The Thing About Photography and Beauty
I recently had an assignment to photograph twenty one women. Spending time preparing the images for the client filled my heart with joy. I saw these women on my screen and saw beauty in each of their faces.
But I heard something familiar when I photographed the women, “I hate how I look, I never look good in photographs, I hate having my picture taken..”
I’ve said these same words before. I’ve felt those things before.
Funny how It made me sad to hear it from others though.
And then I attended a BBQ where I had a conversation with a missionary Pastor. He was telling me about God and Grace and God’s love for us. He was sharing his own story about discovering God’s grace. He said sometimes there’s this tendancey to look at ourselves and feel frustrated. We need to work harder, or be better, or be at a certain place in our lives.
I was thinking about his words and and myself and the areas I struggle with. And I knew I felt exactly that way about myself, not where I should be. I asked him, “What if you don’t see yourself as good enough?”
He simply said sometimes we believe the lies we tell ourselves. We live believing those lies instead of what God’s word tells us about ourselves. Who does God say we are?
We are God’s workmanship.
I felt tears threatening the corners of my eyes.
This is one of my favorite Bible verses! I even included it in my book, I See the Colors God Made, on the last page with the little photo frame where a parent can include a photo of their own child. Why wouldn’t I dare to put myself there with that verse?
For we are God’s masterpiece
His work of art
If we are working towards grace, trying to do more, or thinking we aren’t good enough, then we aren’t believing what God’s word tells us is true. We are believing a lie and the lie accuses us and keeps us quiet. We don’t see beauty. We see flaws.
but set free by God’s grace!
God already loves us. He isn’t waiting for us to measure up to standards we’ve placed upon ourselves.
This is how to see beauty. We already are beautiful in His sight.
It struck me that when I worked in a studio photographing products, the products didn’t talk back on set or complain about their creator.
When I’m out in nature with my camera and in awe of the beauty around me, nature doesn’t complain about its Creator.
The Blue Jay doesn’t say, “I wish I was red like the cardinal.”
The Everglades don’t say, “I wish I had mountain peaks like the Rockies.”
God calls us His masterpiece and we talk back. I talk back.
I have a list for myself. Things I’d like to change.
I believe I’m not as good as…, I’m too…, I’ll never be like…
If I am in awe of the beauty of the world God has made, how can I say, “All this you’ve created is beautiful, but myself, I’m no good at all”?
If I look at myself as not good enough, in major need of something better, than how can I love others as Jesus teaches? If I don’t believe it’s true for me than it becomes hard to see others as God’s beautiful masterpiece.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
I pray I open my eyes to see myself the way God does.
I pray I stop in my tracks when I start to compare myself to others.
I pray I see the beauty in myself and others more often.
I pray I stop believing I’m not good enough and get to work doing the good things God planned long ago.
Is it hard to see yourself as a beautiful masterpiece? What is it God has called you to do?