I’m back!  After an unbelievable week at Rockbridge with some incredible friends from Fairfield, I’ve returned to my desk to read, write and edit photos.  The latter subject is really what’s on my mind today.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that I really really enjoy taking photos.  I mean it.  I got my first “nice” camera two Christmases ago from my parents – one of the best material gifts I’ve ever received (thanks mom and dad!!).  Ever since, I’ve been experimenting and learning about imaging – both digital and film, but definitely more digital – and it’s been so, so fun.  I guess I never saw my “eye” as a gift, until very recently.  My good friend and sister Emily Riggs and her then fiancee, Ben, asked me to help shoot their wedding last September.  I was petrified, clueless, but curious.  It went fine, I got some good shots, and I was ready for more.  I then shot an engagement session, took some pictures of my friends for their house, and this summer, I booked three weddings!  THREE!

Now, seeing as I didn’t really see my taking pictures as a gift until recently, you can bet that the idea of making something of a business out of it really never crossed my mind.  Until yesterday.  And now, here I am, looking at business cards and website templates.  What the heck.  Slow down, Katie D.

But seriously, I’m getting excited.  Here’s the thing.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  Absolutely none.  It may not amount to anything.  But what do I have to lose?

So here we go!  Keep an eye out for Katie Derickson Photography.  Coming soon.


Cayo Brosta 2012


[This post is dedicated to the brave men and women who risked their lives for the good of their brothers, who survived the journey to Cayo Costa.]

But for real, it was crazy. I realize that this post is a it delayed, but better late than never, right? Here are some photos of the trip we took this spring to the beautiful island of Cayo Costa. A week of little to no technology, laying on the beach, pretending to be tributes being sent to the arena of the 74th annual Hunger Games, and beautiful fellowship. We camped on the island, cooking our food over a fire, showering only as much as was absolutely necessary, and waking and sleeping with the sun. It was awesome. Here, look.





Man, oh man. Do I love these people or what.


someone make me take more pictures with my dearly loved film camera. please!

a few examples of why i love film:





























here are some from a lovely pinterest site I came across. enjoy.






















help me out, people. ask me the hard questions. make me bring my film camera!

happy thursday! it’s almost friday!


That’s right, people.  It’s falltime in The Land of Ox (see what I did there?), arguably the most beautiful fall landscape this side of Narnia.  Fall, aside from the smells and flavors that rouse my soul to sing, brings along some interesting phenomena.  For example, everyone’s inner lumberjack steadily begins to stretch its brawny arms through the sea of flannel.  What is it about fall that causes every living thing to bundle up in their thick plaid blankets with sleeves?  I’m not sure, but I surely don’t hate it.  Another thing, increased indie music obsessions, across the board. Lastly (well, maybe not the exhaustive last, but the last for this circumstance), warm beverages.  I can’t tell you how many monogrammed coffee/tea/cider/whatever mugs I’ve seen in the weeks since the trees began to bleed fire from their branches.

And then, of course, there’s the fall trifecta affect – listening to somber indie music while you walk to class drinking flavored coffee and wearing your flannel blanket.  Who could argue against that?  It’s so unbelievably pleasurable to dodge falling leaves while Justin Vernon broadcasts to your soul just how content you are with your life.

Even more than that, however, I’m finding that the fuzzy sweater of dimly-lit corners knowing truth is far more contenting than anything Vernon might project into my ear in his sweet, sweet falsetto.  For a long time, I’ve been seeking to know Jesus.  Even more than that, I’ve been seeking how to seek to know Jesus – it’s not nearly as simple as I’d hoped.  I’ve searched high and low for comfort, for stability and the feeling of familiar arms wrapping me up, safe and sound, but my search has proved fruitless in all areas but one: the cross of my Lord.

By a raise of hands, how many of you have been let down by something you once thought was “comfortable”.  All of you?  That’s what I assumed.  Why is that?  Sin. There are so many things to be said for these things, but really, that’s the problem.  Sin.  That’s why we’re let down by the friends by whom we longed to be known, by the attention we craved, by the grades we knew would fulfill us.  I’ve seen soul after soul chase after empty skeletons that promised satisfaction, and not once has one of these skeletons delivered its promise.

C.S. Lewis has some things to say about this, and I’d like to share one of them with you:

It now seemed that the deepest thirst within him was not adapted to the deepest nature of the world

Your soul, whether you want to admit it or not, is longing, thirsting, begging for love, security, comfort.  And, though making promises is risky (something David Noble taught me with grace) I’m going to do it anyway, right now. You will not find any of these things in this world.  You won’t.  That boy, that jacket, those friends, that weight, that gpa, that family portrait…nothing, none of it.  You will be left out in the cold, damp light of a street lamp the instant the mirage gives way to actuality.  I make that promise with confidence because I’m in a battle against worldly, inadequate “comforts”.  I’ve been let down and let down and let down.  But at the foot of the cross, I’m continually amazed at the bonds that so beautifully secure me to salvation and peace and eternal life.

