The Beauty Project

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am a photographic enthusiast. I have always been interested in art, and created art through various mediums throughout my life. I began with drawing, painting, then moved to lithography, and for the last few years, my medium of choice has consisted of photography, and even more recently it has been black and white photography. To me, there is something so raw about the emotions that come forth through black and white photography–these emotions are harder to capture in other mediums.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For instance, look at this dad playing with his son. Their expressions are both full of so much child-like wonder. The sun peering over the trees brings a feeling of heaven-like warmth, inviting the onlooker to partake in the joy.

Projects are always fun because they keep us accountable and help us be productive, even when we don’t want to be. I have begun a new project, I am calling it “The Beauty Project: A Black and White Photo Journalistic Project which documents the Beauty of the Human Person,” and I am giving you the link to my Flickr account in case you want to see the project. To me, this is one of those projects that will never be complete, but that is part of the beauty of it. I hope you enjoy looking at The Beauty Project as much as I have enjoyed capturing it. I will keep adding photos to it, so you can follow me on Flickr if you want to keep up to date with it.

Perhaps some you are wondering, “why have I called this The Beauty Project?” I am calling it this because I truly believe that people are beautiful. They are absolutely beautiful, and as a Christian, I believe that the beauty of the human person is a reflection of the idea that we have been created in the image of God. God is perfectly beautiful and he has made us in his image, thereby, we too are perfectly beautiful. I am trying to capture this beauty through monochrome photography. As a theologian, I believe that seeing beautiful things brings us closer to God. How often do we walk down the street and ignore the people we walk past? Every single person we pass by is perfectly beautiful. I pray that this project will inspire you to see the beauty that is within each and every person.

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Do you love your #selfie or yourself?

When you look into the mirror, do you think to yourself how good lookin’ you are? Time for another #selfie! Many of us have experienced this sensation at least once in front of the mirror. It is quite strange how we are able to peer into our own eyes, as if trying to find meaning in them, yet we quickly turn when we look into another’s eyes. But I digress…more on the #self….

Have you heard the story of 200px-Michelangelo_Caravaggio_065Narcissus? This is the story of the first #selfie. Many people believe that he died because he was in love with himself through his reflection. I would beg to differ: Narcissus did not drown in the pool because he loved himself, rather because of his failure to actually know himself in his reflection. He had no true sense of himself–he gazed at himself as though it were an other. We, like Narcissus, can become infatuated with ourselves, not because we overly love ourselves, but because we have no true sense of ourselves.

Narcissus had a pool which he stared at, in our culture we have endless possibilities to stare at our #selfies. We even have “selfy-sticks” which have been invented to allow us to take better #selfies. But I ask a question: do we obsessively take #selfies because we love our #selfies or ourselves? The #selfy seems to have created a distance between the self knowing itself. We stare at the #selfie as something other to ourselves.Dubai Daredevil Selfie

Perhaps this is too generalized, but I am inclined to say that we don’t take #selfies because of an obsessive love of the self, but rather, because we don’t understand who we are.  I am not opposed to all #selfies altogether–all things in moderation–but I am bringing to mind that our culture makes a lot of #selfies. Look at this #selfiegraphic, just to get a general idea. Over 1 million #selfies are taken on a daily basis and 3 in 10 photos taken by persons aged 18-24 are #selfies. This is somewhat disturbing to me.

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Do you know who you are? Does taking #selfies help you understand your true identity? When you create your own image, do you see yourself the way God sees you? Do you see yourself as the beloved of God? Do you love your #selfie or yourself?