The time is finally here that I can share some stunning maternity photos with you all!

I’m excited to introduce you all the most stylish couple you’ve probably ever met, Chris & Krisy! Krisy, a very sweet and dear friend of mine, came to me while back with an idea she had for her maternity shoot.

For those of you who don’t know her, Krisy Thomas is a FABULOUS wedding planner and fellow business owner of Southern Sparkle Wedding and Event Planning. I first met Krisy when we hired her to be our wedding planner for our May 2015 wedding. She is such a talented and hard working wedding planner. And once we started working together, Krisy and I formed an immediate friendship. We always joke that we literally are like twins cause we have the same style and interests when it comes to practically EVERYTHING. She may be my new favorite shopping buddy, especially when it comes to shopping for a new Kate Spade bag!

So when Krisy came to me with her glam maternity shoot that she wanted to do, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I love when my clients get creative and have ideas. I am all about finding fun ideas to amp up any photo session, especially maternity sessions. So after some planning and scheming for the shoot, I was so excited to get beautiful pictures of Krisy, Chris, and baby Cortland at The Cumberland House in the Stardust Room.

TIP: Ladies, Krisy rented her gorgeous badgley mischka dress from Rent the Runway just for photo shoot! What a great idea and way to get a beautiful dress for a photo shoot, without breaking the bank! 

Chris and Krisy…you two are such a wonderful couple and I know Cortland will be a blessed little boy to have you as parents!

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Venue – Nelson Barn

Decorations – Vicky Carter, Vows Wedding & Event Rentals

Florist – Sand’s Florist

Cake – Dinah Fewell

Take the Cake Band – The Sensation Band (Memphis, TN)

Wedding Dress – Betty Sue’s Bridal Cottage (Paris, TN)

Bridesmaids Dresses – David’s Bridal

Groom and Groomsmen Suits – Street Tuxedo (Franklin, TN)

Caterer – Barbara Rogers, Silla’s Spoon

Videographer – Shawn Wyatt,

Mirage Visuals Tents – Show Time Tent Rental


A lot of you have been asking me lately, “What is Bible Journaling?”

After some interest from you all and lots of questions, I’ve finally decided that it is time that I share with you just how fun Bible journaling is and why I started! Why? Because I want you all to experience the joy and fire that I have found for the Lord in journaling.

Growing up, I have always found myself to be creative. My Mom always jokes and says that as a kid she remembers me in my bedroom sitting in the floor, cutting up pictures and scrapbooking paper, and creating photo collages or some kind of piece of art. So it is no surprise to me that the Lord led me to be a photographer as my career in life. I’ve always thrived off creativity and pushing my creativity to the next level. And with my work schedule growing and becoming more demanding, I’ll be honest and say that before I stumbled upon Bible journaling my quiet time with the Lord did not happen as often as I wanted and I neglected my Bible. There were days that I’d just pick it up for church on Sunday and then it would sit by my bed for days going untouched.

After getting married recently, the Lord laid it on my heart to get serious about reading his word, but I had no idea where to start or what to read.  I knew that I wanted to find a way that I could really dig into his word everyday. If we are all honest, we all go through seasons when it comes to our spiritual walk. And after our wedding, I realized that I was in a low season spiritually and I wanted to be on the fire for the Lord like my Husband was as well!

This is where Bible journaling came in. So one evening as I’m scrolling through Instagram, I happened to stumble upon a post where someone had done some doodling in their Bible. Painting and drawing in your Bible…who knew you could do this?! After I saw this photo, I immediately began researching Bible journaling, how to do it, what supplies I needed, etc.

And let me tell you, the Lord has totally captured my heart through Bible journaling. The Lord has placed a passion in my heart for creating, so there is nothing I love more than glorifying his words through artistic ways in my Bible. Since I’ve started journaling, I love seeing how my faith is growing! I literally cannot wait till that time in the day where I can sit in our kitchen, pour myself a cup of coffee, open my Bible, and start digging in his word. I’ve found myself memorizing scriptures that I journaled weeks ago. Through Bible journaling, I’ve found my favorite way to connect with the Lord. And boy, does he speak to you through journaling!

