Project Rescue Celebrates 20 Years // A Documentary

I am so thrilled to finally be able to share a very special project I worked on last year! Partnering with Beyond Creative, I worked on a documentary for Project Rescue talking about their history over the past 20 years and how they came to be. 

For several years now, I'd been wanting so badly to work with Project Rescue. If you don't know, Project Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rescues and restores victims of sexual slavery. They first started in India and now are represented in multiple locations all around the world! But I'll let you learn more about them in the documentary below. Well, last year I was blessed to be able to work on several projects for them, and I love every minute of it. Like I've mentioned many times, my passion is to tell stories through film that can impact people- especially those in need. So I absolutely love that my work is making a difference in people's lives, and in effect rescuing more women and children that are being trafficked!

This project was quite the adventure, and I'll write more about it below, but first you must watch the film:



Let me tell you, it is no easy feat to create a documentary that needs to cover 20 years of history! Many many people were involved, lots of pre-production meetings, filmmakers from around the world... and one female editor trying to put it all together in her small home office. I cannot tell you how many hours I prayed over this film- it was a lot. My main prayer was that God would direct me as I edited/produced/directed this film so that He could use it to rescue many more women and children. It's such a powerful story, so much spiritual conflict, and without the Lord's favor and anointing, I could not have done it. 

‘Anyone that has tried to touch this area of darkness, all hell broke loose.’

-The Spiritual Conflict-

One of the things Beth talked about in her interview was how much spiritual battle there is. The enemy works really hard against anyone trying to bring light to this area of darkness, and working on this film did not exclude me. I was working on this film while we were on a road trip to the East Coast, and on that trip we got in a very bad accident where we got squished by a semi. We collided with the semi as we merged on the highway, and we got squished between it and the cement barrier- it dragged us several feet and I could hear all the glass cracking and shattering and wondered if I would be thrown out the window and how much it would hurt. We stopped inches in front of the cement barrier that would've hit us from the front. I opened my eyes scared to see how badly injured Frank would be. We were both completely unharmed! All we had were some tiny scratches from the glass! I felt so loved and protected by God in that moment, and I immediately thought about this project and about what Beth said about the spiritual battle. But God is greater than the Devil, and He allowed us to live to continue to bring glory to Him!




Meetings of course! I had to catch up on the history myself, I didn't know a lot of the stories. And then we started mapping out the storyline. I think we probably went through a few storyline revisions and versions... it's been a while and can't completely remember.

I use Storybuilder online from Muse Storytelling to help create the storyline and plot points. It's super helpful and useful! Lots of thought goes into every part of the film, so that the message reaches the audience and moves them. The more work and thought that goes into pre-production, the better the film will be! Seriously, you gotta plan plan plan! It's always worth it in the end.


We filmed quite a few interviews, and they were LONG. Like 2 hours or more of them talking... that's a long interview! But let me tell you something, they were not boring in the slightest. My favorite part of filming was with Beth Grant (cofounder of Project Rescue.) She is so anointed! God's presence is all around her and was so tangible in that interview. I had goosebumps almost the entire time she shared. You can tell in the film how the things she's saying are so powerful! I loved meeting her and now admire her so much, and I could listen to her talk/preach for hours upon hours. 

For the interviews, I worked with a Director of Photography/Camera Operator friend of mine (Sam Holder) and we spent time prepping the set and lighting to make sure they looked fresh. :D I'm pleased with how pretty the interviews with David and Beth came out! With Beth's interview we used the window as the main light, and the sun was so harsh we used at least 5 layers of diffusion! 

Filmmakers in both India and Spain filmed a variety of testimonies with girls in their safe homes. We coordinated and communicated with them to make sure all the interviews looked the same; I made shot lists, interview questions, and lighting diagrams for them. They turned out so well, and it's also super cool that technology is where it's at that people living in three very separate locations can all share the video footage in a matter of hours. 

And as much as possible, we filmed little vignettes of recreations to help tell the story. We filmed that all here in Springfield with a small crew (me and my husband mainly- thanks Frank!). 


Editing. Editing. Editing, 

And some more editing! I watched through lots of old footage and interviews, took several pieces of that to tie it with all the new footage we got. Spent many many hours editing their interviews (because they were HOURS long), and tried to cut it down. There's SO MUCH good content that I had to cut out because there just wasn't time! And there's so many good stories within their big story that I wish I could share, but at the end of the day I have to keep in mind the goal of the film and stick to that storyline I created in my pre-production stage. 

Added music throughout to match the tone of the film (Music Bed is the best!) and after the solid cut is done, did some color grading to make sure everything looks pretty! 

As long as we all kept doing what God called us to do, in the middle of hell bringing everything it could bring, God just kept changing lives.
— Beth Grant


That quote from Beth is one of my favorites. It's a quote that anyone could live by and have it be their motto. Actually, as I was writing down quotes from the film to share, I wrote down just about everything she said- because it's THAT GOOD. 

Overall, I just feel so honored to be able to create this type of work for Project Rescue. When I'm doing the work, I feel such a sense of purpose and fulfillment- like THIS is what I was created for. THIS is what God has called me to do. And all I want to do is MORE! More films that tell stories for the glory of God and to aid those in need. So if you're a non-profit or ministry looking for a filmmaker with this same passion, please write me a message! I'd very much like to connect with you. :) 


So I definitely am not so good at posting regular blog updates- and each time I do one I say I need to do it more regularly and somehow it doesn't happen. I hope someday I'm better at it and more disciplined, for now I am posting not just because it's been forever, but because I'm paying to renew my website subscription this month, so I better use it! 

So... if you happen to follow me on facebook or instagram you will know that... I'm a new mom! It's hard to say that sometimes because I considered myself a mom when I was fostering, but how else to say it... I have birthed my own biological human being. :) 

Lucas Franquelis Diaz was born on May 15th, and he's beautiful. In ways it feels like the last 2 months have  been a blur, and in other ways it feels like it's been like this for a long time. I'll share a bit on how it's been and how I'm feeling and then I'll share some more photos! 

I'm amazed every day how my love for him keeps growing. It's really cool to feel so connected to someone that you ache when you're away, or you're still within inches of him and feel the need to be physically touching. It's super fun to see his personality develop- he's SUPER smiley and sometimes I think he has that charming, flirty smile. I think he's going to be a silly boy. 

