The Journey of Discovery
It has taken me awhile to get here. Professional photography, that is. And in all the years I dreamed about actually taking this plunge, I always imagined that once I did it I would feel like I had "arrived" somewhere. But in the last few weeks I have come to the realization that opening for business is like a brief stop at a train station. Bags have been checked, paperwork filed, some new equipment purchased, but I'm not getting off here. I can't. The minute I "end" the journey and settle in a destination is the point at which art comes to a halt.
You see, a photographer has to spend time observing the world, creating that mental catalog of how it all goes down. You have to watch a lot of sunsets to know right when the colors are going to explode. And if you spend enough time with a person you know right when that flicker of laughter will gleam in their eyes. You just see it coming. I've been doing it my whole life, way back before I ever picked up a camera. It can be kind of awkward actually. Like when my curiosity finds me staring into someone's living room window and wondering how their life is unfolding right at that moment then I realize I'm, ummm...well, looking in someone's window. Or sometimes I'm gazing into the sky, enjoying how the clouds are morphing from abstract shapes to clear images and I walk into a tree (true story). I've spent so much time observing God's natural world of bugs and sunsets and weather patterns that I assumed I would become one rocking nature photographer.
And then my BFF asked me to shoot her family reunion...
and then my other BFF asked me to shoot her nephew's wedding...
and then I got to
and I took up yearbook photography...
and went on my first mission trip...
and I discovered I really, really like to capture people. I discovered my avodah: my art, my service, my worship, my work.
Me. This raging introvert settled on event/people photography. Go ahead and laugh because I still do. This is where God shows up huge. He did not give me the gift of being able to relate to people like an extrovert does. Instead, he gave me a nice camera and some really sick glass (and a husband who loves to buy me that stuff). The lens filters out all those things that can make me cringe and duck for cover and avoid real relationships. And when I look through it I see something much closer to what He must see. I see people whom I want to love and be near and offer something of myself to in the hopes that they may be blessed by seeing themselves as their Creator sees them.
I know God loves and enjoys the beautiful world He has made. And He gave me a huge passion for highlighting it to His glory. I'll keep doing that.
But He loves His people much more, and we all need to discover how beautiful He made each one.
The day I stop observing and discovering will be the day I should sell my gear and take up gardening. Gardening is great and maybe someday I will be forced to get off the train at that particular station. But not today.
I've got work to do.
I knew you would get here all along. God blessed you with a wonderful heart for people and a creative eye. I look forward to seeing you develop a signature creative style for your imagery. Owning a business will be one of the hardest yet most wonderful things you will ever do - so very much worth the journey and effort. Congratulations, Jenni. I'm so very proud of you!
Oh Jenny, God has blessed you with such an amazing gift! He made you so beautiful and I love and appreciate you!
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