I love to take photos. I take photos of everything I see and experience. When asked what my photography niche is, I would have to say that don’t really have one that I enjoy more than just the joy of taking the photo and being creative with them. I love to take photographs of many things. But a good friend once told me that my gifting was in the area of vignettes… those pictures you take of a moment in time that invokes a feeling from looking at the photo. It isn’t of someone, a landscape view, nature, an object, or animals. However, it may include some of them in the photograph. It’s like a puzzle photo you put together to get the look you desire. It invokes a feeling. It is something I see that causes me to take a moment and feel what I see, maybe even ask why I am seeing it, and then, what I should do with what I see. It makes you think. It tells a story. I had a strong urging today to write a bit about this. So…here it goes!
I enjoy catching those moments in my story each day. It is my reminder of the good in my day. It also reminds me to be grateful that I can enjoy those moments. Each photo holds value to me, and my hope is that they encourage others. It may give someone hope, a bright spot in their day, or a view they haven’t seen. A reminder of good things. In my case, it reminds me of a legacy of a life well-lived. I can just be sitting there and then I see a photo in my mind’s eye and I have to set it up to create it.
Pictures help us to see the present moment and encourage us to reflect on it. We have heard the saying…a perfect moment in time. That is what a photo is all about. Even if it’s not the best one, it is the one you have. Sometimes you totally miss getting it, but I have learned to say that the photo I missed, God gave to me for my eyes only that time.
There are many taking pictures now days that spend an inordinate amount of time taking selfies in all kinds of situations. That is a fun way to chronicle a special event or circumstance that is a part of your story. But when we put out all these self-made glamour selfies out there, we aren’t always living in the reality of every day life. Sure, everyone wants to look their best, but you are concentrating on the love of self a lot more than what may be necessary. We all want to look a certain way, show our family a certain way, and project a certain image. Our cameras that we can so easily hold and take with us, are a very valuable tool in the hands of the owner. It will be your past that speaks into your future someday; a gift left to your family and friends. What pictures do you have more of? What is going on in the moments of your life? If someone scrolled through your cell phone pictures, or computer pictures, will they find more of your selfies and you doing something that spotlights YOU, or would they find pictures of what your life and memories have been?
You see, as believers, we want to highlight ourselves less, and Him more. So what IF we started taking pictures and photos that showed our gratefulness for what we have? The beauty of His creation? The love of family gatherings? Special items you have that speak of your growing up years? What brings you joy? What makes you sad? What if we move others through our photos? What if we didn’t post the ugliness of things on Facebook, but posted the positive and funny experiences? Because…well…it doesn’t help to post things that we can’t do anything about, such as, all the sadness and abuse out there that we most likely can’t change. That doesn’t help anyone. When we are out taking selfies, we also teach our children that it is all about ME. When we post every little thing, we suddenly become all about the “posing”. Even little kids know how to put their little hands on their hips and act in a certain way for a picture. I would rather see them in the real life experiences where a memory is made. Maybe it will be them enjoying fun and laughter, eating ice cream, fun with a pet, camping in the back yard, learning something new or being with their grandparents. Those are valuable pictures. Picture yourself sitting at some point and a child asks to see your pictures, and all they see are dozens and dozens of pictures of you. That doesn’t tell them anything about your life, dreams, loves, feelings, or what you think about the life you have lived so far.
I know that I post a lot of life pictures. Pictures of thoughts during the day, my collection of mocha cups, a candle lit for ambiance, a picture of beautiful nature, a flower, my home as we make improvements, various great “finds” that I come across shopping, something I have read, music, where I have my quiet time, challenges that I go through that may help another when their times comes for a challenge, and the fun my hubby and I have together, just to name a few. Those are the things that make a picture valuable. You can’t get those moments back without the pictures. You may even get to the point where some are forgotten and that picture brings it all back to you.
It’s like a ministry to me. I hope someone sees my pictures and thinks they can do that, or I want to do that, or what a great idea, or maybe… Lord, help me to put that as a priority in my life also. We each have a story. We are time managers because we are making a lasting moment with a picture.
God has changed my life through pictures. It keeps me present and grateful. Know the value pictures hold for you and I encourage you to use that tool; your cell phone or camera, to the utmost. You may not like to journal but pictures are a great way to do that instead of writing. God has given us technology to work with, let’s use it for something good, something true, and something valuable. Make something magic happen with it. It becomes like time travel, and that, we can all identify with! The nostalgia of looking through the archives of photos!
Dial back a few years and enjoy the journey through your story and maybe re-evaluate the power of your images. With renewed intention, we can change everything!
Until next time…