The hard thing right now, besides how terribly long postpartum has been (and continues to be!), is getting tired of being at home so much doing the same thing every day: nursing, burping, changing, napping, some household chores, and repeat. I love being productive and DOING things, and doing the repetitive mom stuff doesn't count for me. I also anticipated this being difficult for me, and I'm starting to think about going back to the freelance world soon. Which leads me to other thoughts of trying to figure out how to be a stay-at-home-mom and also self-employed. I'm planning on doing a lot of editing work from home, and possibly scheduling shoots and meeting on days that Frank can watch Lucas. If any of you are freelance moms, please share your suggestions with me! For now I *try to* take it easy and pray for wisdom. Lots and lots of wisdom. 

And what about fostering? 

We for sure want to keep fostering in the future, but we're taking a break now to figure out newborn life and also because we don't have enough room in our tiny house. :)

Lucas Diaz Newborn Session 006.jpg

Lucas Franquelis



20 1/2"


Tiny hats on tiny beings.

If you made it this far, then you might want to check out my instagram! I post lots of Lucas photos and videos on my stories. :) 

Lisa Diaz Comments
Thanks for the photo, Hilary Bowman! 

Thanks for the photo, Hilary Bowman! 


The weather right now is perfect- cool with a crisp breeze, but not so cold you need a big coat. I'm trying to take advantage of it, because in a few days it'll be snowing and miserable! (I hate the cold.) 

It's been almost 10 months since I left my 9-5 job and jumped into freelance full-time. (To read about that decision, click here.) And I've loved it, but it's not been easy, and as much as I wish I could say I've had tremendous success, I'm going to be real transparent with you guys as I list it out:  


  • NO MORE STRESS!! Okay, so the stress isn't completely gone, but it's a world of difference. As soon as I stepped into freelancing full-time, I felt this huge weight lift off my shoulders. It was incredibly relieving! In the multiple full-time jobs I've held in the past, many of them have been very stressful- I think because of my work ethic and wanting to do the best that I can, plus trying to meet employer's expectations, and trying not to let anyone down... it was a lot to carry and worry about. Sometimes I worked so hard, I started to forget about my own well-being and even the well-being of my marriage. I actually didn't realize until I started freelancing, that I had been unknowingly neglecting my marriage. Now I get to spend TONS of time with Frank, it's it's SO. GOOD. 
  • CHOOSING MY WORK. This makes me super happy!! I get to pick who I work with, what projects I work on, and how much I will charge for it. One of the most fulfilling things in life is "working" on what your PASSIONATE about! It doesn't feel like working at all- I'm spending time doing things I love and that are purposeful. I spend a lot of time working on projects for non-profits that make a difference in people's lives. It's so rewarding to know my work is affecting real change in the world- I want to do this type of work the rest of my life!! :D 
  • WORKING FROM HOME- OR WHEREVER! I love being able to sit on my couch and work while I watch Netflix (exactly what I'm doing now, haha.) It's really nice to work on your own time, sleep in when you want to, take breaks when you want to, or work in to the wee hours of the night! This was essential when we had our foster kiddo- there was no way I would've been able to work at an office and be a foster momma for him. Many people do that, and they're amazing! I'm just so glad I can make my schedule around the family that needs me- because family is ALWAYS before work. 
  • RELYING ON THE LORD. Living on the edge, and not knowing when you're going to get your next job definitely makes you pray a lot harder! This might seem like a negative, but it strengthened my relationship and trust in God- to put absolutely everything in His hands, because we had no control at all. And it has been SO FREAKING COOL to see how He has provided for every single need, every single month. I'm so thankful that this new season in life makes me rely on the Lord more than ever. 


  • THE ROLLERCOASTER OF INCOME. This is by far, the most difficult thing. Just a few weeks after I went freelance, Frank lost his full-time job. So for weeks we're living off of my income, a NEWBIE freelancer with NO equipment, and 1 small contract job. Ah! It was scary, but as I said earlier, it forced us to rely on God, and He's been so good to us! But it's definitely hard trying to budget for things, or save, etc. 
  • FEELING SELF-DOUBT. I struggle with this a lot, actually. When you work for yourself, you don't really have people telling you if you're doing well or improving or doing a good job. I'm a pretty competitive person, and I have a lot of talented friends who are freelancing- and they all seem to be doing amazing and being successful. So I battle with the thoughts of not being better, or not being good enough, or not making enough connections... It's definitely difficult to overcome. 
  • LACKING SELF-MOTIVATION. Usually happens when I'm feeling that self-doubt- it leads to procrastination and putting things aside until I "feel up to it," because no one's going to force me to work! I also seem to lack motivation to keep my online presence; partly because I don't see the results or the return on it right away... and partly because I'm just bad about posting things online, especially about myself. ;) 

ALL-IN-ALL, I know that know that I know, God called me to this. And in that, I have faith, and I trust Him. Without His favor, I know this freelance thing wouldn't be going well at all- but He continues to open up doors. :D And whenever I do feel that doubt, I go to Him in prayer and say,

"Lord, this is not MY business, it is not about me, it's ALL about YOU. YOU direct me, YOU open the doors, YOU lead my every step." 

And then I stop worrying, because I'm not trying to be "successful" or get to a certain place in my career, I want to go where the Lord wants me, and it's so thrilling to see Him reveal it to me one step at a time. 

Love you all! 

PC: Hilary Bowman

PC: Hilary Bowman

Lisa Diaz Comments

I was on a work trip in Dubai (yeah, it was awesome) when I woke up in the middle of the night to a text: 




It was a little bit crazy as I was trying to coordinate everything while I was traveling to get a bed, car seat and clothes. When I landed back in Springfield, Frank came to pick me up with a beautiful young boy in the back seat. No time to recoup from jet lag, I was now a MOM! 

I just want to make a HUGE SHOUT OUT to all our friends and family that came around us- we got numerous texts, calls, and messages asking if we needed anything. Every single thing we needed for him was provided for. We've been surrounded by this community of support, and it was AMAZING. 

