When I was a young girl, I remember being scared of the dark. I recall playing in a cardboard box, and always needing to see a flicker of light. Not so much because I thought the boogy man would capture me, but I was afraid I would never see light again; that I would remain in the darkness. That I would become blind.
I love the gift of sight! God is the ultimate photographer and I think it’s His desire for us all to be as well. Not so much in the professional sense, but in the practical sense. Open your eyes. Look around. Capture moments. Live wide awake. Choose to see the miracles around you. They are there. Each day.
How To Become A Good Photographer Of Life
1) Dust off your lens. Dust off your life-lens. Don’t look through a clouded lens, or you will create a distorted image.
2) Be aware and alert. A great photographer needs to always be aware and alert. They need to have their camera ready and willing to take the next great shot. Be ready and willing, with eyes wide open, to seize the opportunities today!
3) Read and study the manual. As with any new camera, it is important to learn from the manual. In life, without God’s Word, we will be lost. Continually read and learn from the one and only master-manual; the Bible.
4) Know your subject. If your subject is children, it is important to get down on their level. Avoiding laziness in photography transfers over to life. Are you a parent? Get down on the floor and play with your kids. Don’t be afraid to get dirty! Be brave!
5) Invest in a large memory card. A large memory card provides the opportunity for endless shots. Expand the memory card of your mind by opening up your heart. The best memories are captured from the heart and remain there forever.
6) Resist the urge to set your camera to automatic mode. Often times in life, we set our minds and hearts on automatic mode. Some of the best photographers will teach and train their apprentices in the art of branching out and learning more. They frown upon automatic mode. It is the same with life. If you are set on automatic mode, you miss opportunities to creature life-changing moments and memories. Learn to invest in the time it takes to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word.
7) Get outside. Natural light is the best. God is light, and in Him is not darkness. Continually walk in the light of who He is. Learn of His character. Walk in His holiness.
8) Keep your lens clear of objects that hinder. Just as finger tips, camera straps, and other objects can get in the way of great shots, so can the things of life hinder our viewpoint. Avoid filling your senses with garbage. Don’t listen to gossip, avoid watching shows that promote lust and sinful behavior, etc.
9) ISO sensitivity. A slower ISO sensitivity helps capture less noise, and produce a smoother, clearer image. In life, slowing down provides the same opportunity. Learn to slow down and enjoy the moments of life. Life comes into focus, and is a lot less-grainy, when we can slow down enough to enjoy the little things that really matter most.
10) Visualize the image in your mind first. Any great photographer will visualize their image before they ever push a button. Do the same in life.
11) Learn from the Master photographer. A person wants to learn photography, will seek to be tutored under a great photographer. The Master photographer of life is God. So learn of Him, each and every day!
12) Throw out all the rules. Sometimes, capturing the best photo (or life moments) mean throwing out all “rules” and going with instinct. Have you ever been on a vacation, and see a flock of people in one area taking pictures frantically? Go to a different location. Take the same picture, but from a different location or angle! In life, be YOU! Don’t always feel the need to do everything everyone else is doing at the moment. Be unique.
13) Focus. It’s important when taking photos to remain still. Let God focus your vision. A blurry vision of life means missed opportunities to enjoy His best. His blessings.
14) Don’t be afraid to take a lot of pictures! Practice, practice, practice. The reason for practicing, is to learn. So take notes. Have a notebook handy or a use a good dictiphone app. With life moments, do the same. If we practice, practice, practice in life, and always do the same thing, we don’t gain a thing! Learn to step out from the box and expand your understanding.
15) Avoid red eye shots. We all hate red eye! You take that amazing shot, and upload it to your computer, only to find the eyes are glaring back at you in red. Red eye is caused when the eyes dilate in lower lighting. When the eyes dilate, the pupils enlarge and are victims to the flash lighting the blood vessels on the backside of your eye. Search to capture moments using natural light as often as possible. Don’t become a victim of red-eye; walk in the light of God’s Word.
16) Don’t be flash-happy. Avoid using your flash as much as you can. Using your flash in poor light can often cause washed-out reflections. Sometimes we try to embellish what God has already made beautiful, just as it is. Avoid the flash, and let His beauty shine.
17) Upload and review your photos. Learn from your mistakes. Pick out the best shots, and remember why they captured so well? What worked well? Do the same with life. Learn from your mistakes and do better next time.
18) Resist the urge to over-expose. Shadow detail can be recovered; over-exposed photos (too much white area) cannot. An over-exposed photo has lost its highlight detail. Don’t lose the highlights God intended to be there. When we do this, the essential bright spots become washed out. Don’t wash out God’s important role in your life and your day by over-exposing you. He must increase and we must decrease. We must magnify His brightness and glory.
19) The camera does not matter. Canon vs. Nikon? It doesn’t really matter. What matters is the photographer; that’s YOU! The photographer, who learns the proper tools, practices, steadies the lens, and uses the proper lens speed in the proper setting, will capture some amazing life moments! Learn the limitations of your camera and work around them. Make the best of each and every moment you are faced with!
20) Retrieve and backup A.S.A.P. I believe every great photographer must learn the art of photo-heartbreak. I remember a mentor photographer of mine expressing her anguish over loosing a great deal of amazing shots! She said she had to get to that point to learn the true value of photography. Sometimes in life, we need to learn so heart-breaking life lessons so we become a more dedicated and invested student of life. So, as with photography, it is important to get our images off our memory card and backup as soon as possible, so it is with life. How do we do this? Learn to journal and memory-keep. What’s the best way of backing up the images of life? Passing down our life-moments and life-lessons to our children and children’s children!
21) Utilize photo-editing software. Photo editing software can correct poor color, balance and light. The best editor of life-situations is God. He alone, can take a seemingly poor situation, and turn it into something magnificent.
22) Capture emotion. The most magnificent photos capture emotion and evoke emotion. Life is about capturing the moments that matter.
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