A public declaration of policy and aims.
I've been told I am a conglomeration of paradoxes.
While I try not to confuse anyone, I can appreciate this: not all the pieces seem to fit together. This is my attempt to walk you, dear reader, through the evolution of how I went from a pastor to paramedic to photographer...and I’ll try to keep it under 150 pages.
Through the confusion of college and my twenties, I ended up in Seminary to become a pastor. My faith has always been - and will continue to be - foundational to all I do, and I felt like the best way I could live out and spread the gospel was from the pulpit. Nope: God had other plans. But I did whet my whistle in the world of professional photography while I was there. 52057_01362150665SKIP TO THE END
From seminary, I climbed onto an ambulance. As I got into that rhythm, I realized that it was where God needed me.
Between a temperament, patience, expertise, and compassion I was able to spend almost 20 years performing miracles in His name and
tending His sheep. Photography stayed with me as a side-hustle, mostly working for others and occasionally doing a gig in my own name/brand.
Along the path, I got the nudge that I was supposed to be something more, but I couldn’t discern what. Through prayer, it started to come into focus (pardon the pun) that photography was still there, but I couldn’t connect it to living for God.
In Genesis 1:1 we learn God is a creative. God created; and it was gooooooood.
Additionally, there is a miracle in photography...I’ll mansplain.
Cameras cannot lie. They can only record exactly what is shown to them...this will become more important soon.
As much as cameras don’t lie, a skilled artist can show them the most appealing version of what they are looking at through the use of the laws of physics and mastery of the properties of light as it reflects and passes through a lens. 20 years of practice and I’m starting to get a hold on that.
The other opportunity is that while photographs show exactly as we are in that moment - which has its own miracle - we can create that moment to be whatever it is we’d like it to be: we have an opportunity to explore who we are through makeup, wardrobe, props, and setting to show anything...and this is where it gets good!
In the moment the shutter clicks, we have the opportunity to preserve a vision as God intends. Of God’s perfection of that moment. We can see ourselves through God’s eyes.
Knowing that the camera will only capture what we show it - what HAS to exist - what we are allowed to see in the artwork is as we are created to be. Maybe we create ourselves to be an astronaut, or a ball player. Maybe we show ourselves as a butterfly breaking free from a past life, or tearing apart the chains that hold us back. Maybe we show ourselves accenting our strength, or an ability we have, or a hobby, or sex-appeal. Anything we wish to show can be preserved. And believed. And through repeated exposure, we can live into that dream we dared to record. We become what we believe what we see.
And that is the segue to the other miracle of photography, and why I emphasize the printed work.
Circa 2022, we are a culture of pictures. We are constantly snapping pics of each other and ourselves with a device we carry in a pocket. We know these aren’t the best pics, but they are sufficient for their needs at the moment.
How often have you gone back through your phone to consider the selfies you took yesterday? Last week? Last year? A decade ago? They might as well be gone.
But the printed work lives on...and performs magic.
Do you display the selfie with the triple chin proudly above your fireplace? Certainly not! You display the painstakingly perfected portrait you commissioned.
Which one do you look at more?
When you picture yourself in your mind’s eye - which one do you see? The three-chin selfie or the masterpiece? I’m willing to bet - or at least hope - you see yourself as the masterpiece...and the more you’re able to view it, the easier it is to see it and believe it.
When I mentioned a portrait above the fireplace, most people would feel it is pretentious and vain to display a large portrait of themselves. We are conditioned to know that people display what they love. What they treasure. That’s why people buy extravagant houses or fancy cars - to display the wealth they value; or create the perception of it. Our children know this too...and when we proudly display their portraits in our home, it is an act of showing them our love. To show them their importance. To show them unconditional love as God loves them...and it’s not just for kids.
So this is why I do what I do.
Photography is absolutely a God thing. It is an act of service. It is a way I have been equipped to show others how God loves them; as God envisions them...and then to ensure that it is displayed and referenced regularly.