Faith Inspired Photography in Christianity
I was recently asked on social media about our Christianity Photography. “What is faith-inspired photography, is it like a God or religion thing?”
I think most folks understand the “Christian Encouragement” writing aspect of what we do. But I can definitely understand the question regarding our Christian photography. Why? Because we are venturing into a new field and discovering new outlets constantly. Let me explain our background and vision in hope that it will help clear up our goals and expectations.
What Led Us to Faith-Inspired Photography
Throughout my life, God has blessed me with the ability to travel the world. Along with a desire to capture that world with a camera. Of course, I started as early as I can remember with a “point and click” 35mm. Later I graduated to a hand-me-down Ricoh 35mm, with two lenses. But I have always had a desire to learn and experiment with photography.
Through my life, I have taken countless classes and worked with amazing photographers. Learning to properly capture and edit photos throughout the wide array of photographic specialties. Through this time, I was published, exhibited, and won competitions for everything from bodyscapes to landscapes. As I received recognition, I lost my humility and my photos lost purpose. At one point, I stopped selling prints. I could not find pride in the shots I took with my own self-satisfaction in mind. I never gave up photography, but I couldn’t share what I saw as “empty art.”
Moment of Change
Then I began to pray. I prayed for wisdom, for guidance, and I started to pray for a way to use photography to serve God, not myself. My wife and I had many long discussions during my short hiatus. Through that prayer and study, together we developed our field of “faith-inspired or faith-filled” photography. Our plan was to let God take control, reimage our brand as Seven11, and focus on using my background in multi-genre photography to create art with intention.
We soon realized that everything we captured had a message we could share of God’s mercy, grace, love, and power. But we wanted our photography to be more than just the pictures, so we began to study and write. And the combination of Christian writing and photography started defining who we are and how we were serving God in some small way.
Photography Through Faith or Faith-Inspired Photography
So faith-inspired photography is a mindset and an ideal that we use when we go out and shoot. As we see the beauty of God’s work in the world around us, we capture HIS art and bring it back to platforms to share with others. It is very difficult to still balance the recognition that we receive while still giving God the glory, but we are learning Christians too. What we do helps us grow in our faith while teaching and learning from others as a community.
By choosing fine art, we are an extreme minority in our field and often get questions and even insults for the type of work we publish and what we share. But that is where we were led, so we talk and pray together and continue to push forward. We accept no earnings and donate everything to Christian missionaries who are doing the real work.
We are not religious scholars or pastors, we just follow, by faith, where God is leading us and let him determine our path. So perhaps it would be better called “Photography through Faith.” Our hope is to provide the words and images that God can place in front of someone when they need it most. My “empty art” is now filled with purpose and I am excited to see the paths God takes us down as we explore this lightly traveled frontier, as we have done since July 11, 2010, together.
Note: so no, we did not name ourselves after the gas station chain! Like our marriage, we do this together and bind ourselves in God.
Photography and writing by Jon Frederick, Photographer for Seven11 and Co-Author of Immersion: A Faith-Inspired Christian Devotional.
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