So in the rest of this blog post I am going to share with you all how I started Bible journaling, what my favorite supplies are, and how you can get started.

Please note that I am still somewhat new at this and everyday I learn something valuable when it comes to creating in my Bible! But I encourage you all to find your favorite ways to spend time with the Lord.

Whether that is through worship, art, serving, or leading. We all have our special ways that we love to connect with the Lord!


BIBLE: First thing, you need a Bible! After Brooks and I got married, I was desperate for a new Bible to start a new chapter in my life. And for journaling, I found this ESV Journaling Bible that I absolutely love. While I have always used the NIV version growing up, I must say that ESV is now my favorite version when reading the bible. Some info about this Bible… it is smaller and compact, but still big enough to journal in. I love that I can fit this in my purse along with my pens for church. The Bible is about 7 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 1.5 inches thick. The more I use it, the more it gets that worn out look, which I love!


JOURNAL: When I started to do Bible journaling, I knew I wanted to have something to write my thoughts in for each journaling that I did in my Bible. This is not required for Bible journaling, but I would highly suggest using some type of journal. And through the awesome Bible Journaling community on Instagram, I came across this beautiful “Give Me Jesus” Devotional Journal by LifeLivedBeautifully and I immediately ordered me one! What I love about this journal is that I can write down several important items for my daily devotionals, such as the time and place i’m doing my devotional that day; what the Lord is laying on my heart; prayers and/or prayer requests for that day; etc (see pictures below).

I also purchased this Grace Upon Grace Notebook that I take along with me to church to write my sermon notes in (picture not included). I have also found it really awesome to go back and read my past entries to see what the Lord had laid on my heart in the days before. It is such a great way to keep up with how the Lord is growing you in your quiet time!

Just a side note: I have even started giving the “Give Me Jesus” Devotional Journals as gifts to my friends! They are great gifts for your best girlfriends.


DEVOTIONAL: When you start to Bible journal, you will need something to help inspire your journaling! I have found that I have really benefited from following a devotional when I am getting ready to create art in my bible. It gives me inspiration for my next creation! One of the best things I have found through my Bible journaling journey is Illustrated Faith. Not only is their website a wonderful resource to help you learn SO much about bible journaling, but Illustrated Faith is also a small business ran by Shanna Noel. (@shannanoel). They have so many wonderful tools to help you create in your Bible from journaling pens, stamps, stickers, and even devotional kits specifically created for Bible journaling! You guys, I cannot praise this company enough. Shanna does a great job creating new and fun items for the Bible journaling community. They have such an awesome ministry!

Currently, I am reading through the “Bloom” Devotional Kit by Illustrated Faith and I am LOVING it! I think they are currently out of the “Bloom” Devotional, but they also have other great options here to start with!


What I love about the devotional kit listed above is going to help me go into my next part of supplies…paint, pens, brushes, stamps, etc! All the devotional kits from Illustrated Faith have stamps, stickers, and fun tabs that come with their kits that go along with the devotional theme. They are great tools to help you get started with journaling!



For paints, I LOVE using heavy body acrylic paints and watercolor paints.

ACRYLIC PAINTS: I have to say the acrylic paints are my favorite because they are so bold and pigmented. My favorite brands for the heavy body acrylic paints are Liquitex Professional, Master’s Touch, and Martha Stewart’s High Gloss Paint. When I use these paints, I will either water them down on a paint tray so they go on lighter in my Bible, or I will use the side of an old gift card and scrap the paint across the page so that it goes on thin. Check out the pictures below to see how I have used the acrylic paints!



