Staring Down The Sun bio picture

Lightning and Gallery Walls

It’s been exciting for us since we have announced our new business venture, and we can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support so far! THANK YOU! It means so much, really. Life has delivered us some serious blows these last few years, and I have to admit that there are times it feels easier to just lay low and keep dreaming. While the dream stage is fun, it’s kind of like being pregnant forever and this new direction that’s been brewing in me just needs to come to life and I am ready to go.

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book Big Magic lately and she mentioned an idea in there that I think has some truth in it, even though it sounds a little crazy. She says “that ideas are alive, that ideas do seek the most available human collaborator, that ideas do have a conscious will, that ideas do move from soul to soul, that ideas will always try to seek the swiftest and most efficient conduit to the earth (just as lightning does).” Like I said, it sounds a little crazy, until you have an experience where you have had an idea sit with you too long, and then you saw someone else bring it to life, almost as if they stole the idea straight from your brain. Yet no stealing happened, the idea just found someone who wouldn’t sit on it. Weird? Yes. True? I think so.

All that said, I have had this idea brewing for Staring Down the Sun Studios for a little while and I just want to jump on it with everything I have, and not let the idea find someone else. (Put me in Coach!) It started earlier this year when I was hanging out at my friends new home with three other girlfriends, all of which I have done photos for at some point. My friend mentioned that she was finally able to get a print up on the wall from a session we did two years ago that she’s loved and just finally got around to it. She is a busy full-time working mom of two, so we all know how hard it is to get anything done in the fringe hours. My first thought was, Yay! Congrats! And then my second thought was, Oh Man! How can I help you make that happen sooner? We all started talking about products I can offer that they themselves would want, and they helped me refine and bounce my ideas as they came.

My main end goal for the family photography side of Staring Down the Sun is to have a tangible form of the pictures we take from each session produced, so no more of these beautiful images are left to die on a USB drive. Let’s be honest, that’s typically what happens and I am guilty too! I want families to have something to pass on to their kids. You’ll still get a drive, but the main two products I will be focusing on are coffee table yearbooks, and gallery wall installations. I LOVE interior design. I actually have a knack for it. Coming up with a design for a gallery wall and picking out the images for them are one of my favorite things to do, and as I interview more people I am finding it can be super intimidating. I can easily help with that. So, I’m going to offer it as a main side of the business so that when we are done you have a beautiful wall gallery of your photos displayed from last month. Also, having a coffee table book for each family where I can design it and have it ready by Christmas seemed like a win for the busy mom that has every intention of making one themselves but unfortunately can’t get around to it, because you know, life. If you are one of these people, talk to me. I’d love to hear what would help you the most in this area. Email me: karey shultz at gmail dot com.

So that is a bit of a rough cut of what is coming for you, mostly on the family photo side which will be most of our bread and butter. At the moment, we currently have the amazing Karley Mase designing our logo and I am working on the back end of our content for the new website. It is a bit of an adventure finding time in the fringe hours to do so but this aint my first rodeo starting a business, it is just my first time with a toddler around. Lord help me. We are so excited though, and can’t wait to let you in on more as it comes. My self imposed deadline is in less than two months. Also, you guys should read that Liz Gilbert book so we can talk about it. Thanks for reading!

This might sum up how we are feeling right now… that kid melts me.

A new venture on the horizon!

We have an announcement! NO, it’s not about pregnancy! Zak and I have decided to take on a new business venture together, and while a new company is rising as I type, Karey Michelle Photography will be officially closing its doors. I loved that company fiercely and it was my first baby as an entrepreneur, started back in 2006! I’ve learned an incredible amount about business, photography, and most importantly about myself during my time running KMP with many successes and failures along the way. The great news is I know this experience will only serve us and our future clients even better in our new direction as…

Staring Down the Sun Studios!

Yup, we stole our blog name. It’s just too perfect for us not to keep moving forward with as our new husband and wife, video and photography studio. Zak is getting too good at his video skills and has been the head brains behind SDFD’s new video department since he was put on light duty over three years ago. Since then, he’s had quite a few videography projects come down the pike for him as others have noticed his talent and it is time to make him legit!

As for me, I am narrowing my focus to family photography with a pinch of interior design, while also focusing on servicing corporate photography needs. They will probably have two different websites though, I will keep you posted. As you can tell, everything is in the works  still but we want to share the process with you since we are so excited about it. You’ll be kept in the loop as we move forward so hopefully you can be just as excited with us when the new website launches, right here! Crazy!

Thanks for reading, and definitely contact us if you have some ideas on what we can work on together. See you back here soon!



March 9, 2016 - 9:09 pm

Dave - Congratulations!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Shultz Family

These are our Christmas Card’s for 2014 that I designed and had printed through Smart Levels Media, the back highlighting some of our favorite moments and pictures… most notably, the March 7 one where Lauren got to meet JB in person for the first time.

::Let There Be Peace on Earth::

It’s our first Christmas with Johnny, and our first without Lauren. It’s bittersweet and hard and good and painful and joyful. It’s all of it at once, where joy and sorrow hold hands, where they blend into one and yet exist separately. If there is anything I have learned in my lifetime, it is that God is always up to something even when I can’t see it or feel it. I think that is the biggest piece of the Christmas story for me. I am also aching for the day His ultimate peace is on earth as it is in heaven where Lauren is right now. Until then, we will find ways to contribute bringing His peace to others… giving grace, compassion, empathy, a helping hand, the gift of His love. You can keep us accountable to that.

Merry Christmas.

And may the new year bring Peace in every heart missing our Lauren.

7 Series: Food // Days 2-4

I have a confession to make. I’ve already technically broken a rule and had some chicken that was perfectly seasoned with paprika and garlic salt… when all I should have used was just an oil and a little salt and pepper. On Day TWO, people. Here is my story: last week I baked some chicken thighs for a paleo pad thai dish and the recipe called for that seasoning and so I saved the extra for this week, not thinking it through quite enough. I found myself at what felt like an impasse, of choosing between breaking a rule or being wasteful (it would not have kept until the end of the fast or frozen well and therefore needed to be tossed if not eaten, dang it). I’ve read through the whole book already and knowing that part of my mutiny will be against waste, I went ahead and just ate it… legalism be on your way. And uh, I really enjoyed my chicken.

I noticed something funny, that I didn’t feel the guilt that I expected to run after me all day afterwards. It was a matter-of-fact thing that I went to the Lord with, and came back with a decision that added to my experience of this fast, which was a greater appreciation for flavor and spices and especially an awareness of how much freaking food we have to be thankful for. I mean, I’m asking myself if I need to throw away some perfectly good food in order to follow the letter of the law. Yet the spirit of the law didn’t match throwing it out. It feels silly to be writing this out, but hey, this is where I found myself. (Anyone else do this type of thing in their head??) Later in the day I was eating an avocado with some salt and pepper, and the flavor was amazing, and I just savored it bite by bite, thinking about how much nutrition can be packed into one tiny piece of produce. This fast is making me slow down with my food and think it through and I’ve needed that. My taste buds are more alive, and so is my heart. There are some growing pains, but I’m kind of past the point of caring about that. Pain is just fine with me if I know there will be some good to come, kind of like going through labor. There is something good on the horizon that makes that level of pain worth it… but please Lord, let that good come soon… you know that prayer? Giving up food options down to only 7 is no where near that level of pain and I’m not even starving for goodness sakes, and there are children of God in this world who are literally dying because they don’t have the same access to food that I do. Now my question to myself is, what am I going to do about that?


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