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In The Raw

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

I have pondered whether to share this or not! This is me being vulnerable for the purpose of encouraging others! This is an after and before ("raw" and unedited) photo of student I taught art to. I worked for around an hour on this photo of precious Kendall. I wonder if this is normal for most photographers or am I just a little crazy? The passion I had to edit this photo to bring out Kendall's beauty and warmth is symbolic to me of God's patience in layering our lives with His colors and love. He isn't crazy, but patiently takes time "painting" us and doesn't lose patience because He has a vision for our lives!

When I view photos fresh out of my camera in their raw state, I sometimes question myself. I look back upon what I should have done or didn't do correctly, whether it be posing or metering my camera settings. So that is with life! Sometimes we question ourselves. Sometimes we doubt if we have what it takes to be great at whatever it is we do... as a mom, a teacher etcetera. When we look at ourselves without the light of God's love shining on us we see our flaws.

As a new photographer, I am learning that fresh out of the camera most photos are often unimpressive! Editing is often where an image can be transformed to something more striking. What I love is this is also a visual representation of our own lives. God sees us in our "raw" and unimpressive state, he sees in us what we can't see in ourselves! He transforms us with His love and because He loves us so much! He isn't content to let us stay "as is"!

Just like I saw this photo and began “molding” it via photoshop sliders, adjustments and "painting" it with layers… so God sees us and longs to work on and in each of us to bring out what is already there! He will continue to do so if we allow Him close to the areas we feel most raw and vulnerable... if we allow Him into the shadowy places of our lives to adjust us as needed.

In Photoshop I used layer upon layer of adjustments. Each adjustment I made brought this photo closer to the final image.

Alone, we are ordinary but when God paints upon our lives and adjusts us where needed we become extraordinary. We were created to stand out for the purpose of bringing the Master Artist glory! You, and I, will forever be His masterpieces… beautiful, loved and adored even on days we don’t feel like it! "He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it!"

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