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3 Things God Has Taught Me Through Photography | Christian Family & Maternity Photographer In Eugene & Springfield Oregon

In my journey as a photographer and follower of Christ, I've discovered profound lessons that have deepened my faith and enriched my art. Here are 3 things I've learned as a Christian Photographer...

Portrait Eugene and Springfield Oregon Photographer Karla Winer Photography

1. Embrace The Light ✨

Photography teaches me that light is paramount. The lighting determines not only the settings used, but also the overall look of the image. Good lighting can make an image so beautiful and magical. As a photographer, I am always keeping in mind where my lighting is, and how to adjust for it to make the image I'm taking look the best that it can possibly look.

Jesus is the light of the world. Just like in photography, we always need to be aware of where the Light is in our lives. If we don't consider Jesus and where He's shining, where He's leading us, where He's guiding us, it doesn't matter what we're doing "right" — our lives won't be the best they can be. Just like if I were to adjust every setting, be in the best location, have a beautiful subject, and shoot with a high-quality camera; if I'm not considering the lighting, the images won't turn out well.

2. Focus Is Key 📸

Another key element of photography is focus. Making sure the camera is focused on where it needs to be is so important. If I take portraits and the person is just out of focus in every single one, the photos are useless, and there was no point in taking the pictures. I have to make sure my focus is always on my subject to see them clearly.

What's the point of making the decision to follow Christ, accepting Him as our Lord and Savior, if we then decide to focus on everything else but Him? When we accept Christ, we're exchanging the worries and shackles of life to accept the freedom and love He provides. Just like Peter walking out onto the water towards Jesus in Matthew 14, when he focused on the background — on the storm — he started sinking. The beautiful thing is that Jesus was right there to pull Peter back up, just like He's always there for us when we make the mistake of taking our focus off of Him.

3. It's About The Artist, Not The Tools🩷

A lot of people assume that a high-quality, fancy, expensive camera is what's needed to get into photography, and while a camera like that can help... it's not necessary to take great photos. It's truly not about the camera: it's about who's using it. An amazing photographer can take amazing photos through a cheap camera, and a bad photographer can take bad photos through an expensive camera. What matters is if the person operating the camera knows what they're doing; if they know all the camera settings, have good lighting, and know how to edit well.

We see in the Bible time and time again that God most often doesn't choose the "best" person for the job. There's a popular quote: "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called" and it's so true! If we were the best and most qualified, where would there be room for God to do the miraculous? God's work transcends human qualifications; He chooses the willing heart over the polished résumé. As vessels of His grace, our inadequacies become the canvas upon which He paints His masterpiece. In His hands, even the humblest instruments yield extraordinary results. Reality is that none of us are qualified for our calling, but the wonderful thing is that is doesn't matter, because God knows what He's doing, and we can rest and trust in Him.

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This photo was taken with my first camera, a "cheap" camera and lens ($400 camera and $100 lens, which are both considered very cheap in the professional photography world). I remember I was having a conversation with another photographer, and I showed them this photo. Their first questions was "what camera did you take that with??" When I told them, they were shocked! Because it's a good photo, and high quality image. The reason the photo is good isn't because of the equipment I was using, but it's because I learned as much as I could to properly use my camera's settings, and edit well.

In these lessons, I find profound echoes of God's grace and wisdom. As I navigate the complexities of photography, I'm reminded that my true calling lies not in my own abilities, but in surrendering to His divine plan. Through the lens of faith, every image becomes a testament to His unfailing love and boundless creativity.


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