While I do intend for this blog to be focused on my portraiture, it will contain personal posts. My portraiture is a product of me & my gifts & my struggles & my emotions. There is no separation between my art and who I am. It is impossible for me to share one without the other. Recently Marcus James was sharing with me the importance of living transparently. This takes honesty, humility, and vulnerability..but if we can master transparency then ultimately those around us will see Christ, our Creator-who lives in my heart. I would rather pretend that I don’t struggle with things or share my sins and failures but I don’t feel that would be very honest. It would be my prayer that God would use my openness to expose Him..He who cannot be denied in my life.
The internet is truly amazing. Informative, useful, convenient, entertaining, efficient, educational—a giant forum of ideas, friends, communities and connections. Despite the great tool it is, I tend to really struggle with the internet. I would be more apt to describe it as overwhelming, distracting, addictive, over-stimulating, competitive, depressing. It can be a stumbling block to real communication and relationships, and encourage passive-aggressive behaviors. I know, I know..I am BLOGGING on the WORLD WIDE WEB now..so I must not have too many problems with it. I have always thought that I have a love-hate relationship with the internet. After much though and prayer, I have a much more serious problem. I have a love-hate relationship with myself. My wanderings on the internet really just magnifies it. My negative feelings towards the internet are simply reflections of my own insecurities, not hard facts about the web.
It is all pretty simple. I am trying to start a photography business focused on children’s portraiture. Unfortunately, I find myself immobile, completely frozen with insecurity. At first I wanted to blame my fears on the internet (which is the reason for my sentiments above). I hated the way I intended to ‘study’ other photographers work via blogs and websites but all I did was become more and more aware of how far I had to go. Instead of enjoying the beauty of other’s work I would slump down, consumed with my ‘bad photography’, declaring I could never charge for my work when there were so many better photographers out there. While I would recognize the negative effect looking at others’ work had on me, I continued to obsessively focus on their photography. It became addictive to check out photographer’s websites. It was unproductive and distracting from working on my own goals. I was overwhelmed by other’s success and jealous of their abilities. And of course my love-hate relationship with the internet & struggles with insecurity are not limited to my photography endeavors. The very popular facebook has been another opportunity for my feelings of self worth to plummet. And again, not because of facebook in of itself, but because of my lack of self-control or tendency to compare myself to others. A serious sin, seeing as how God created me with specific and unique purposes and affections. I tend to shy away from gratitude about all God has blessed me with, and whine because I’m not an amazing photographer or I’m not engaged or I’m not enjoying a fabulous career, and so on and so forth. So unhealthy! God has still been so good to me,despite my resolve to believe I am no good, by surrounding me with people who encourage my portraits. He has created many opportunities for work and guided my hands and eyes. Most people I have photographed for have sincerely liked my work and also encouraged me. I am only half-listening to their sweet words though, while my other ear is so tuned to that voice in my head that says “you got lucky with that photo-shoot’ or ‘they have to say that’. I am disappointed to say that my ear is often tuned to hear the voice of the Liar, and not the voice of Truth & Love. I’ve always wanted to have humility about my photography but I was confusing humility with insecurity. And insecurity is a sickness of pride. Thankfully, God goes through many lengths to get my attention. I was doing evening prayer last night and I read this reflection “Truly humble people are centers of peace because they fear neither their own failures nor others’ success. Let us pray for the wisdom to judge as God judges..to look at our own & other’s achievements from God’s perspective” So…God willing I will continue to build a photography business. I pray that I can shed these insecurities and fears born of pride and simply give glory to God. I know it will be a struggle, but with His grace, I intend to have pure joy for other’s success and appreciation for just where I am in…In my life and in photography. Part of embracing the here and now and the journey.
Can you tell I talk a lot?! ;) I would like to close with something else that Marcus James shared with me (He is a very holy and insightful man!!) “Perhaps the most confident indicator of the excessive digression of a society is when common thought holds that other lives are more interesting than your own. While observance of another individual for the purpose of education-I talk in progression of one’s own life- is both beneficial & affirms intelligence, the more common fallacies lie in judgment of oneself according to another’s measure. Such an insult this must be to a God whom created you uniquely with such loving craftsmanship”
Amen, Amen, Amen.