“Scars from being teased and starving myself in high school will always remain, or at least I thought until you started your organization. What you're doing is not only changing the lives of young women, but it's healing the lives of adults as well, like myself.” – Christine, Supporter
Elana is Beautiful! A talented photographer, creative explorer and India lover!
Beautiful Girl of the Week is a series of Beautiful Girls who are stand outs for what they contribute to the world through their beautiful actions! We feature the Beautiful Girl of the Week on the Rewrite Beautiful blog as an attempt to inspire other girls and women to use their own gifts and talents to impact their communities. Our hope is that bringing positive attention to women’s actions will inspire them to embrace their own creative calling!
I met Elana on a trip to India in 2010. We both went to learn more about the work being done by the non-profit Harvest India and to see how we could use our talents to help once we returned to the states. Being the creative woman Elana is she saw TONS of ways she could get involved and got right to it. For one she partnered with her friend and created an annual art show that benefits Harvest India. Elana has gone on to partner with other non-profit organizations involved in India sharing her gifts of photography, painting and writing. I’m constantly inspired by this talented and brave girl and know you will be too!
Irvina: Hey lady! Tell us about a fun project you’re currently working on?
Elana: I am currently working on a very important project...myself! I have spent the last several months working on an art show, Da:lit that benefits people in southern India. I put it together with my good friend, but after the show was over I decided to take a season of my life to better myself and allow myself rest and rejuvenation. It's important to take time for self-care and growth so that we can be effective and healthy participants in the world.
Irvina: Word! I’m a big fan of self care! We can’t help anyone if we’re not rested, relaxed and ready to rock! What are you passionate about?
Elana: So, SO many things...creating art, photography, India, traveling, music, finding the perfect soy cappuccino, art history and museums, exotic cuisine, communing with nature, loving others well, learning and growing...and of course, Jesus.
Irvina: Awe, so much exploring! I love it! I’m personally on a mission to get rice milk cappuccinos carried in the local coffee shops! Wish me luck! What do you do for fun?
Elana: Lots of creating, traveling, yoga, running, spending quality time with people I love, reading (insatiably), scuba diving, trying new things, trivia, and taking long drives.
Irvina: Quality time! That’s a good Love Language! What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Elana: The craziest thing I have ever done (that I'm at liberty to discuss!) is lived in India for 9 months...because India, though AMAZING, is the absolute craziest place I have ever visited (and I've traveled quite a bit).
Irvina: Whether it’s a hobby, a job or friendships what do you contribute to the world that you’re most proud of?
Elana: I am proud to say that I have channeled my creativity and passion for other cultures into 2 major milestones in my life. The first of those was starting my own business as a wedding and event photographer, Elana Grace Photography. After graduating college with a degree in photography, I knew I wanted to tell the stories of others through a medium I had come to feel extremely passionate about. The art of capturing stills is the perfect marriage of technical know-how and artistic vision, both areas I love to challenge myself in.
Irvina: I love a woman whose up for a challenge! I’m constantly inspired by your work Elana, so please keep up with the challenges! Which action of CREATIVITY, KINDNESS and STRENGTH do you think you most exhibit in your community and WHY?
Elana: I am an inherently creative person (for which I am grateful!) and everything I do encompasses my love for the arts. Recently, I planned and hosted a benefit art show that raised money for Harvest India. It was the least I could do to raise community awareness of an amazing cause in India. Raising awareness and action through the arts and through creativity is something I absolutely live for! If I can spur people on through art to a worthy cause and inspire them to affect change in the world, then I feel I have lived up to a purpose greater than myself.
Irvina: “Spur people on through art to a worthy cause and inspire them” Shiz! I’m gonna use that! Who is the most beautiful woman you know and why?
Elana: Easy, my mother. She has not only raised me (which was more than a slight challenge at times), but she did so with grace, love, and creativity, all while inspiring me to be a better human being. My mother is extremely artistic and has a beautiful spirit that is fueled by challenge and adventure. She has the most amazing green thumb of anyone I know and is truly at peace in the midst of her abundant garden. She constantly aligns herself with what she believes is God's best and has kept a strong spirit through some extremely difficult trials in her life. She seeks to serve, love, and champion those in her life and accomplishes that in ways that constantly blow me away.
Irvina: Agreed! And what do you wish young women knew about beauty?
Elana: I wish that young women were aware of the power, passion, and internal beauty they possess that could literally change the world if they let them. Beauty has become associated to a very narrow view that encompasses only superficial looks, youth, and visual presentation. The idea of what's truly beautiful does not lie in what we see in the mirror but what our Creator sees in us...and we can be confident that we all have beautiful attributes to contribute to this life.