Tara Newman with Sela Photography

It was beautiful and cool Sunday night, perfect for the cover shoot we had scheduled for my upcoming divorce recovery book. The weather had been foggy and cool in Tillamook all week, which we agreed might be a cool effect for the pictures, as long as it didn’t rain. I prayed all week it wouldn’t rain.

And it didn’t!

Instead the sun came out mid-morning and it turned out to be a beautiful day. My models, Bob and Heidi Johnson arrived at 5:00, shortly after my daughter and photographer, Tara Newman. Bob tried on his jacket and we agreed it needed a little tailoring for a more fitted look . So I went to work on it, then ironed his white pants to get a crisp crease. He looked like a handsome prince, and was ready to go.

Bob and my husband Kelly munched on dinner and chatted while Tara worked on Heidi’s makeup and hair. She already looked stunning in the blue gown and “glass slippers,” but after Tara curled her hair, applied “stage” makeup, and a little jewelry, Heidi was radiant.

Excited, and full of nervous anticipation, we drove to Debbie Bailey’s lovely property, arriving a couple hours before sunset. She had her horse Disney beautifully groomed and ready for the shoot. Disney stood patiently tethered to a tree with a pool of bubbles at her feet from her bath, her tail a glossy stream of waves from Debbie’s ministrations.

Disney ready to go
Disney and Debbie

The six of us, plus Disney, trooped around the grounds to scout out the best locations. We started in a field of tansy, which Debbie had agreed to leave until after the shoot after I commented on my earlier visit to her property that I liked the color they would add to the photos. (Since tansy, or ragwort, and horses don’t mix, I’d be willing to bet she cleared the area the very next day.)

Kelly assisting with light reflector
Bob and Heidi

Our second location was in a field of dung. Not what you or I would pick as lovely surroundings, but Tara knows her stuff. The lighting was perfect, she said. The sun was beginning to dip behind the trees. The sky overhead was baby blue, streaked with fluffy white clouds. And I know Tara will be able to work her magic with the other stuff so it won’t show.

An unlikely setting

Debbie and I walked all over her property on my first trip out, and I had fallen in love with the wooded areas . They looked story-book perfect. So for our last location, Tara shot inside the forest near the “grandmother” tree. In the semi-dark of the wood, surrounded by every shade of green, Heidi’s dress and Disney’s white coat seemed to glow. Bob’s dark hair and jacket contrasted beautifully. I know all the pictures will be amazing and it will be hard to pick which photo to use for the cover!

In the woods

Since this is a divorce recovery book, I had not wanted a married couple to model for it. But since Bob and Heidi were exactly the “look” I wanted, I decided to ask them both to participate in the shoot. They were willing, even excited, to help. As it turned out, the date Tara had available fell on Bob and Heidi’s anniversary weekend. So Tara took extra pictures of the two, who looked like a prince and princess ready for the ball.

The whole experience was amazing. I’m thankful to all who participated, and to God for blessing us with good weather. (We could have done without the biting no-see-ums as the sun went down though!) I can’t wait to see the edited photos and decide which to use for the front and back covers.

This book has taken me years to write. God has used every moment of that time to do His work in me, taking me deeper into His Word, and holding me through many trials. I am anxious for it to go out into the world to help women suffering the anguish of divorce. God put me back together after my experience. I know He is the only One who can heal a shattered heart and make life new and wonderful again.

Please be praying for those whose hearts are broken and need God’s healing touch, and who you can give a copy of my book to when it is published. They will need your support of love and encouragement. And recommend it to pastors or counselors who might want this book in their library for the women to whom they minister.

Hopefully, my book will be out sometime in September. Until then, I will be hard at work on the final edits and design process. Thanks for coming along for the photo shoot; I hope you had fun seeing behind the scenes.