Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Cor. 13:5
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Cor. 15:10
The next time you pick up that camera think about these things. Ask yourself why you are picking it up in the first place. Is yours a long view? Is what you are doing emotionally self-sustaining? Does it allow you to communicate and connect with others in ever-richer and more meaningful ways? Does it inspire you to keep learning and growing? Does it make you more reflective about the world around you, more passionate?
These are the things that count. It is not the camera that you use, it is the experience of utter groundedness that results.”
Groundedness… entails depth, substance, wisdom; of seeing oneself, purpose, calling, mission. There’s more…
“Like any form of artistry, photography evolves – we evolve – and in the process we hopefully get better and better at this thing called, LIVING. You become a practitioner the day you pick up a camera, but you become an artist much later, if ever.
It interests me how photographers experience the world and, in turn, interact with it. It says a lot about them, not only as an artist but as a person.”
Acclaimed as one of the most celebrated and influential photographers of the 20th century and considered one of the pioneers of color photography, Ernest Haas once said: “The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.”
What does it entail to see, and I mean, to really SEE? We are what we photograph. What we see is who we are. We see the things we see because of who we are. We cannot be seen as separate from our subjects or as separate from the environment in which we find ourselves.
If there’s one device that practically every single human being on this earth has, is a camera; camera phone, point-and-shoot, DSLR. This device that records images unto a film or sensor is here to stay and will continue to improve technically, and this is a good thing.
Be thankful the next time you pick up your camera, because it will allow you to explore the world through your eyes seeing not only what is through the lens, but what is going on inside you. Use the camera as a tool to expand your horizons, to seize every soulful moment, to be in awe and wonder of the creation that is before us. Continue to read great books that inspire the soul to greater heights; listen to inspiring melodies and deepen your compassion towards one another.
Lastly, it is the Lord God that allows us to enjoy all these things and we are to marvel at His handiwork. Ultimately, to know Him is to see oneself.
Let’s have a photo-walk and celebrate life, shall we?