You know those moments when you take a photo and instantly fall in love with it? It hasn’t been edited or imported to your computer, and the preview of it hasn’t even shown up on the back of your camera yet, but a giddy feeling builds up in your chest, and you pause knowing that this photo you have just captured is exactly what you wanted.
But then a few days later, what happens when you open up Instagram to post the final edited version? On your way to the post button, you scroll past photos with thousands of likes, posted by photographers with 100k followers, and suddenly you see all the imperfections in that photo you were so in love with. The focus isn’t quite where it should be. I should have bent down more and shot this from a lower perspective. How did I not notice that chopped limb?
I can’t wait to jump in with you this year to chat about running a business and the ins and outs of photography, but before we get started I think it’s important for us to establish the why behind our work. Because here’s the deal — there will always be something wrong with your photo. There will always be a photographer people like more than you. Someone with more followers, who has more clients, makes more money, or whose photos are just genuinely better than yours. But when did we start creating for the world instead of creating for our heavenly Father?
Each of us has been created by our Creator to create, not equally but uniquely. God has bestowed upon each of us unique gifts an talents that He wants us to use to serve one another and distribute His grace ( 1 Peter 4:10). We have to be faithful to the passion the Lord has given us, and we have to grow and develop these passions with the goal of delighting the Lord by utilizing His gifts.
Let’s take a look at how this is applied from a business perspective. If you’re constantly doubting yourself and changing how you take and edit photos based on the latest fad you find on Instagram, you will never have a consistent brand that people can put their trust in, and your clientele will inevitably go down. In addition to this visibly negative effect on your business, your own heart and passion for your work will steadily decline as you spend hours trying to get those perfect greens or saving up for that f/1.2 lens that will create the bokeh of your dreams. Essentially, by comparing yourself to others in the industry, you will kill your love and desire for your work and actively push away clients.
So you can stop tiring endlessly trying to make your work something that will be accepted and approved by the world and will get you thousands of likes and followers on social media. Instead, work hard creating art you fall in love with because your Father in heaven has given you a love, a passion, and an eye for it. And as soon as we stop doubting our talents and start fulling embracing the gifts God gives instead of comparing them to the gifts given to others, magic happens– because regardless of its stance on Jesus, the world can’t help but take notice when God’s glory is exemplified through one of His followers. And that’s exactly what you do every time you embrace His gifts and plans for your life: you exemplify His glory: you invite God’s kingdom to earth. And the world just can’t help but stop and stare when it sees the beauty and perfection of Jesus Christ reflected through you.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4:10