Sunday, September 6, 2015

How Photography Has Humbled Me

A few days ago I got back three rolls of film from a photoshoot I did just for fun with a friend. This was only my second time shooting film. For a long time, like months and months, I have put off trying to learn to shoot film. I have made plenty of excuses about being too busy or how I need to wait until I'm experienced. Getting them back, I'm so glad I finally took the plunge and just started shooting.

In all honesty, lately (like--the past two years cumulatively) photography has humbled me. God has used it to change me, use me, and teach me. What I thought was just my job/hobby has become something of God's handiwork in my life. Here's how it's affected me. 

1.    It has made me realize that success is a balance of God-given talent and hard work.

I heard a friend say the other day that you can’t just say to God, “Ok God, I’m all yours… Now make it all happen!” You have work to do in your own life just as much as God does sometimes. Success doesn’t happen just because you’re talented. It happens when you mix that talent with hard work—hard work that is consistent and authentic. Pursuing photography has made me realize that either use my talent for my own fun and to share with family and friends, or I can put in hard, consistent work and grow.

2.    Photography has humbled me by making me realize that I have to make mistakes, look stupid, and experiment openly to grow.

     My dream is to always produce something that is perfectly beautiful, 100% on spot in technique, and at the same time, completely unique and totally new. My dream is far-fetched… Especially when I put this dream on myself after not shooting for about 6-8 months. So, I’m learning to embrace the not-always-so-fun feeling of putting myself out there consistently, making new things that might totally look stupid or out of style (because that’s the only way to learn your style).

3.    Photography has humbled me by teaching me that sometimes I will fail—but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure.

I’ve had so many blows to my photographer-ego the past few years that I’ve contemplating giving it up even as a hobby. So just recently, I decided to go back to my roots and to do what I used to do: shoot what I want, and shoot for fun. And from that, I’ve realized that I still love shooting. I love learning. I love working with people. My failures as a photographer do not make me a failure, necessarily. It just seasons me and teaches me what not to do next time.

4.    Photography has humbled me because it’s made me realize how little I actually trust God.

I should trust God with my photography work. Sometimes that’s hard because I feel like since I’m the one running the business, it’s my burden to carry. I should get to call the shots. But I’ve discovered that when I let God be the one in control, much better things than what I could have done on my own happen.

5.    Photography has humbled me because I realize now how lucky I am to get to pursue this career.
Photography is a popular hobby. There are a lot of professional photographers out there. To even get to PURSUE this as a career OR a hobby at this level is a total gift. I’m so thankful I even get to have fun with this kind of stuff and to capture special moments.

Yes, God has used photography as a tool to humble me more than I ever thought possible. And I’m so glad he has, and I hope that he’ll continue as I keep trekking on this journey.


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