Today I was going through all my old hard drives and I discovered my first website I created my freshman year of high school. I must say I was beyond thrilled. I thought for sure I had lost it in the digital shuffle of my life. Some of those things are as important to me as old photos; they are memories of a time and a person I once was. I must say, on the surface I have changed a great deal, adding facial hair and a few pounds, but under all that I am still a little boy who knew from a very age what he was passionate about. Unlike so many who are discovering photography and turning it into their passion, I sometimes feel like I was born with a camera in one in my hand and a computer in the other. That would of course have been quite uncomfortable for my mother and would have been one for the medical journals, but in all honesty I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t photographing something. Often it was random aspects of creation, old posts, fences, landscapes, rustic barns, etc. It wasn’t until I got older that I fell in love with the human form. A girl might have had something to do with that, but faces, no matter how many you look at, they are all different and behind each of them is a soul equally as different all with a story worth telling.
How do you combine so many of your passions into one? For me, It was a little hard to pick just one, but then again it wasn’t just one thing. It was a multitude of things but all focused on media and its projection to the world. I knew this is what I wanted to do. But who can make a living as a photographer? When I was in high school photographers were not quite as glamorized as they are now. Digital SLRs were not quite there and it wasn’t until 2007 – the year I got married- that the industry exploded. In 2004, when I shot my first wedding, It was shot on 35mm film. I was still shooting film in 2006. It wasn’t until 2008 that we began shooting digital. I must thank my brother-in-law for forcing the switch. I am forever grateful because without him and my aunt, who gave me my first Pentax film SLR, I would not be where I am today. I would not be living out my life’s dream of having a family and actually being somewhat around to enjoy it. Owning a business capturing life and telling stories has been worth ever ounce of effort. While my children have a love/hate relationship with my office/computer their daddy is always a corner away and nothing in the world, apart from Jesus, means more to me than being a husband/family who is present and loving.
The greatest piece of advice I read was this: find out what you are most passionate about and then discover how you can make a living doing it. I feel that so many look for the money and then create a life around that. Go to school, get in debt and live the ‘American Dream’. I wish I would have listened and followed where I felt I was being lead instead of running away from my dream. All I knew was I wanted a family and not when I was 40 either. I wanted to live young and remain young, surrounded by laughter and a little yelling. A full life wasn’t one that included a corner office and a posh ride. Growing up the son of a farmer gave me a greater picture of what truly matters in the world. So many of the things that we thought mattered often didn’t, specially when you realized how very hard your father worked earn them for the family. In short, I value hard work. Something my B.A. didn’t teach me. The best things don’t come easy and if they did, they wouldn’t matter quite as much. A lesson from “Where the Red Fern Grows,” my all-time second favorite book.
Both of my parents showed me how to work even when someone wasn’t looking over their heads. They both worked, but not for a corporation or small business, but for the Lord. In Colossians, Paul writes that whatever you do, work at it with al your heart, as working for the Lord Christ you are serving. Who needs a better business model than this? I strive to do this, but often fail at being as diligent as I should. I forget why I went into business in the first place. It was’t to sit in my office for 12 + hrs a day and work on Saturday. It was to sustain my family and spend more time living out my life’s purpose.
Psalm 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I want everything I do to glorify God. No matter what your profession, whatever your passion; whether you’re a stay-at-home-mom (the most important job ever), or CEO or janitor – DO IT UNTO THE LORD, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM.
Because life is sweet and full of passion!
f.1.2 50mm 1/60 sec.