From the beginning, they told us that his case was being transferred to Arkansas (since that's where he's from). So day by day, we had no idea when we'd have to say goodbye. And that's hard, because at first it was only going to be a couple days - which turned into weeks - which turned into a month. You don't want to get too attached, yet I kept telling myself


4 weeks in, I felt so exhausted and overwhelmed with emotion, I took some time to write out my feelings: 


How do I navigate the sea of feelings? It wasn’t supposed to be this confusing-  I knew it’d be hard, but I didn’t realize it’d be a tornado of emotions that contradict each other. I simultaneously feel in love with this child that’s not mine and broken hearted for the future when he’ll no longer be with me. 

I hear people saying parenting is hard- I see the memes of the parents laughing at other couples without kids who say they’re tired. But in this foster world it’s so much more draining and exhausting - it’s a new level of exhausting. Even having the best day I feel overly drained and sad at the end of it—

I’m emotionally exhausted by the amount of hugs and kisses I’ve given, by the frustrations of the fits he threw and unreasonable reactions, by the hurt that I share when he tells me the abuse that happened to him repeatedly, by the thoughts of his case and the people working to get him removed from our home, by the fear of not knowing who he’ll end up with, and if he’ll be safe, by the confusion of wanting the best for him but feeling selfish and wanting him for myself. 

Each new morning not knowing if it will be our last together, trying to hold it together and give it my all but afraid of not taking advantage of every second. It was supposed to only be a couple days, which turned into weeks, which now has been a month… but how will I know what day will be our last, and if we’ll ever see each other again? 

Will I only remember the difficult times, or will I remember how often he would hug me and kiss me and tell me he loves me SOO much. He loved cuddling, and always asked how much I loved him, how much other people loved him. 

But how can I complain, when I can’t even compare what I’m feeling to what this sweet boy is feeling? He’s been through some of the worst physical abuse imaginable by his own family, and not just once but repeatedly. Every day he has to deal with the trauma he went through, the fear that it could happen again. Every day he wonders if this new home is forever, or what will happen to him next.

I realize I have no power at all- all I have is my heart and my love that I can give him- and I pray God will give me enough strength and enough love so that I can keep pouring into him, as long as I possibly can. <3



Well friends, just a few days after I wrote that, we found out who would be taking him and when. And just a week ago today, we said goodbye to him. 

I'm so thankful to say that he is in a LOVING & SAFE HOME! He went to live with a family member who cares for him deeply, and he's having the time of his life with them. 

This has not been an easy journey [it's amazing how attached you can get in the span of a month] but it's been one of the most positive experiences we will probably every have in foster care.  



  • He loved giving me hugs and kisses and saying "I love you soooo much!"
  • He loved bargaining, and would cock his head and ask for things in the most charming voice.
  • He loved dancing! - (I also introduced him to "Despacito", and he'd sing it all the time. haha!)
  • We caught him trying to pee in the small trash can in his bedroom multiple times. 
  • One night when I thought he'd finally fallen asleep, I went to check on him and found him putting an entire tube of vaseline on his face and hair. It took days to get out! 
  • One morning I got up and not finding him in his room I found him in the bathroom with my (brand new) makeup all over his face.
  • He and Sam (our black lab) were best of friends. Sam followed him EVERYWHERE. 


Always playing with Sam. :)&nbsp;

Always playing with Sam. :) 

With his "girlfriend", Nay.&nbsp;

With his "girlfriend", Nay. 

Playing with friends.&nbsp;

Playing with friends. 

Giving Nay a big hug. So thankful for the Salgados, who were such a blessing in his life.&nbsp;

Giving Nay a big hug. So thankful for the Salgados, who were such a blessing in his life. 




For the next couple of months, we'll be taking a break. With my parents staying with us for a week, and then being gone another week for my brother's wedding, we figured it be easier to wait.

So the plan is to go back on the openings list in AUGUST. This time, we've widened our age range to 0-5 years of age. 

We'll keep you updated! Thanks for your prayers and support!

Lisa Diaz Comment

About a year ago, I remember I was getting ready for work doing my hair and praying, when God spoke clearly to my heart:

"I want you to go freelance."

My heart started pounding and my eyes filled with tears- I was full of fear. It was the scariest thing ever to think about that. Freelance was something I had thought about a long time ago, but it was something that was far from reach at that moment. The doubts and questions came all at once, and I began to reply with excuses, "But I'm not ready to do that." "Lord, I don't have any equipment!" "I don't have any networks" "No one even knows about me." "Who would hire me?" "I'm not good enough." "Who's going to pay me?" "We don't have any savings." "It's too risky." 

From that moment I hit my knees and started praying. I prayed for confirmation just about every day- and He did confirm it, over and over again. For months I was praying for confirmation, for faith, and for timing. Timing was the thing that I struggled with the most. Once I was on board to go freelance, my instinct was to GO NOW. I wanted to quit my job right away and start moving! But I was hitting walls, and when I went to prayer about when to go freelance, I didn't get a response.

So I kept waiting... I kept praying. 

Months later, Frank and I decided to become licensed Foster Parents. After we went through months of classes, we got licensed. And at that point things started lining up- I knew that I wanted to be available to our future foster kids, I wanted to be able to work from home and have a flexible schedule when the kids needed extra attention and time. So going freelance made sense, and all the pieces came together.

I've been a full time freelancer now for just over 2 months, and even now, it's so awesome to see God's faithfulness. I took the jump into freelance with no idea how we were going to meet our bills, we weren't going to make it just on Frank's income. It was nerve-wrecking to some degree, but after praying about it for over 7 months, God had filled me with peace about it. He's been so good to us! Freelance work started to slowly but surely come in, and it seemed so easy. When you're in God's will, things will work out so seamlessly- it will feel easy. I've done freelance before when it was clearly not from the Lord, and it felt so forced, I kept hitting wall after wall. 

At this point, my prayer is to be used only for His glory. Whatever it is that the Lord has in store for my filmmaking, I want Him to lead it and direct it. I can't WAIT to see what happens.


It's going to be an incredible adventure!! 

Lisa DiazComment
Full Time Job to Freelancing & Fostering

Just in the past few months a LOT has changed. As many of my friends and family know, Frank and I became licensed Foster Parents this past December! With that in mind, and wanting to have more flexibility with my schedule (and time to be a Foster Momma), I left my full time job at James River Church to pursue freelance work as a filmmaker/cinematographer/editor. It's been a complete 180 from where we were just a few months back. 

