A few years ago, my wife and I had pictures taken of our daughter who was two years old at the time. Our friend, Heather, a gifted photographer, came out to our house to take the photographs.
After the photo session was complete, I was flipping through the pictures of our daughter and noticed how beautifully the camera captured our property. Some of the pictures were in our gravel driveway. Some were in the front few acres of our property. Some were with the horses and our fences. Some on our tree stumps. Some were out in the barn. The camera’s lens caught a beauty I hadn’t seen before. The camera’s lens saw the same things I do everyday, but the way it captured them was completely different.
Then I saw our daughter in the wheelbarrow inside our barn. The photos had the tin roof, the poles, the gates, the unfinished walls. Another photo had our buckets, trunks, and hay. For the first time I didn’t see any “work” as I looked at the barn; all I saw was beauty. I realized that I only saw this beauty because I looked at the same things I see every day through a different lens.
Another picture had our daughter carrying her bucket of hay, which she does often. I realized that she works in the barn just as much as any of us do, but for her, none of it is “work”. The lens she sees through only shows her “play”. This challenged me to rethink the way I view my life; to see things through a different lens.
I never again want to see “work” when I go to work, I want to see the way a child does. I want to play, even at work. I want to see the beauty around me, even in the seemingly mundane, the way a camera does.
All photographers make sure their lens is perfectly clear before they even aim their camera. We should do the same.
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