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Capturing Purpose

Title: Capturing Purpose
Description: We asked a bunch of creative Christian photographers to capture a photo that defines their purpose. We were intrigued to find out what their views and perspectives were. Each of us has a different purpose in life, and use our skills, gifts, and interests to express it in different ways. However, at the heart of it all, there is one thing that ties our purpose together—our desire to glorify God’s name.

What is your purpose? How would you capture it?

 

Purpose Through Stillness

Photographed by: Cheryl (@cherrrrrz)

 

I often wonder what is God’s purpose in my life. Are my goals and decisions in line with His purpose?

When I witnessed the calm flow of the ocean, I was once again reminded of stillness. Being still before God’s presence has taught me that He is faithful and He has complete sovereignty over my life. I don’t have to worry about what lies ahead!  

I believe that God will guide the waves of our life by providing people and opportunities at every juncture. We only need to be still, have faith in Him and follow His leading to where we need to be.

 

 

The God-given Task

Photographed by: James (@ohsnapjames)

 

All of us strive to find purpose in our lives. We deem our lives meaningful when we find purpose in what we do, from our vocations to our families. In contrast, life can feel meaningless when we fail to fulfill a satisfying purpose.

When God created man in His image, He commanded them to work and care for His creation. He told them to procreate that His glory, as reflected in man, will fill the whole earth.

But it doesn’t stop there. For us who have received God’s grace through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross, we have a greater purpose in our lives. Jesus commands us as His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. While God is glorified through the physical multiplication of man, He is also glorified through the spiritual multiplication of men who come to know, believe, and worship Him.

What is the purpose of my life then? It is to be a good steward of His creation, and play a part in the Great Commission to lead others to glorify Him and delight in Him too.

“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

 

 

Courage

Photographed by: Clara (@theperfectstatement)

 

At the beginning of the year, I contemplated whether I should pursue my dream of being a full-time photographer. But I was hesitant to share this with my family and friends for many reasons. I was afraid that I wasn’t good enough. I was fearful of criticism and failure.

One morning, I was running at MacRitchie Reservoir when I was greeted by a beautiful ray of sunlight. It seemed like a reflection of God’s love to me, reminding me that I can be courageous because He is with me. So I took this jump of faith to pursue my dream.

In this season of my life, I firmly believe that my purpose lies in wedding photography. I hope to connect hearts and capture the genuine emotions of my clients in my photographs. When times are tough, I hope that they will serve as a reminder to the couples of their commitment to each other.

It has been tough taking this step of faith as I do not enjoy a stable income like my friends who draw a monthly corporate salary. But God has been bringing in clients faithfully every month and providing for my needs–reminding me that I have nothing to worry about when I walk in step with Him.

 

 

 

 

Conversations

Photographed by: Joseph (@2eternity)

 

I captured this photo as I was witnessing an intense discussion between the three men. What I saw led me to question myself: Why don’t I engage people in such a manner more often? Am I afraid of offending people when I evangelise or speak the truth? Do I shun such conversations out of fear of rejection or strained relationships?

As a child of God, I am called to share Christ with others and to be a peacemaker. This knowledge gives me courage. By God’s strength and wisdom, I desire to speak of His love with grace in every season.

 

 

In Humble Awe

Photographed by: Joshua Ong (@joshieeeeee)

 

Does the grandeur of the mountains make you feel small but valued at the same time?

God created the universe meticulously. Likewise, He created us with the same meticulous care.

Shouldn’t this knowledge make us rejoice with every fibre of our being? Let us use each moment to bring glory and praise to the Creator who loves and cares for us.

 

 

Standing on this mountain top

Photographed by: Vania

 

Climbing a mountain is not my usual type of holiday activity. But I went ahead with it, wanting to feel a sense of achievement. I was determined to reach the top and prayed that God would help me in the climb.

I struggled on the way up but the view didn’t disappoint. As I stood on the mountain top, I felt like I was catching a glimpse of God and basking in His presence.

I’ve always known that God’s creation is beautiful, but it was my first time experiencing God so intimately in His creation.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3, ESV).

Like everyone else, my purpose for the climb was to reach the top and enjoy a great view. But I believe that God intended it for His purpose, that He may declare His existence and affirm me again as I strive to live a life of worship onto Him.

 

Fresh perspective

Photographed by Joash (@joashxleephoto)

 

Since I work as a photographer, my photography is limited to what I shoot for my clients as I rarely have time to take photos outside of work. It can be mundane at times and I constantly struggle to stay ahead in terms of creativity.

Going on a recent family trip to Japan gave me the time and space to explore new photography techniques and see things from different perspectives. More importantly, I was reminded that God is the original Creator and I can always look to Him for inspiration. These fresh viewpoints renewed my purpose in photography.

I used to put just enough effort into my shoots to deliver decently nice shots but now, I am motivated to deliver my best for my clients. When we enter a state of monotony, I believe that it is important to step back, take a break from the routine, and rediscover our purpose.

God will always be my source of creativity and I hope to continue glorifying Him through my photography.

 

Capturing Creation

What is the point of admiring a piece of art if we don’t praise the artist? I’m always in awe when I’m surrounded by the works of His hands. Not just because they look stunning, but also because they remind me of how magnificent our Creator is and that in His greatness and splendor, He chose me to be His son.

