So i've been doing a lot of reflecting recently, on the concepts that inspire me most and how I can effectively create good art through those schools of thought.
I am realizing that capturing people in their truest God-given essence... laughing, talking, observing nature, thinking, in natural movement... that kind of photography will always be a passion for me. I care deeply, deeply, deeply about organic, unfiltered, unposed, and imperfect. I am also realizing, however... that to create compelling images that evoke creativity and intrigue... sometimes the natural human expression (or most organic sense of being) doesn't create the edge required to tell the visual story intended. Humans are versatile.
.... that was very wordy.
Let me try again.
Natural, authentic... always beautiful.
Enriched, retouched, bold... sometimes appropriate and (occasionally) more compelling.
Let me also say this- there are so many concepts in scripture that are visual. I am constantly amazed at how quickly the Bible jogs my mind and I want to create something that evokes imagination and feeling, the way illustrative verses well up in my mind's eye.
So this year has been about branching out as an artist, visually. So i've been taking my natural-habitat-just-be-who-God-made-you mentality and applying it to high-stakes, conceptualized portraiture photography. Never venturing from the truth of who I am in character, but stepping out to create diversity in my body of work. I've been using new light-sources, new obstacles, new editing software, new viewpoints... anything that will take me to the next stage of development in my craft.
I will be the first to admit that some of my friends who are photographers by trade, are venturing outside the pool of photography that I believe to be most healthy, life-giving, and genuinely beautiful. Recent work in my Instagram feed, has reflected values that I do not relate to. That makes me so sad.
I want the human spirit, the human form, and the human heart to be the means for stories through every art-form... but never to celebrate those things or to glorify those things above the Creator and his intent for beauty to reflect his own principles.
We are living in the most graphic age in history, to date. In this densely image-saturated culture, I don't want my images to just jump in and flow downstream with the rest. Posing girls like objects, using men as arm-candy, showing the human body before showing the eyes... the soul- is never my aim. But I also never want to say that serious pictures are bad, posed is bad, or 'stylized' is bad.
After all, God did not create us to be one-dimensional. He created layered, gorgeous beings.
That all being said... we should still be so careful what we look at, what we wear, how we pose, what we post.... what we 'like' on social media. Those choices tell a narrative of values. Value the human heart, human soul, and principles of the Bible above every cute or convenient thing.
So... here's to branching out in storytelling and capturing from new perspectives with new ideas and new drive towards artistic excellence...
All the while staying true to the principles that the Bible teaches us about what true beauty is, what true worth is, and how to see each other as souls in need of Jesus above every Instagram-worthy snapshot.
1 Samuel 16
"... For the Lord does not see as man sees... man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
*Glad to get the chance to shoot with Ava and Shay. You guys are absolutely lovely to behold, but even lovelier to know in person. Keep running toward Christ. Thankful he crafted your stunning faces and hearts.