February 6th was my first day as a full time freelancer, and February 8th we told our Licensing Case Manager (LCM) to put us on the openings list for fostering!  See the picture -->

We've had a lot of questions regarding Foster Care, so I want to take a moment to address some FAQ's that might help explain the situation. :)  


  • When are you going to get kids? We are currently on the openings list, so we could get a phone call at any moment! When Children's Division gets kids in Foster Care, they will look at the openings list and start calling people that are open to take in kids. They want to place kids immediately, so that means they could be calling us in the middle of the night; and often times, if we say yes, the process of placing the kids is pretty quick.
  • Do you know anything about the kid(s) you're going to get? In short, no.  We can ask to take kids in a certain age range, and we can even be as specific to say what gender and race we accept. But until we get a call and they explain the situation and tell us about the kid(s) they have, we won't know anything.
  • What ages are you accepting? We are on the list for 1 child from 0-2 years (any race and gender), and said we'll possibly take a sibling. We want to be open to taking in siblings because they have a hard time placing sibling groups, but we're also sensitive to the fact that we don't have any parenting experience and want to start off "easy." (Although we know it's not going to be "easy"!) We also said we can take in kids that are Spanish-speaking, since we speak Spanish, too. ;) 
  • Do you know how long it'll take? No idea! We have friends that have gotten placements within a few weeks of being licensed, and lots of friends that haven't gotten any calls (us included.) We just met with our LCM yesterday and she said that they haven't had many kids come into care this past month- which is GOOD! So we'll just wait and see what happens. 
  • How long will you have them? No idea! Haha, many things about Foster Care are up in the air. During our Foster Care classes, we were told that the average length of time they're in care is 18 months. So we'll go into it with that in mind, but also realizing they could be with us for just a few days. 
  • Are you taking in kids to adopt them? When kids come into care, we won't know if they'll end up becoming adoptable or not. And although we hope to adopt someday (both through foster care and international adoption) we aren't going into this with the goal of adoption. Our goal is to provide a safe place for these kiddos, to provide for their needs and help them heal for as long as they're with us. If it's possible for them to be safely reunited with their families, we want to be behind that 100%. But if the child's case comes to the conclusion that they should be adopted, we are open to that possibility and excited about it!  

I hope that helps shed some light, and answers some questions you might have for us. If you have any other questions, feel free to comment on the post or send me a message! I'm happy to answer any questions, although I'll admit up front that I'm no expert, and I haven't actually been a Foster Mom yet, so most of my knowledge is from the classes and friends. :D 

Since I want to keep this post fairly short, I'll talk more about freelancing and my heart/passion behind that in my next post. 

I'll leave you with something visual, because that's what I would want. :D ReMoved is a film by Nathanael Matanick about the story of a girl in Foster Care. So beautifully done, and what an impact it has had. If you haven't seen it, you NEED to! 

Lisa DiazComment
One Child Matters // FILM

I've been waiting so long to share this with you, and I'm thrilled I finally get to! Back in May I traveled with James River Church and One Child Matters to Ethiopia and filmed some impacting stories. It was the BEST TRIP I've ever been on so far, and I can't emphasize enough how much God's presence and anointing was on it. I prayed so much for God to direct me as I filmed, and then direct me as I edited, and then to use it to touch hearts- and He has done so!! 

This is the proudest film I've ever been a part of. And I say "a part of" because God was directing this piece from beginning to end. 

You can really make a difference in the life of a child around the world. Please consider sponsoring a child, visit:

Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a part of something so amazing, for the passions you've placed on my heart and the talents you've trusted me with. Thank you for anointing this film and touching the hearts of many to step up and sponsor your children. Thank you for the work you're doing and using me to bring it to pass. And thank you for the best that is yet to come. 

I know I haven't updated this blog in well...a LONG time. But I'm going to breeze past that fact and just going to dive right in to what I actually want to write about: Ethiopia. XD 

Or more specifically, filming in Ethiopia. To describe the experience in a few words: It's my dream!  The dream isn't exactly to live in Ethiopia, the dream is to travel all around the world to film and share stories of people that will bring awareness and inspire change. It could be working with organizations that rescue women and children from human trafficking, or that help bring clean water to villages around Africa, or help kids all over the world get adopted. I can't describe how much these things lay heavily on my heart; so when I was asked if I'd like to travel to Ethiopia to film stories of kids that needed help, I was so extremely excited!!! 

It was a fairly short trip with lots and lots of traveling. We ended up being in three different cities- Addis, Ziway and Waliso. 

The first day in Addis we visited two One Child Matters projects, and spent the time doing photoshoots. We gave the girls flower headbands and had them dance and play as I snapped photos- of course they were adorable! Just like any other little girls, they LOVED being in front of the camera and giggled and posed and ate it up! :)  

 yemisrach & Abaynesh

This is sweet Yemisrach. 

The rest of the time in Ethiopia we spent filming stories. It's no surprise that there are some terribly sad stories of people living in third-world countries. As horrible as it is to say- it's expected, and if we're not careful, we can get numb to the stories because there are so many of them. 

We ended up meeting two young girls who had very compelling stories: Yemisrash & Abaynesh. I won't share their stories here, because I don't want to spoil the film, but I can say they are heart-wrenching. But I'm so incredibly grateful to have met these God fearing girls, their strength and love for God inspires me!                    

The beautiful Abaynesh!

With Abaynesh and her mom. 

There's so much more I could say about this trip, but I think I've expressed how impactful it was for me. At one point I was on the bus as we traveled for many hours to another village, and I remember just having this incredible moment where I suddenly felt "at home", I felt so comfortable in a very uncomfortable place- where I had no wifi, no AC, I was dirty, sick to my stomach, and yet I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be. He's put these passions on my heart (missions and film), and it was an amazing experience to know that he was leading and directing me as I did what He's called me to do.  Daily I pray that He would lead me to more opportunities like this one. 

I'm thrilled to share with you the final film. (See the next post)

This was a "hotel room" that we stayed in. It was a large hut, and there were wild monkeys crawling all around it! 

Tried Ethiopian traditional dish. Lots of fun to try, but probably not my favorite. ;) 

Filming on top of the large van we travelled in. Had to be very convincing to get up there, people were a little bit nervous about it. The shot was SO worth it!! 



Susie Bock with What We Fabricate || Artist Film Feature


Today I want to feature Susie and her Etsy Shop: What We Fabricate. 