Last night I had the immense privilege of watching one of my dear friends and brothers weep in front of a group of wide-eyed high school students while he lamented over the insecure eternity of some of the people he loved the most deeply, knowing that their lack of faith in the true Light (John 1), Jesus Christ, meant impending darkness.

But here’s the hope in all of this:  Jesus was made to live, and die an excruciatingly uncomfortable death in order that we, His creation, could be welcomed into the arms of the Father, the true Comforter.

He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)


So here’s my question: will you continue to turn to you roommates/boyfriends/success/money/future/control/you name it to find security?  Or will you be welcomed into the family of God, a blanket warmer than flannel, more beautiful than Miami fall, more aromatic than hazelnut coffee and far, far more beautiful than Justin Vernon’s voice?

[photo credit: lauren szandzik – she rocks]

a few weeks in photographs

My parents have already left to unload all my belongings onto the sidewalk in front of Ogden Hall…an hour and a half early.  That’s okay.  I like that about them, they’re never late.  I miss living with them a lot when I’m at school.

I probably shouldn’t be writing this post, I really don’t have time to waste.  But I want to, and I’m going to.

I’m nervous for the school year.  Existing in a place crammed full of 18-22 year olds is far more difficult than one may think.  This time last year was easily one of the hardest times of my life, I was a sobby mess, just ask my roommate, Lauren Szandzik, whose blog is posted on the right hand menu of this page (shameless sell).  However! (Don’t you love that?  or BUT!  What a beautiful word, ‘But’, the most influential word of all time, in my opinion, ephesians 2:4)  There is hope!  First of all – Jesus is real.  You may not believe it, but you’re believing wrong.  That’s not very graceful of me to say, and I’m sorry for that.  But He is, and He will be, forever.  Hallelujah!  Secondly, I’m going to be surrounded by my favorite young women, all who fear and worship Jesus, Real Jesus!  When we experience the darkness that is college life, it’s garunteed that we’ll be surrounded by children of the light, ephesians 5:8.  So I’m not paralyzed by fear of how I’ll react to seeing brokenness this time, I’m not afraid of falling into a black hole of downward spirals, I have hope. Only because Jesus is real.

That being said, here are some photographs I took and enjoyed and would like to share with you all!

Here’s a picture of an afternoon in Middletown.  On this day, I spent some time with one of my favorite people, David Noble, walking through dirt and flowers with speedy freezes in hand.  It was really nice, and then I fell in the water.  Well, really my foot just slipped.  But my foot is still a little sore from it, and it’s been a few weeks since that incident.  That’s okay, at least I got my cheek kissed in the shadows! @mustachemaniak #stud




This is a photograph of a zebra, a real life zebra!  His name is Zanu Matata, which means something cute and zebra-y, but I can’t remember what it was.  He’s 4 months old and full of allergens that made me sneeze and itch for a while after being with him, but it was worth it.  To all of you Fairfield Young Life campaigner kids who laughed at me when I told all of you I saw a zebra in a yard outside the Vick’s farm…I hate to say it, but I told you so!  But hey, no hard feelings.  I love you people more than I can ever say, ever ever ever.




My dad found this baby humming bird in the grass near our house.  It was trying to fly but was too small, and he couldn’t and it was beautifully sad.  But we put him somewhere nice, in some flowers.  Hopefully mama bird comes back and can teach him how to fly so that if he falls out of his nest again, he can get home.  I’m not sure if the “dont touch the baby animal because it’s mom won’t take it back” rule applies to birds, but I trust God loves this little guy enough to make an exception.


This is Maria Sharapova, and she’s pretty good at tennis.  I had the opportunity to be my dad’s date to the ATP Western & Southern Open Tennis Tournament in Mason, Ohio yesterday, and it was fabulous.  I usually don’t use the word fabulous unless it has to do with something a little bit out of my league, like tennis.  But it was!  It was honestly fabulous.  After Maria cleaned house, we saw Fish sweep Nadal (USA!) (sorry Rafa, you’re still cool), and we even got to see a hot second of Federer doing his thing.  All the while, eating delicious food served to us by a really nice man named Josh, who didn’t like it when I called him “sir”.  And on top of all of that, I was with my dad!  He’s probably one of the best men currently living.  Forget the probably in that last sentence.  He has his arm around me as I type these words, which is a safe feeling.  What a guy.


So there are some pictures of my life.

And here goes nothing.  Move-In day.  Sophomore year.  God’s grace, maybe a few tears, lots of fellowship…this could get interesting.

some photos of july

This is my home on the night that our air conditioner exploded.  Not all bad.

Here are some pictures of our family vacation.  That was really nice, too.
























And these are my best friends.  The 4 of us won’t be together in the same place again until Christmas, which is really sad.  Emily (the cute blonde in the turquoise) is currently loving on high school people at Rockbridge, and in a week, Agnes (the bombshell in the patterns) leaves for Europe…until Christmas…my heart is breaking.