invisible colors revealed in the chill of decaying humanity… This picture is not Beautiful because of His living decay within humanity only, but because His incarnation painted tangibly for us the true nature of God–the image of His Father, whom no one has ever seen. He is complete in throwing back and outwards and to all directions the Image; the fullness of God in Him dwelt. Exposed intricacy divine.

This revealing of hidden Beauty was planned; it was simply too grand for Eden.

This revelation, an intervention–to bring to us secrets of the depths of divine love, Heaven’s flame exposed to us.

And so our Lord is LORD of the AUTUMN

and all Sun-heart-colors dancing in their revelation

wisconsin fall (8 of 8)