Being Present In Photography

 
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In the foreground we see beautiful images and progress, but behind the scenes this photographer does struggle. This post isn't to allow me the opportunity to vent. I just want to give you a picture into what it takes to truly capture beauty and light. For a long time I struggled with depression. It affected my desire to photograph anything or even see the world as something to be captured or excited about. Over time I learned to conquer depression with God's help. Because I couldn't give up photography completely, God used it to win me toward His beautiful Light. Everyday He would show me one more beautiful lesson in nature and I would take a photo.

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Since then I have matured into a much more happy person and see things more positively. How grateful I am! At the same time God is not done with me yet. Back then God knew that I needed Him to pull me from a deep darkness by showing me the Light. These days He is showing me, through photographs, that I haven't fully surrendered to Him.

During a shoot I am all nerves. I fear failure like it was in style. I am constantly coming up with expectations that people might have. I wonder if I look like an idiot as I am somewhat directing. I wonder if I captured enough, did enough, or was cool enough. Then after the shoot, when I am sitting in front of my computer editing away, I become frustrated. The images are fine. Beautiful even. I want to hit myself for being so bent out of shape. My own eyes know what I am doing more than my brain! Then I realize that something is stopping me from fully embracing this gift.

God speaks to me in these moments. He reminds me that what I need to see is more than just physical light. I need to see His strength, His dedication, His unfailing love. When I focus on Him and what He can do through me, I can capture not only more powerful images, I can actually capture who He is. How do I even put this into words?!

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If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your LIGHT shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. - Isaiah 58:10-11

I guess what I am saying is that I want to experience the images before I even snap away. I want to capture something intentionally. I want to be in the moment with my subjects. I don't want to sit down later with my laptop seeing that I missed the very moment that I captured earlier that day! So, yes I am no longer depressed and can capture light like no tomorrow, but I want to take this to another level. I want to experience my photographs. So, what am I missing? I need to remember the promise of God.  He will satisfy my soul so that even when I am in a stressful situation, I will be strengthened and will not run out.