Through the Lens of Brokenness

When I first embarked on my photography journey, I focused on the aesthetically pleasing side of it all. I would catch myself looking at the intricate details of a flower, of the deep blue hue of the sky, and the ferocious sunsets that would cause a red and orange glow upon the land. In other words, I ignored the ugly things and focused only on the beautiful. I avoided the dirt on the sidewalk for the splendor of the rose on the bush above. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on the beautiful. I firmly believe that the beauty on this earth exists to bring God glory and to point back to Him. But on the flip side, as a photographer, I cannot ignore the dirt in this world. Our current state is a broken one. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) He’s saying that currently we can only see what is reflected back to us; the sinful state of our reality. But this is only temporary for in eternity we will be able to see clearly. We’ll be able to experience beauty in the purest form and what takes our breath away on this earth pales in comparison to the beauty that we will experience when we are finally in God’s presence and out of this broken state.

I was watching the T.V. show “Supergirl” and one of the characters, Jimmy Olsen, expressed photography like this: “Well, they say the best photographs express how you feel about what you’re photographing.” When I take pictures of a flower, my awe in its details and colors comes through. When I choose to look at the broken and capture it, I resonate with the ugly because as long as I am on this earth, I will struggle and be broken. Don’t be afraid to see your brokenness reflecting back at you through the lens. Don’t be afraid to see your beauty either. Capture everything - even the seemingly meaningless details. They are moments that will exist forever in one shot.