I have the great privilege of watching someone who is a master of their craft do it often. I get to watch my wife shoot photos all the time because it's my job to assist her most weekends. I get to see her look for the perfect location, in the perfect light and position people in that light beautifully. She is amazing at her job (If you need the proof just look here: Brooke Courtney Photography). Over the years of assisting and learning from my wife, I've learned that her job isn't just about taking a great, artistic photo, but about making something beautiful. There is a lot of ugly in our world. There is a lot of anger, hate and bitterness. I know because sometimes it is coming from me. There is also a lot of beauty in this world. Sometimes we see it in a great photograph that was taken at just the perfect time. Sometimes we see it in an amazing video, read it in an eloquently written book or witness it in a moment between two people who love each other. It's out there and sometimes we find ourselves lucky enough to actually witness it.
In our lives we have a lot of choices we get to make. One of those choices is to make it ugly or make it beautiful. This doesn't really have to do specifically with art or photography, but with life and the way we treat people. In our world where reality stars are praised for being obnoxious, and sports stars are idolized for being divas, it's hard to make it beautiful. We want to just follow in the steps of those we see in lights and be nasty, cruel and mean. It's almost easier to be that way.
But as we look through the lens of our life, lets try to find that perfect light, in the perfect location, and make it beautiful. Let's take our lives and make them beautiful with whatever we do. Last year, I played on a rec soccer team and we weren't very good. We lost a lot and our team wasn't much fun to play on. I became very frustrated with it and at times took my frustration out on the field. I made it ugly. This year I am playing rec soccer again and I have a great team. But before the season even started, I had to decide how I was going to play. Was I going to get frustrated when we lost and make it ugly? Or was I going to play my hardest, have some fun and make it beautiful? I hope my teammates can attest for me when I say that this year I have (with help from teammates) made it beautiful. There was one game where the ugly crept back up, and it always will, but I had to push it down and let the beauty overtake it.
I am amazed by my wife because she doesn't just make it beautiful with her photos, but also with her actions and deeds. I can be a real jack-a** sometimes - and instead of a ugly response, she reacts with grace and beauty. When we live our lives trying to find the good light, and then take it with us wherever we go, we have real power to do amazing things. We can remove the ugly, cynicism and hate from this world. And make it beautiful.