Learning how to be “Sunflower People” (photos that will make your heart sing)


And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? – Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

DSC_0427With this week looking wet and windy, now is a great time to have our spirits lifted by sunflowers.

That’s exactly why I headed out to Hill Ridge Farms Sunday evening. Sunflowers have been on my radar for a while and I already had a photography trip in mind for mid-week; then the prospect of storm damage on the open fields inspired me grab my camera and drive out before the opportunity was lost.

I’m so glad that I did.

DSC_0335I considered rationing out the best photographs over the next few days, but changed my mind and decided instead to offer everyone a walk through the fields exactly as I experienced them (absent the heat and the bees!).

Consequently, there are fifty-one photographs to enjoy. However, every image is absolutely unique because of the changing light and different angles and the varieties of sunflower. But don’t hurry through, enjoy them and let the startling beauty of God’s good creation speak life and light into your soul.

Candid Images of People:

random people!

Once in a while you will see people, as I stumble across portrait sessions, family groups, and even a marriage proposal right there in the middle of the flowers. The last few pictures you see will be Meaghan Reynolds from our church and her beautiful girls (Luke was busy taking overhead videos with his drone).

I don’t think I ran into anyone in the Sunflower Fields who didn’t have a smile on their face. Because the luminescence and the glory of the “lilies of the field” tells a compelling story we cannot pretend not to hear.

photographer capturing an engagement

So pay attention and do not miss this hope-saturated message today! Rebekah talked about the very real gift of Living Water in her sermon Sunday morning, and it is my suspicion that sunflowers are nourished – deep in their roots – by something similar!

the happy photographer

Our daughter Naomi said it best when she was twelve, and we were moving into our new home in Brandon, Florida. It had been difficult to leave Pensacola, and we wanted to make Naomi’s room her own as quickly as possible. “Let’s paint it bright yellow,” she said between sobs as the tears rolled down her face. “Because I am a sunflower kind of a girl.”

Let’s be sunflower people. The world certainly needs us to be – DEREK




  1. Thanks Derek for your thoughts and lovely photos. What beauty all around enhanced by the back lighting of the sun. Wouldn’t it be great to be enhanced by our son’s light blasting through us? What a blessing a trip like that is.


  2. I love the different angles and shots you took. I also find it interesting how you connected sunflowers to how we should shine bright in this world – especially those of us who choose to follow Jesus Christ!


  3. Reblogged this on Pilgrim in Progress and commented:

    Today – July 20th, 2021 – I had a most excellent post prepared. But (at the last minute) I couldn’t share because it turns out I would have scooped a story I am in the process of writing for people who actually pay me to report!
    The bottom line here is that my readers are going to have to wait for a really interesting post about COVID and mental-health challenges for college students.
    Now I am out of time. So, please enjoy this re-post from last summer. Some amazing sunflower photos definitely worth seeing again.
    Peace – DEREK


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