In.visible

Title: In.visible
Materials: Photography, Film & Performance
Description: In.visible is a project made in collaboration with five women on their experiences with sexual assault, abuse and rape. This project led me to be in conversation, over the course of a year, with them while I lived in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. I interviewed them, spoke with them in their homes, had meals with them and saw firsthand how they lived their lives in the light of sexual abuse and rape. Some had just been through the experience, while others have had systematic abuse throughout their childhood. This work explores the concept of how social justice means walking humbly alongside the vulnerable and reweaving oneself into the needs and the lives of others.

I used the mediums of photography, film and performance to depict the conversations and interactions that we had. Through working on this project: In.visible, the Lord helped me to understand that emotions like shame, hurt, guilt and sorrow are experiences that we all go through and there is no shame too great, no hurt too painful, no guilt too heavy and no sorrow too deep that the cross cannot shine a light upon, and that the death of Jesus Christ cannot heal. While I was helping these women express themselves, the Lord was helping me too. He used this project to help translate my head knowledge of the power and saving grace of the gospel to an experiential reality that will reside in my heart forever. It has changed me and healed me in ways I had not expected and I hope it will do the same for you.

View other images here.

02-invisible

A Bed Of Roses: Beauty & Thorns, Digital C-prints, 10″x8″ each.

03-invisible

A Bed Of Roses: Beauty & Thorns, Digital C-prints, 10″x8″ each.

01-invisible

A Bed Of Roses: Beauty & Thorns, Digital C-prints, 10″x8″ each.

“For the longest time I couldn’t even see the point of this . The thought of telling anyone gave me the cold pricklies. Made my stomach churn, so I minimized it to nothing. I thought it would feel like razorblades coming up my throat and I would never be able to tell anyone anything else again, and so I never did, not till I was 19. I never expected myself to have come to far. I never expected myself to life this long. Now… I am hell-bent on living. I heard this quote in a movie once and I always loved it. It said “Living is the best revenge.” — Rose Johnson

 

04-invisible

When I met Tamar: Seeing Chesedh And Mishpat Collide, Knowing Redemption Is Near, a collection of ten Archival Ink Jet Prints, varied sizes.

 

05-invisible

When I met Tamar: Seeing Chesedh And Mishpat Collide, Knowing Redemption Is Near, a collection of ten Archival Ink Jet Prints, varied sizes.

*Chesedh: the hebrew word for God’s unconditional grace and compassion

*Mishpat: the hebrew word for justice

06-invisible

A Quaint Relationship, a site specific installation made up of twenty-seven 8″x8″ images printed on transparency paper.

“That moment. That moment in life that changes everything. You replay it in your mind over and over, but no matter how many times you play through the events, it does not make any more sense then it did before. It does not make it better. It does not make it clean. It does not make the pain go away. It just is, and forever will be a moment in time that has now changed everything, and more importantly has changed you; you as a person.”

— BJ

 

07-invisible

Metamorphosis, Digital C-print, 40″ x 30 “

“Healing is extricating, excavating, pulling myself from my bones as the moon rests her divine face against the bruised sky. Healing is reaching into the teeth of my trauma and pulling out ringing love.

I wrap my world in a fierce love that transcends bodies, boundaries and borders. I demand a love so wide the sky would be envious. I crave a love so gentle and so pure that the world stops for a moment to revel in its beauty. I yearn for a love full enough to bring my sister back to me. I long for a love that will rise in every one of us – a tide crested with forgiveness and divinity, a love that will bring the world to a standstill – one that will curve every one of our lips into a sacred, healing whisper of prayer.” — Kelly Banker

 

 

08-invisible

Will I Ever Be Known?, Archival Ink Jet Print, 19″x22″

 

09-invisible

Where Is Laura Olson?, A collection of images printed with Liquid Light on handmade Mulberry paper, varied sizes.

 

10-invisible

Untitled No. 2, Manipulated Silver Gelatin Print and Liquid Light on Watercolor Paper 17″x22″

 

11-invisible

Untitled, Digital C- Print, 40″ x 30″

 

12-invisible

What The Wedding Dress Saw, Pigment Ink on Treated Plywood, 16″x20″

 

Artist Feature | Abigail Han

abigailhan

I am an artist presently living, practicing and working in Los Angeles, USA. I currently work in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum where I generate digital content for the Museum to use on various platforms including social media and help manage artist programs and public lectures.

Though I don’t think I do anything ‘unique’ in my artistic practice, I’d say that I love holding dinner parties at my house where I invite other artists to come into my home, enjoy a meal and talk about art. Some artists consider this form of getting together and eating together as a form of social practice in art. I don’t necessarily see this practice as an art form, but rather a platform for me to work out what it means to be an artist within a unique community that God has called me to and at the same time a Christian (with neither identity in any particular order, but in tandem with/alongside each other).

I do what I do because I believe that this is God’s call on my life.

Collection #2 | On The Right Track With Jesus

Title: Collection #2 | On The Right Track With Jesus
Materials: Photography
Description: At every juncture in life, we’ve given different paths to choose from. We often wonder: what is God’s plan for our life? What path does He want me to take? If we’re walking closely with Him, we’ll know the answer soon enough. Let’s spend time to know Him intimately. This collection of photos I took during my travels to various countries in Asia and Europe showcase and represent different pathways in life. May God always be the one who directs our paths.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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