Compassionate Photography

1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

I have struggled with this week’s blog. My first dose of writers block has set in. This was originally planned for Palm Sunday but I have been unable to focus and to get my mind away from the environmental issues I wrote about two weeks ago.  Since I posted my Running Water blog, I have read a few other stories on the topic of water and the environmental and I’ve struggled to concentrate on much else.

Palm Sunday - It was a great time for some internal reflection

For several years I have wanted to use my photography for a greater purpose than just my own fame. There is part of me that still has the desire to be a full time photographer traveling the world creating captivating pieces of art; but there is also the part of me that understands the greatest satisfaction will come from making a difference in the world with my images.

Don’t get me wrong, going out early on a morning or late evening continues to motivate me and I still get excited every time I plug my camera into my laptop. Just being outside enjoying nature, recording images and editing on my computer sustains me from week to week, but long term I would like to accomplish more.  I was planning a trip later this year to Kenya with some friends from my church but unfortunately that was postponed due to an election in Kenya. I had visions of capturing the next image of “The Afgan Girl” like Steve McCurry or a wild creature like Frans Lanting’s “Cheetah and Cub” but that will have to wait.

Synchronized Swimming - A lot of my inspiration comes from sharing the uncommon and the common; sometimes at the same time.

Palm Sunday and Easter is a time of celebration of an Individual who was an example for us all. On several occasions Jesus demonstrated his compassion for the less fortunate and those who were sick. I think most of us now realize the issues that we are now dealing with in regards to the environment will have the greatest effect on the poor. Those who are least able to help themselves are the ones who face the biggest obstacles. The challenge for me now is to demonstrate compassion like Jesus did and is there a way for me to use my photography to share this message.

I have had several discussions over the years with different people and family about my ideas and desire to use my images for something else besides art on a wall. I have discovered new organizations like Help Portrait, Outside the Lens and Broken Light Collective and many others which are all amazing projects. I just haven’t found the one that feels like the right fit for me yet.  So now I’m turning to you my friends, new and old, for ideas.  If you are involved in some kind of an organization or doing something on your own and using your photography to give back to others, I would love to know what you are doing.

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6 comments on “Compassionate Photography

  1. I admire your call to a higher purpose with your art. I do wish I could take the journey to Kenya like you hope to. I worry for the environment also and feel we may be getting to a point of no return unfortunately. Not that we can do no more to help, just that the environment is getting to a breaking point beyond our ability to reverse effects. I think then of all the creatures big and small that suffer the consequence.

    I had high aspirations as an architect for sustainability, but quickly learned that was not a way to make a living in the field where I currently live. Honestly, I can not think of a way art and photography contributes other than like in an organization I highlighted in my blog. http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com/2011/08/25/the-lexicon-of-sustainability-project-oh-so-cool/.

    The art and photography was very well done and the message is being used to educate in a grassroots kind of way. They are backed by Google which is really pretty cool. Maybe your photography could be used as a message like The Lexicon of Sustainability Project. I know your aim is higher and more encompassing, but this project really has a lot of suggestions to help individuals make a difference.

    • Thanks for sharing the Lexicon of Sustainability. I wasn’t familiar with the organization or the video. I like it. I applaud you and your aspirations with your sustainable architecture as well.

      As always I appreciate your comments and thoughts!

      Don’t lose hope either. It is all we have sometimes. 🙂

      • Thank you. Sometimes I get lucky. I was out on a shoot and missed a ferry by a couple of minutes. With an hour to kill I headed down to the ferry landing and captured my best shot of the day. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.

    • It was really a matter of the right place and the right time. I was on my way to take a ferry to a nearby peninsula but I missed the boat. I had an hour to kill so I went for a walk on the beach with my camera and these two were there just waiting for me I guess… It was the shot of the day. It still makes me smile.

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