It’s a language I know well. It speaks to me and often deeply changes my heart. It tells beautiful stories. It can be a language of love, creating new friendships and bonding old ones deeper. Sometimes, it’s a language of pain where the words stay with you long after you wish they would.
My passion for this beautiful language of photography has a deep longing to be expressed. To make a difference in the lives of others. To be a vehicle through which God can encourage and comfort people. To show them their beauty and His love for them.
In this new year: 2017, my mission is to become more fluent in this language I love so much, and to truly make a difference in the lives of others through photography. Much of it will go unnoticed, maybe even unappreciated by “the masses” or art critics. And, I doubt if my income from photography will skyrocket this year. But, you know what? That is so okay with me! Because I will be achieving my heart’s desire, worth so much more to me than money or even huge accolades.
My non-vocational self is an encourager! Hearing a story, truly caring, and then being able to say words that offer hope and relief… it’s what gives meaning and purpose to my life. So my prayer is that my photography will also speak encouragement, hope and beauty.
Last Tuesday, I had a chance to photograph a dear 19-year old friend with Down Syndrome, Shontelle. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. Just weeks ago, she was not expected to live. She had pneumonia so seriously that even the doctors were concerned that she wasn’t strong enough to beat it this time. But, through the power of prayer, and some angels who donated a very expensive medical device to her, she was saved. She’s getting better.
This was the day: the first in a very long time that she was well enough to go to her beloved Equessense Horse Therapy Program and ride “her” horse, Big Red. Still with an oxygen tank on her back, and her face covered in a mask to protect her from germs, emotional and spiritual healing flooded her soul (and ours) by getting to ride her horse again. And there I was to capture it… to make a difference to her and her mom by documenting her victory over pneumonia through photography. The story is more beautiful than the art. But, the art is more than “a picture”. It’s proof of victory. It’s a chance to look at it forever and remember the joy she felt that day. The hope of more to come. The promise that her healing will one day be complete. The statement she made spoke loud and clear: She is still running her race with a determination to finish it and win!
Thank you, my friend for the honor of getting to work and play with you. Your own verbal language is limited. But through our work together, there is NOTHING unsaid. NOTHING that is not understood. I look forward to more. We speak this language of photography so beautifully between us, don’t we!