Susie started her Etsy Shop so she could use her creativity to make custom leather items and then donate her profits to various ministries around the world. Take a look: 

Isn't she amazing? She donates all her profit to: Mercy Ships, On The Red Box, Iris Ministries, and Calcutta Mercy Ministries. 

So far she's made me a watchband and a business card holder, and I already have additional orders. You have to check out her shop for yourself: 

I can't begin to explain how much Susie means to me as a friend, and she continually inspires me to use my talent for Christ. During her interview, I really felt encouraged to use my creativity in some ministry-oriented way. It's so easy for us to get swallowed up by our adult responsibilities, and I know for me especially, it's easy to get sucked into work and trying to be "successful in my career." [Whatever that means.] I don't want to spend most of my time just working to make a living, I want my life to mean something, to be used for a much greater purpose that's outside of myself. 

Ministry needs to be where we're at right now.

What she said resonates with me. I don't know how or what it is that I should do, but I want to stop focusing on myself, and spend my time on something that actually matters, that will make a difference in this world.  Sometimes we need a little bit of a wake-up call. 

Thank you, Susie, for sharing your story and inspiring me (and probably many others) to invest in God's work. 

Richard & Phoebe (& Baby Nay) || Springfield Wedding Film

"I just started bawling in my office." 

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 11.31.21 AM.png

When the first sentence from your client's email says they started bawling after watching their Wedding Film, that's USUALLY a good sign. You might even say we live for these comments- we love making people cry with our work! But the GOOD kind of cry, of course. ;)

In all seriousness, it's such a big compliment when our clients and friends really feel something from watching their Wedding Film. It's all about them, their story, their amazing day, and now they have something tangible to share and keep forever. Ah, I just love it. <3 

Richard and Phoebe are DEAR friends, and we were so excited to film their wedding! Their adorable baby girl, Nayeli, or Baby Nay as we call her, is such a joy. She's seriously so stinkin' cute, and it definitely doesn't help our case of baby fever. While we were editing their film, we won't deny the thought of "maybe we should just edit a montage of Baby Nay footage" crossed our minds.

But I digress, let us just show you their beautiful, unforgettable day: 

Baby Goats and Cheese

On Wednesday, Susie and I took a trip to the local goat farm, Terrell Creek Farm, and boy was it a BLAST!! We can't thank Mr. and Mrs. Million enough for letting us visit them. If you've been to the Farmer's Market off Republic, you probably have seen their stand where you can try samples of ALL their cheeses! My favorite is the Smokin' Goat (I think that was the name) that has jalapeños in it- yum!! They sometimes have a pumpkin one, chocolate chip, and even cranberry. 

Why did we go to the farm? Well, we will be posting a recipe soon where we need goat cheese, which lead us to think about Terrell Creek at the Farmer's Market, which lead us to wanting to visit the farm and take pictures! Makes sense, right? Basically, we just wanted to have fun. :)

Here were the highlights of our field trip: 

  • Holding & feeding baby goats
  • Getting a tour of how they make their famous goat cheese
  • Free cheese samples! 

I really had no idea that goats were so funny and cuddly! I guess I've only come across wild goats that are mean and like to head-butt. Actually, when those goats looked up at me and stared, I was a little hesitant and maybe a tad concerned they were going to charge. But nope! They love the cuddles, and have QUITE  a personality. Especially those kids, they are mischievous to say the least. ;) 

First, we played with the babies- because, duh. THEY'RE ADORABLE!! 

Some of them were only a week and half old, and they were soooooo soft.

Terrell Creek Farm's was beautiful, too! Look at all that fresh green grass!!

This cute little fella with the ears that stick up is an Alpine goat, who I think was about a week and a half old. 

If you don't believe me when I say these kids had personality, just look at them run and jump, haha!!

And not only were the kids cuddly, but this older gal was, too!! She walked right up to me and started rubbing her head on my stomach like a cat or dog would. I was NOT expecting that at all...

Mr. Million was nice enough to give us a tour and show us how they milked their goats and then made their cheese. 

Do you see how the second goat is trying to steal the first goat's food? I'm telling' you, these are FUNNY animals.&nbsp;

Do you see how the second goat is trying to steal the first goat's food? I'm telling' you, these are FUNNY animals. 

And one of the highlights of the trip, FREE SAMPLES! 

We tried a more mild cheese, then got the guts to try a blue cheese (and it wasn't all that bad!! It wasn't as strong as most, and we even had SECONDS.) 

But we didn't stop there, we also tried MANY of their soft flavored cheeses, including a cranberry one that was out of this world! 

Susie daring to try the blue cheese- which she loved!

Susie daring to try the blue cheese- which she loved!

You probably didn't think goats could be that photogenic, huh? Neither did I. 

Oh my gosh, this was my favorite part: holding the baby goats! There came a point that I had to put down the camera and pick one up, I just couldn't handle it anymore. They're so soft, and this one did not stop nibbling on me! I seriously almost lost a button off my cardigan, and got close to losing my shoelaces, too. ;) 

Susie kept saying she was taking one home with her- Although we learned that you have to have at least two goats, so they don't get lonely.

I absolutely love this photo, so pretty. :)

I absolutely love this photo, so pretty. :)

Goat kiss?

Goat kiss?

So many goat kisses happening- it's just a big loving family! 

(Below) These baby goat twins are best buds, snuggling up together to eat. 

And then there was the part when we got to feed the kids!! It was a feeding frenzy, and was over in about 2 minutes. They definitely ATTACKED those milk bottles! Do you see the picture where Susie's watching and looking so very delighted? :) So sweet. 

Feeding the very young babies (who were too little for the feeding frenzy we saw above.)&nbsp;

Feeding the very young babies (who were too little for the feeding frenzy we saw above.) 

Seriously, 2 minutes and the milk was GONE!&nbsp;

Seriously, 2 minutes and the milk was GONE! 

And that was our little field trip!

We took home some cheese for our upcoming recipe, so stay tuned! ;) 

Our SATO48 Film: Im.Mortal

(Scroll all the way down to see the film)


This year, Frank and I decided to enter SATO48 again. We participated back in 2012 with Chris Kaspar, and created "Dissonance & Grace" which ended up being an awesome film! Not sure why we skipped a few years- but we're back again. :D

For those of you who don't know about SATO, it's a 48-hour film challenge where teams compete to create a 5-minute film within 48 hours. Additionally, there is an inspiration package given to each team at kickoff that contain certain objects and guidelines that MUST be included in your film. 

