There is nothing that means more to me in life than these three things. The question is can they be a hindrance to the joy photography. The answer is absolutely and absolutely not. Beginning with today’s post, I will share how I feel about each of these things and how these are truly not hindrances. In this post we will talk about the perceived hindrances caused by Faith.
To quote the late Rich Mullins “I believe that what I believe is what makes me what I am”. This means that with every decision I make in life I try to put it up against my faith as a Christian to be sure that it is supported by or at least does not interfere with that system of belief. I am not always successful but I do try.
So, how can faith be a hindrance to the joy of photography? First, I consider everything I photograph from a biblical perspective. This can hinder street photography for example. Taking a photograph of random strangers on the street can impact that person’s life. It can annoy them or place a concern for their safety (even and unwarranted concern). This makes it very difficult for me because I do not wish to interfere with their lives or cause them to be concerned. As a result I often do not take the photograph and just move on. I do this with the constant thought of what photograph I may have missed.
Second, on Sunday morning we try and attend church. That leaves me Saturday mornings for sunrise photography (my favorite time). My wife is an avid diver and underwater photographer (thank goodness) and her only times to dive are when I am at home on the weekends with our awesome son. I have no desire to deny her what she loves to do. After all, I am to love her as Christ loved the Church and he sacrificed a great deal because of his love for us. Kim is wonderful though and often offers to stay home so that I can go be an active photographer. I would just feel terrible to deny her what she loves to do for my own personal reasons. So, I am left with one day* on occasion to get out and shoot during the good light.
What to do?
Okay, I have spent a good bit of time discussing how Faith can hinder my joy of photography. Now, I want to discuss ways to work with to get around these “perceived” hindrances.
Faith fuels my photography. It is one of the reasons I started with landscapes and nature in the beginning. Having the chance to capture the ever-changing beauty of Creation has always been an inspiration. You can return again and again to the same place and the artistry displayed is unique each time.
In the example I gave about I mentioned street photography and that sometimes I pass on taking a photograph for fear of imposing on the individual’s privacy. What’s the solution? I must convince myself that it is okay not to take the photograph and give them their privacy. If in that instance I choose not to take the photograph then I need avoid thinking about what I missed and look to what I can now capture.
I mentioned that on Sundays I try and attend church. This leaves Saturdays as the only day to photograph and my wife often dives on that day. Honestly, I have a few options here. First, I can excuse myself from the occasional church service. This means I will make most of them but every now and then I make time for photography. Some of my most spiritual moments happened while viewing the majesty of creation. I could also take the time to do sunset photos on the Saturday’s that my wife dives because she is often back sometime after midday.
While Faith is certainly more important that photography I believe that they live hand in hand with one another. I believe that what talent I have is a gift and to deny the use of a gift is folly.
So, is my Faith a hindrance? Absolutely not! It is a catalyst.
*Disclaimer: I have other hobbies. There will be future posts on the subject of hobbies other than photography and how it impacts the art.