a camera is a tool for learning to see without a camera. ~dorothea lange
i suppose it could have anything. i threw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall….hoping that in the process, i would finally find ‘my thing’. photography is what stuck.
it was in my darkest days, those first few months after kelsey left for college, that my camera helped me to find the light. at first photography was my conscious effort, my affirmation, that even with my daughter away at school, there were still good things in life to be photographed. the beauty and wonder of nature were my go-to subjects in those days. a reminder to me of the goodness of Creation and the faithfulness of the Creator.
as i practiced my craft though, this is when i learned to really see. beauty and wonder was everywhere. not just in ‘pretty’ stuff like flowers…but also in things that, at first glance, might not be considered beautiful. through the practice of photography, i saw beauty in my journey – especially the less than pretty parts. and i became keenly aware of God’s presence through it all. profound gratitude became the lens through which i learned to see my life.
for the record, i would just like to add here, that i am a cradle-catholic. a life-long christian brought up by faithful, christian parents. before i took up photography, i felt as though i had a close walk with God. my faith and my hope were (and still are) constant companions on my journey through this life. through the practice of photography though…now i have profound gratitude…and so therefore, now i have joy.
sometimes i make the mistake of saying photography healed me. because the truth is that it was God who healed me. my camera was just the vehicle through which He delivered his Grace and his Light.
to send light into the darkness of men’s hearts–such is the duty of the artist. ~schumann
some days though….sometimes i wonder if maybe my time and energy would have been better spent going back to school to study epidemiology. or middle eastern diplomacy. or finding a cure for cancer. or addiction. or any other sort of human affliction. because sometimes…i don’t know….the darkness and suffering of this world….there are days when it’s almost more than i can bear.
but these are exactly the days when i need my art. i need to be reminded of all that is good and beauty-full and wonder-full. these are the days when look through the lens of gratitude to find joy even in the midst of my struggles and challenges.
don’t hide your light! let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father. matthew 5:16
the real beauty of art though is being able to share it. to share the Light. to pass it on. no matter if it’s pedigreed and shared on a worldwide stage. or if it’s humble and resides in a tiny corner of the blogosphere. letting our light shine is our calling.
thank you from the very bottom of my heart for letting me share it with you.