Frank and I have been really excited to participate again so we put together a small but fantastic team- wonderful actors, musicians and grips. We planned as much as possible, put a schedule together and finished up the details on the night of the kickoff.  Our schedule went like this: 

  • Friday: Kickoff at 6pm, meet to finish script, and prepare for the shoot.
  • Saturday: Shoot from 8am to 6pm, edit together roughcut, and send to musician.
  • Sunday: Edit music to film, color-correct, edit audio, export. 

The filming went very smoothly, we got a full night's sleep every night, and even completed it early and took a nap before turning it in! (Sorry to the teams that did not get any sleep.) We're very pleased with the film, of course it's not perfect, but for 48 hours it's quite spectacular! Below, we'll show freeze frames from our film and talk throu a little more about our cinematography and other details. To see the film, scroll down. 


Originally, we had a different location in mind. We wanted to shoot in a big living room that had nice comfy chairs with a very minimilistic but classy look. Unfortunately, we don't know a whole lot of people with an amazing living room like that, so we opted for this kitchen as the interview location. Luckily for us, the lighting there was exactly what we needed to make a high-contrast black and white film. ;) 


Here's a little bit of a wide shot to show our setup. 

On the right you can see the windows where they're trying to tape parchment paper on the outside. As difficult as this was, I'm SOOOO glad we dealt with it. It made our shots a lot cleaner, and diffused the light coming in. The downside to it was that it caught the wind and flapped a lot that messed up our audio at times. 

On the left you see a kino that was used as the main hairlight for Noah (the interviewee.) The lighting on him was probably my favorite. Also on the left, just outside the photo frame, is a huge black sheet we put up to add more shadows and contrast to our actors. 


Here you can see the painful and dangerous process of taping the parchment paper over the windows. See the guy on the ledge?

Here you can see the painful and dangerous process of taping the parchment paper over the windows. See the guy on the ledge?

And here on the right you can barely see the black sheet we put up. Oh, and that's Taylor, our audio guy. ;)&nbsp;

And here on the right you can barely see the black sheet we put up. Oh, and that's Taylor, our audio guy. ;) 

(Above) This is Noah Jermain, who played the "interviewee" character. I love how beautifully the lighting worked here. We've got the soft lighting from the window on the right, a dark shadow on his left, and a hard hair light to separate him from the background. Those eyelights looked awesome, too! 

(Above) Our "immortal interviewer", played by Jason Preston.  Also loved the lighting here, and the window in the background that adds additional dimension. For his hair light we used a small tungsten spot light, but the best thing about it was that we didn't have to match the color temperatures, because we're filming for black and white! You can see the eyelight caused by the windows on the left, but then a tiny dot of an eyelight on the right side of his eye that came from Noah's hair light. 



To the right is the behind-the-scenes photo of this shot. Frank was holding the black side of a reflector the add an even darker shadow to Jason's right-side. In the back there you can also see the tungsten hairlight. 

If you look closely in the above shot, you can see a tiny sliver on the right window where the parchment paper wasn't covering. So if you can imagine the windows hadn't been covered, there would be a LOT of noise outside the windows. 

I love the window shadow on the floor in this frame. We were so lucky to have so much sunlight that day!&nbsp;

I love the window shadow on the floor in this frame. We were so lucky to have so much sunlight that day! 

The hard hairlights that we used were essential to give us the most contrast we needed when we changed it to black and white. That was our main goal the whole time, as much contrast as possible. Highlights, shadows, textures. 

We also had to pay close attention to the background of our shots. For example in the shot below, we had to add an additional light to the background by the fireplace. If we hadn't, the background would all be very dark and kind of mesh together. By adding the light, we catch the various textures and highlights in the background.  

Both of the shots above were fun to shoot. Because our film was in one room, and dialogue-driven, it was hard to find new angles that we hadn't used before. By giving our characters lots of nose space, we created a feeling of distance between them, as well as a heightened sense of emptiness that complimented the theme of our film. 

Woohoo $10 grand! Most of you probably figured out that we used one 100-dollar bill, and the rest of them are one-dollar bills. The bank was very helpful that day!

Woohoo $10 grand! Most of you probably figured out that we used one 100-dollar bill, and the rest of them are one-dollar bills. The bank was very helpful that day!

This photo makes me laugh. For one, we have Taylor trying to figure out the boom mic. Then Frank and I are trying to look at the shot on the small LCD screen of the camera. :) Co-directing rocks!&nbsp;

This photo makes me laugh. For one, we have Taylor trying to figure out the boom mic. Then Frank and I are trying to look at the shot on the small LCD screen of the camera. :) Co-directing rocks! 

And by now you're probably wanting to see the film. So, ladies in gents, the Tempus team from SATO48 2015 present to you, 


Written, Produced, Directed and Edited by: Franquelis and Elisabeth Diaz; Featuring: Noah Jermain and Jason Preston; Music by: Josiah Austin; Audio by: Taylor Steeby

Hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to give us feedback by commenting below. 

To see more of our films, click here

To see more SATO48 films, check them out on their page. (They may or may not be posted at this time.)

Throw-Back Thursday with Ashley

Today we're participating in Throw-back Thursday! (for the first time ever.) 

I know we're ALL happy Spring is here and that the cold weather is finally over- all except those weird ones like Frank who love the cold. 

But I couldn't let this quick January shoot go by the way side without ever being seen. This is my dear friend Ashley, and as you can see, she's gorgeous. :)   The best thing about her though, is her heart and how dearly she loves everyone around her. 

It's actually kind of funny how I met Ashley. It's one of those it's-a-small-world things that you come across once in a while.


I think I was a teen or pre-teen when I became really good friends with Bekah. She was also a missionary kid living in Spain, but we lived 12 hours apart, so we became pen-pals. :D Haha, oh the days of hand-writing 4 page letters... (front AND back)  I still have a big bag of her letters actually. 

So we became best friends and continued to write for several years. -Don't fret, I'm getting to the part where Ashley comes in.-  One day I got a letter from Bekah saying that her family was leaving Spain and moving back to Nebraska for good. And that was pretty sad. :( 

But it was in Nebraska that Bekah and Ashley became really close- and so we fast-forward to my sophomore year of college at Evangel, where Ashley and I met, and shared a very close friend. So again, small world. Everything comes back around!! 