WATERCOLOR: Well I must say that I am finally getting more and more comfortable with watercolor but it took me a while. At first I struggled with using watercolors for some reason. But when I do use them I like using the cheap Simply Art palette. I think it was like $6 maybe at Jo-Ann’s. Check out the picture below to see how I have used watercolor paints!


—->>>TIP: When I first started journaling, I was buying everything online and paying for shipping. It was getting costly! Then I finally got my lazy self up and went to Hobby Lobby to find everything there that I needed! So if you have a Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Jo-Ann’s close by, I’d suggest going there to get your supplies. You can also use the Hobby Lobby app to get great coupons for that week! They always have a 40% off one item coupon. I always use this on my most expensive item when I check out, which is usually paint. For more information on what types of paint to use, I’d highly suggest reading this page on Illustrated Faith’s website. 


I just got these marker’s and I LOVE love love them. They are great for filling in letters or stamps with color. My favorite brand is the Tim Holtz Distress Markers (see picture above). Again, these can be found at Hobby Lobby near the scrapbooking & stamp isles! While these are costly and expensive, they are great tools and last a while for journaling (depending on how often you use them). They also have two different tips on both ends, one thicker for calligraphy and a thinner tip for coloring or shadowing. I also use watercolor pencils by The Fine Touch that I got from Hobby Lobby as well. Check out the pictures below to see how I have used the markers and watercolor pencils.



JOURNALING PENS: When I first started searching for journaling pens, I found this post on Illustrated Faith VERY helpful! If you purchase anything first, I would highly suggest purchasing the right pens first. I absolutely love using my Prisma Color Premier Markers. I even carry them with me to church every Sunday to jot my sermon notes down as well. This pack comes in all different widths including a brush pen, which is definitely my favorite with my calligraphy style writing! I also use a Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Brush Tip Markers (in warm grey 30%) and white gel pens for great shadowing to create that 3d effect.


STAMPS, WASHI TAPE, & TABS: Besides the paint, I think my favorite way to accessorize my journal entries in my bible is by using washi tape and stamps from Illustrated Faith. They create such a fun, unique look to my page to help make my entries pop even more!

For washi tape, I have found mine at Target and Hobby Lobby. I always stop by the craft isles to just see what they have in stock cause they always have new stuff in. I can never have enough washi tape!


STAMPS: I did a lot of reading again on Illustrated Faith’s blog when I started to use stamps. And I found that the StazOn ink at Hobby Lobby to be my favorite! I only have the ink in “Jet Black” and so far that is the only color I’ve used. This ink is great because it doesn’t bleed through the pages. So when you are picking an ink, make sure to pick something that doesn’t bleed. I have bought my stamps from Illustrated Faith’s Etsy Shop and cannot stop using them. I even bought more this week!


Now, when you finish an entry, it is important that you use tabs to mark your entries and also date them when you are done. I got some tabs (picture above) from Illustrated Faith that I love using. You can also grab some scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby to make your own tabs, which I am going to start doing. You can even use the paper to create letters to cut out for your entries (see paper in pictures below). IMG_2839IMG_2840

I know this is a lot of information, but I thought I’d share some tips to help you all start bible journaling! Don’t forget to check out Illustrated Faith online to also find more resources as well. So no matter if you are an artist or not, anyone can bible journal! I encourage you to get connected to the bible journaling community on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtags #biblejournaling and #illustratedfaith! And you can follow me on Instagram (@meganshawphoto) to see more of my future entries!


  • Kim

    Thank you, Megan! This is a great post, full of very useful tips and helpful links. I have been going to the Illustrated Faith FB page almost daily for about a month now. I’ve learned a lot, but still feel like a beginner. This has been a great resource for me – and I ordered the Give Me Jesus Devotional, too.

    Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

Well, I’ve decided that it is time for me to start sharing with you all some personal blog posts! I’ve been challenging myself lately as a photographer to blog more. I’ve slowly but surely incorporated recent weddings into my blog and I’m loving it. But instead of blasting your newsfeed with just marketing efforts, I thought I’d get personal with you guys. And plus, for any future or current clients, this will be a great way for you guys to get to know me and my sweet little family, my husband Brooks and our Shih-Tzu Sadie Belle.

