Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Photography

It's officially launched. This is a big deal to me. Once upon a time art was huge in my life. It started when I was about 8 years old and I drew Garfield out of the comics of the Sunday newspaper. I remember handing it to my parents and them being amazed. I remember seeing the same drawing years later and it really didn't look like something an 8 year old would draw. Maybe it was the desire to repeat the affection I received over "Garfield" that got me to frequently draw or maybe it was something else, but from that day art became a part of my life.

Most of my early years it was just putting a pencil to paper. Over the next 15 years of my life, you can pretty much name it and I tried it: painting, sculpting, carving, pottery, metal working (although I didn't do much with this), water colors, photography, and so much more (I would love to try working with glass, but that's another blog post). I guess you can say there was a part of me that really wanted to be expressed creatively.

In college I was introduced to website designing. Even thought it was a lot like computer programming, I treated it like art. But I found where I was really limited. I was very competent in the programming, but I had no clue about graphic design. Two girls, Rachel and Rachel, who were both Bachelor of Fine Arts majors got me started in graphic design and taught me the basics. That was all I needed to get started.

A story that I could make a whole lot longer with all the details comes to this. . .

I'm taking what I've learned in 10+ years of seriously playing with graphic design, combining it with years of creative expression, and pouring them deeply into a tool called photography.

Here's the big part! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm shy. Yes I can act very outgoing and extroverted at times (especially if you see the craziness I pull off with my youth group), but deep inside I'm shy. I seem extroverted in unusual situations and introverted in the usual situations. I have a hard time meeting strangers and having a conversation with someone I'm not familiar with. It doesn't feel natural for me and I find that hard.

I'm a pastor. It becomes too easy as a pastor to fill my time only getting to know those who show up at the building and it can become increasingly more difficult to connect with those outside the church. My shyness makes this worse. I'm wanting to use photography to help me with my shyness and to love on people who I don't know and wouldn't normally encounter.

This past Friday I was able to experience that as I offered my photography to a couple for their wedding for free. They asked me at least 5 times how much I wanted to be paid. After seeing my portfolio they expressed they couldn't believe I would do this for them for free. That was a very nice compliment, but it also said that I was getting to love on them in an unique way. An awesome connection was made with this couple; the bride kept talking about wanting to meet my wife as if she was looking for a friend her age (they are the same age). And a lot of our conversation about the wedding, and life, was personal instead of distant and detached. I hope all of my photography encounters are like this.

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