There is something to love about a best friend. She points out your assets and isn’t afraid to bring up your liabilities. If your heart is open and your ears are attentive you can pick up some valuable insight from her on how to navigate life, even if it feels a tad bit abrasive. After all, she has your backside, a perspective you will never see for yourself!
Photography has become my new best friend. How so, you may be asking is this hobby like a best friend? In the process of learning to get off “auto” and shoot in manual, I am reading everything I can find about blending the geekiness of this craft with my personal vision. In the process, I am gaining photographic insights that make me redden like a public speaker, who glancing at the big screen, discovers he has spinach wedged between his two-front teeth and another twenty-five minutes to talk.
You see, there is so much about good photography that speaks to flourishing in life. Consider this for example.
- Photography is about elimination not inclusion. It used to be when I took travel photos to share with the folks back home I would try to get more bang for my buck (that’s when we had to pay to develop snapshots). I would try to get everything and everyone in a single 4 x 6 frame. Not anymore. I am learning to eliminate, eliminate, eliminate until only the essence of story remains. The results then may just become legendary.
Take a look. I love the smile on this 2 year old’s face. Her mom made the birthday cake for her “Dora” themed party and obviously Charlotte is thrilled! Too bad the photo includes way too much information. Do you notice how the candles on the cake direct your eye to the light reflecting on the floor between the chair and someone’s back side? Unfortunately, the birthday girl is like a second string player at her own party.
Unhappy with these results, I kept studying my craft and making more frames. The next time Charlotte sat at my kitchen counter, the only disappointment was that the cake had been consumed!
As my Facebook friends know, I post a lot of photos. Never, has one received more “likes” and comments than this exquisitely simple frame of the laughing eyes and the concealed mouth. You see, our vision tell us what works and what doesn’t.
So how does this apply to life? You see, life is really not about playing “busy poker” as one woman calls it. You know the game. It’s where our ceaseless activities put the people in our lives second place to the busy-ness we refuse to eliminate.
Here’s how you know you’re in this game. You meet a friend in the grocery store whom you haven’t seen in months and ask how she’s doing. She replies, “I’ve been so busy.” You jump right in by crowing, “Me, too!” Then for the next five minutes you both try to out maneuver each other and win the victor’s crown as Busiest! I’ve certainly done it. Have you?
Thankfully, my new best friend is pointing out that busy-ness, like a misplaced wedge of spinach or misdirected birthday candles, while being memorable in the short term, will never become legendary over the long haul!
~ Marlee Huber: For YOUR FLOURISHING LIFE!