I'm so glad our paths crossed, it's so encouraging to be around Ashley. She's also a visionary, and it's fun to dream big things with your friends. We didn't plan this shoot at all, but we were just hanging out on a fairly warm and sunny January afternoon. After chatting over coffee, we went out and grabbed a few snapshots- I can't tell you how great it is to have beautiful friends. :D 

And as you can tell, she LOVES to laugh!! 


Look at that natural model pose, though! (Sorry men, she's already taken. :D )


Do you guys have any it's-a-small-world type of event? I would love to hear your stories! (Comment below)



Susie and her Handmade leather items


Everyone has that friend that's super creative, crafty, and can just about make anything they put their mind to. 

For me that friend is Susie Bock. I've known Susie for a long time- way back since the time we were little kids growing up in Spain. :) I feel SO lucky to be living in the same city- she has such a sweet and caring heart, she inspires me to be kind and God-fearing. She's also a nurse! (And loves telling gross, gory stories that make me cringe... Somehow she loves it, though!) And as I said, she can make about anything she puts her mind to. Right now I'm wearing a super cute apron she made me :D 

Susie started an Etsy Shop called "What We Fabricate," and she creates gorgeous handmade leather items. *SPOILER ALERT* We will be doing a video featuring Susie and her Etsy shop, where you'll get to see her at work!! Stay tuned, because we want to make it public in the next couple weeks! 

Not long ago I asked her that I needed a business card holder for our new (!!) business cards- so today she surprised me with this beautiful piece: 

And I LOVE IT!! I've been in a leather-phase recently. It's durable, easy on the eyes, has a great texture, and it even smells good!! Why wouldn't you want everything you own to be leather?! 

I'm pretty excited about it, and I keep telling Susie to add things to my "cart". Like a leather keychain, a necklace, watch band... and pretty much anything that could be made with leather. :) 

This is also the first time we've shown our new business cards online! You may or may not have noticed, but we redid our logo and now have an official color palette (we're so legit now, hah.) And we got BUSINESS CARDS! 

I think they turned out beautifully. We got them from, who I would recommend for all your brand-related printing needs! 

And they fit perfectly in our new BC holder!

A HUGE thank you and shout out to Susie and her talent for this perfect business card holder. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop! 

And DON'T FORGET: We will be featuring Susie and her shop in a short film in a few weeks!! Keep an eye out, it will be adorable! 


Meanwhile, check out our other films here

Kiwi Cheesecake [Gluten-free]

Kiwis are in season! Thank the Lord it's finally Spring, and that the fresh produce is back on the market. For a while now my friend and I have been wanting to bake/cook and share some scrumptious recipes online- along with beautiful photography of our creations! And now is the time. :) We plan to feature one type of produce a month and cook/bake something delicious with it. 

 So let's make something simple and delicious with kiwis: 

Kiwi Cheesecake

Kiwi Cheescake-2695.jpg

Doesn't that look amazing? Mouth-watering? 

So when we decided to try this recipe out, we didn't have this "mini cheesecake pan" that was required. So not really knowing what type of pan or baking tool would work well, we decided to test 3 different methods. We used a few small mason jars, a little saucer that acted like a mini pie pan, and a mini-cupcake pan (that was the option that worked out the best- see the spoon picture above? Thats how those turned out, ADORABLE.) 

These are the ingredients you will need: 

So let's get started!



  • 12 tsp graham cracker crumbs (gluten-free) 
  • 1 tsp melted butter
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 kiwis 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350* F.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar until well blended. This will be your crust.  (We ended up needing a bit more butter; just enough so you can press the crust firmly together and it keeps its form.)
  3. Fill into the mini cheese cake pan and press down firmly.  (Or use a well-greased mini cupcake pan; a normal cupcake pan may also work.)
  4. Bake for 5- 7 minutes, until lightly browned.
  5. Allow to completely cool.
  6. Beat the sugar and cream cheese, until light and fluffy. Beat the whipping cream separately until soft peaks form.
  7. Mix the cheese and whipped cream together . Add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Fill in, right on top of the baked graham crust and allow to chill for at least 2 - 3 hours.
  9. Slice the kiwis and place on top. 


Find the original recipe here. 

These are more like bite-size cheesecakes!

These are more like bite-size cheesecakes!

Don't tell me that's not making you hungry!

Don't tell me that's not making you hungry!


What fruit or veggies would you like to see us feature?  (Comment below!)

Top 5 Reasons You Need a Wedding Film
Photo by Kinsey Mhire

Photo by Kinsey Mhire

When we first started filming weddings, I thought to myself, This is great, everyone wants a wedding film! It's a perfect fit. We love filming weddings, and couples want them.

The thing that I missed seeing was that although it's something most couples want, it usually ends up at the bottom of the priority list - because of finances or maybe thinking photography is good enough. But I want to put the Wedding Films back on the top of the list, and I'll give you 5 good reasons why: 

5. Before you know it - it's over. 

Can you even count the times people have told you that your Wedding Day will FLY by?  I can't even remember how many times I heard this; I think after a while I kind of tuned out those typical comments. 

But HEY, it's true. I've been there, and the day goes fast because there's so much to do, so much to think about, so many things to check off the list. Were you able to fully enjoy your wedding? Did you miss seeing some of your good friends? Did everyone have a good time? Unfortunately we can't slow down time, but we CAN FILM it!  

A Wedding Film gives you the best moments of the wedding (funny, emotional, vows, speeches, dancing, etc.) Relive your day and watch your best friends laugh and cheer on the dance floor, watch your grandpa tear-up as he listens to you say your vows, and watch the way your husband gets choked up as he says his. These are moments you can't get back! 

4. for the loved ones that can't be there.

This was very important for Frank and I when we got married. Our families are so spread out- it would be impossible to get everyone from around the world to just ONE location for our wedding. Frank's family was in NYC, New Jersey and Dominican Republic, while my family was in Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, and Spain. So from the get go we were sure we wanted a Wedding Film. Doing so would let our families be a part of it- they even said they felt like they were there. And that's EXACTLY what we wanted. 

