Real People

His twinkling eyes betray the laughter living inside and her huge ready grin that spreads all the way up to squeeze her eyes almost shut are some of the greatest reasons I love to hang out with Mike and Debi Pearl! They have the greatest sense of humor, and I love all the hilarious (and true!) stories they both come up with!

Their daughter Shoshanna and I met years ago, at what some would call a "chance meeting" - both of us over a thousand miles from our homes... but it was kindred spirits from the first moment! Debi actually met me first and called Shoshanna over to introduce us, sensing that we would be a great match for friendship. Since that day over 11 years ago, Shoshanna and I have traded visits, gone on cross country road trips, and had a whole ton of fun doing it all!

I love that their family is genuine, real, and down-to-earth... not changing their way of life with the opportunities of ease they could have chosen with their busy schedule heading up their large ministry, No Greater Joy. Instead they have delegated, and have a wonderful team of people who do much of the business side, which enables them to direct and write articles while still living a "real" life... using their own hands to do gardening (to eat, not just to look at), build things (such as houses and wood mills), clean house, and spend time together.

While visiting this Spring to do some photography work for Shoshanna and her husband James' business, the Bulk Herb Store, we crammed in some time one Sunday morning before church to do some relaxed photos of her family with her parents. They also wanted to document the amazing house that Mike is currently building for his bride at the top of their property... with almost a 360 degree view! Mike hauled all the rock up there with James, after digging each one out of an old abandoned quarry; he is cutting each one to fit in it's special place. Each portion of the foundation is amazing and custom fitted to showcase the beauty of each rock. It is beautiful, and it is being built by a big old mountain man, who lives his life for real and won't slow down!


  1. Oh Laura! I didn't think anyone could truly capture the 'feel' of Mike and Debi with a camera, but you did. I know these few shots represent a time investment to get those two to be comfortable with you (and sit still). Amazing, AMAZING work and such a worthy subject. Simplicity and depth all in one package. Thank you for sharing your artistry with the rest of us.

  2. I just wanted to cry seeing these pictures. Never having met the Pearls, I admire their writings and example of their lives so much. Thank you, thank you for the sweet glimpses.

  3. These pictures are so wonderful. I have never met them, but I have been SO changed by their love and instruction. What an honor for you to be able to capture the twinkles in their eyes and laughter and devotion to one another and family....what a gift from God these pictures are! Thank you!--Colleen