Speaking of passion in yesterday's blog post, I found I couldn't stop thinking of my friend in Wichita. This is a woman who has found her passion and is pursuing it with gusto, and yet will likely never feel she is "good enough" as her inner drive for perfection continues to speak to her.
She is an incredibly talented photographer, completely self-taught, still learning more about Photoshop and lighting and so much more as she is indeed passionate about her craft. Watching her as she talks about it, seeing how animated she becomes and how intense she is when working at it, it is obvious she is one of the lucky few who have stumbled upon that one thing that is utterly absorbing for her.
While we were in Wichita, she created some wonderful portraits of the boys which were the first pictures of each of them which I felt totally captured the essence of their personalities perfectly. I'd like to share a few of them with you below:
As I look at these beautiful (can you say that about boys???) photos of our sons, I shake my head as I know my very talented friend does not see her work as others do. These photos are NOTHING compared to the absolutely incredible portraits she has taken of her own children. This is a gift, this is her calling. She is her own worst critic, and I only wish I could imbue her with the confidence necessary for her to continue on this path for a career.
We often pick ourselves apart, we tend to judge ourselves quite severely. I often have wondered how much talent has been left unrevealed to the world because someone was overly critical of their own work? How many writers, poets, musicians, painters, and singers have we all missed out on because someone wasn't encouraged enough, or didn't "hear" others as they praised their work?
I have no such obvious talents. Oh, I guess I am gifted in certain areas but it is not in any area such as the arts. I can in no way produce something tangible with my gifts, much to my dismay at times. I'd love to be able to create a colorful quilt, write a spirit moving poem, take a photo which captures so completely the essence of a moment in time. I can't paint, sew, draw, write, or sing well. I am adequate at a few things, I am pretty good at intangible things such as relationships, etc. But I have always secretly wished I could produce something which would add beauty to the world. That just isn't something I will ever be able to do, and that's OK.
But when someone has a skill or excels at a craft, it is thrilling to watch their skill level increase!! I have seen the photos my friend has taken improve phenomenally over the past several years, I have portraits of her children on my fridge and bulletin board not just because we love their family, but also because they are beautiful to look at!
A few weeks ago I preached, and part of my sermon was about not allowing ourselves to be the ones to hold others back because we are somewhat blinded by familiarity and assumptions. But I wonder how often we do that to ourselves? How many times in our own lives do we limit ourselves because we can not see what is right in front of us...that we have a gift or a talent that could be shared with the world and appreciated by many...all because we pick ourselves apart to the point that we lose all confidence in ourselves.
So while she might not be willing to share her gift with the world, I am doing so here on my blog with a hearty "Thank You" for the time and effort it took to create such wonderful photos!