Chances are there are some special friends and family that will not be able to attend your wedding, but it would mean the world to them if they could share that day with you; how do you ask?  With a Wedding Film. ;)   

Here's ours to watch.*Disclaimer: It may make you tear-up!*

Film by David Fiser.

3. Relive Your Day over and over. 

I think reliving the best day of your life is THE COOLEST! I watch our Wedding Film all the time, and it's just amazing to feel like it's that day again. I feel the butterflies in my stomach, I'm with my family again, everyone is so happy and excited for us- the day Frank and I became husband and wife. 

It's the start of something so new and precious, and after years of being married, it will be such a treasure to look back and see where it all began. 

2. A lasting Investment.  

— Celia

Wedding favors, decorations, table linens, menus, food, dessert, the dress, flowers.... the list goes ON and ON of the wedding "essentials." 

Out of all of this, what's going to last? Sure you keep your dress and some keepsakes, but you won't ever use them again. As a matter of fact, your  Wedding Photos and Wedding Film are really the ONLY lasting investments. Something tangible that you can pass on to your kids, your grandkids... 

But be careful to not mistake Wedding Photography and Filmography as an either/or choice! You need BOTH. The photos will capture those moments that you can print and hang on your wall; your Wedding Film is a collection of captured moments and feelings that you can re-experience with more than just your visual sense; like a taking a trip back in time. 

1. It's Your Story - capture it!

THIS. IS. THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. REASON. OF. ALL!!        (Did the all-caps catch your attention?)

I can't push this enough. YOUR story is unique, it's inspiring, and it needs to be told. One of the things I always tell our couples is that an IRIS Film & Photo Wedding Film is sooooo much more than a replay of an event, it's a snippet of your love story, and a story about YOU, as a couple, and who you are.  

Frank and I had a rough beginning to our relationship- it was heart-breaking and spiritually challenging, but I wouldn't change it for the world, because it made us who we are, and built a strong foundation for our relationship. This is a story that we wanted people to know, and there was no other way to share it than through a love-story film. And that's what we did: 


Now granted, that's not exactly a Wedding Film, but it's very closely related - we showed that video at our Wedding Reception. But we also want the opportunity to tell everyone's story through their Wedding Film, like this couple's: 


And those are the 5 reasons- although if we ever sat down and chatted in person, I could go on and on about the benefits of a Wedding Film. But hopefully by this point you see it as clearly as I do. 

Thanks for reading! And please feel free to watch some of our other Wedding Films (and other films) here

OR check out comments from our previous couples here

Our Wedding Films in 60 SECONDS

We love telling couple's love stories through Wedding Films!

Here's a quick view of the wedding films we've created so far.  We're always looking to produce more, so if you know someone, feel free to share this with them! 

To see full wedding films --> Filmography

To contact us --> Contact Us

See what these couples had to say about their Wedding Film experience:

The Short Film that Changed Everything...

Recently I've been wanting to be more open and share some personal things on this blog.  I've always wanted IRIS to be about being real and authentic, and I guess I thought that everything I share should be showing our work- but I changed my mind. 

So I want to tell you about the film that changed my life:

In 2011, I watched The Candy Shop.

The Candy Shop is a narrative-style short film about the sexual exploitation of children. It's beautifully shot, well edited, the costumes and wardrobe are fantastic- but most of all, it had a powerful message. 

It wasn't like one of those videos that make you feel guilty so you will donate; it didn't show a lot of gross images that keep you up at night. It was a story, a fairytale, that drove the message home. 

At the end of it, they show you the stats of how many children are trafficked through the Atlanta area alone- along with a bunch of other stats that start becoming blurry because your eyes are welling up with tears. Yes, I definitely cried, and then showed the film to everyone I could. 

Approximately 500 children are trafficked for sex in Georgia every month.
— Street GRACE

That's what I want to do.  I want to create narrative films that make an impact, that actually mean something, make people do something about it. Those were my first thoughts after finishing the film. 

And every day since, my heart aches to reach that goal. If you know of a way we can get involved, please, PLEASE contact us! We wish it was as easy as picking up a camera and shooting.

Now, if you'll do me one more favor, please watch this 30 minute film, it's too important not to: 

Jimmy Balcom’s new job selling newspapers is a God-send to a kid working hard to help his family survive during the depression. But then Jimmy figures out what’s happening in the candy shop across the street. And he is confronted with a choice that no twelve-year-old should ever have to face. Giving his family a better life, or keeping his soul. Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) stars as the Candy Shop owner in this original film from Whitestone Motion Pictures in conjunction with Street Grace. The Candy Shop is a film initiative to help fight against child sex trafficking. This film is being made for the Doorpost Film Project, and with support from 12Stone® Church and Street Grace. The Candy Shop is a Fairytale/Parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun our city of Atlanta. We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard. Up to 500 underaged girls a month are trafficked for sex here in our city of Atlanta. It’s the number one city in the country for child sex trafficking.. The 10th in the world. This plague has gone on for too long, and now we at Whitestone, in cooperation with Doorpost, 12Stone® Church and StreetGrace want to put a stop to it. This film represents the spearhead of a citywide and possibly a nationwide campaign. It is not a documentary. It is not a PSA. It is the beginning of a movement. Visit the Street Grace website to find out more information and get involved directly. Find all sorts of Behind the Scenes goodies here:,,,,,

Best One-Take Commercial

I came across this commercial a while ago, and I still cannot explain how much I love it. Something on TV made me think of it again, and I immediately had to show it to Frank- who absolutely loves it. "It makes me want to cry, it's so good," were his words. 

Beautifully choreographed, incredible lighting, perfect timing, and music that makes you feel real emotion. Hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did!

Thank you, Ben Fordesman, for this:

Baby Casarez

The idea started with a simple request for a maternity shoot quote, and it grew to this short film introducing the beautiful addition to the Casarez Family: 


Roselle Alexia


Our motto is: "Telling your beautiful story through film and photography." Well that's just it, we are story-tellers! And we can't let a story not be told--not if we can help it anyway. Think about it, having your first child, (whether you've had a first child or not,) is a major life event! I know if it were me, I would want to remember those moments and feelings forever. We are so happy we could freeze a piece of time for Toby + Vanessa; for this little beauty, it was definitely worth it. 


Welcome to the world, Roselle Alexia.  

If you're a fan, give our Facebook page a "LIKE", and you're bound to see more soon --> here.

To see more cinematic films, check out our Films page!