So today I’m excited to share about a recent trip that I took with my husband for my 27th birthday!

For those of you who do know us, know that we LOVE to travel and experience the world! Brooks has been fortunate enough to have traveled practically all over the world with his family while he was growing up. While I’ve traveled to some beautiful locations in the past with my family, I still have plenty of places that I need to mark off my bucket list of “places to see.” So after officially tying the knot, Brooks and I made a promise to each other that we would spend quality time together by traveling as much as we can before we start planning to grow our family someday (sorry pals, no little Shaw babies right now).

So when it came time to my birthday, Brooks surprised me with a weekend getaway to the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Atlanta, Georgia.  Brooks knows that I am a sucker for nice resorts and a beautiful, relaxing spa. So while we were there, we were pampered with a couples weekend spa package. It included a one night stay in one of their suites, a 50 minute couples massage, bottle of champagne delivered to your room, dinner that night for two, and then breakfast in the spa for two the next morning.


First off let me just say….

Thank you to my Husband for taking me for my birthday to Chateau Elan! I absolutely loved every second that I got to spend with him while we were there.


Husbands or wives, if you want to take your spouse somewhere and spoil them but not break the bank with airplane tickets, you MUST check this place out! It was just about a six-seven hour drive to Atlanta from Jackson (depending on traffic).

So we packed up our bags, went to Atlanta to visit with family first, then headed off to Chateau Elan. The weekend at Chateau Elan was exactly with this lady needed…quality time with my Husband and relaxation! We ended up having to stay a bit longer there cause they had to push back our massage time, so we got to enjoy the beautiful pool and sunshine a few hours before our couples massage.

And to those of you who are foodies like we are, their food is divine! They have multiple restaurants on the resort that offer different menus, depending on what you are craving or like. For dinner that evening we got there, I enjoyed a bowl of Rigatoni pasta (NOTE: I NEVER eat pasta at home, so this was a treat). Brooks enjoyed their venison dish for dinner, which he loved considering he has actually never had venison. We were so full that we ended up skipping dessert that night. But we did have a delicious cheese platter for an appetizer…the cheeses were fresh and came with some freshly pickled olives which I devoured! If you keep scrolling down through my photos, you’ll also see a picture of a delicious salad I had before my pasta dish that evening for dinner. It was a fresh arugula salad with spiced walnuts and a lemon-herb vinaigrette. Let’s just say, seeing that I love me a GOOD salad, I ate that sucker up fast. I wish I had the recipe for the salad so I could make it at home!

So friends and family, if  you are looking for a relaxing, fun getaway with that special someone or spouse, Brooks and I would highly recommend you staying at the Chateau Elan Winery & Resort. They have different restaurants, a beautiful spa, golf course, winery where you can do wine tastings, outdoor pool, and much more. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I made a point to put my phone up while we were there to relax. So enjoy the pictures below!

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ABOVE & BELOW: We managed to stop and take a few fun photos before our dinner when we arrived that evening. 

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ABOVE: Me in front of some of the vines at the winery. This is a cell phone picture, so it is a tad blurry. 

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ABOVE: A picture of the salad I mentioned in my post above. Oh if I could only get the recipe for this DELICIOUS salad. A great summer salad for those who love to eat organic and fresh like I do!

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ABOVE: Yes, I was daring and posted a picture of me with no makeup. But this was before we were about to enjoy our couples massage. It was FABULOUS!

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ABOVE: This is a panoramic photo of the entrance to the winery and some of the restaurants. It was so beautiful, especially at sunset. It’s a CASTLE!



ABOVE: Brooks and I grabbed my professional camera and took some pictures real quick before we headed back to Tennessee.:)

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