Photography as Prayer…



Mt.Cougal Cascade

I’ve always had a love of nature.

And discovering photography just gave me a way of appreciating all that nature has to offer on a whole new and somewhat deeper level.  Photographing wildlife takes patience and often involves spending a lot of time just being still in the great outdoors.  Some would liken it to an active meditation.  I know it can often feel that way for me.

But it’s even more than that.

I don’t believe in a God of the Heavens.  I don’t see God as an anthropomorphic, long white bearded guy, perched on a cloud up in the sky, passing out subjective judgements upon the world and it’s inhabitants.  To me God is nature.  God is the underlying intelligence beneath all things.  All that we see, that we experience, and we call “life” is God expressing God as us, for the purpose of expansion and growth.  When I was a child in Sunday School, I took the whole “omnipotence” thing very seriously.  I understood that if God was ever present then there was nowhere that God wasn’t….. and that meant that God was in everything.  The flowers, the trees, the animals, the people… EVERYTHING.

A little older and a little wiser than my Sunday School days, I now realise that God isn’t just “in” everything.  God IS everything. God is all there is.  And you can call it whatever floats your boat…. The Universe, Spirit, Intelligence… whatever.  Of course all this leads to a very obvious question.. “if God is everything, then why do some things suck?”  Very valid question but one for another blog post.

My point is simple.

When I capture an image… for me at least… it’s more than just creating a pretty picture, or documenting a moment.  It is those things, sure.  But it’s deeper.  It’s a form of prayer.  It’s a way to pay homage to the Creator.  It’s a way for me to connect on a more tangible level with that which is somewhat intangible.  I almost always quickly and silently ask permission before hitting the shutter button, especially if it is another sentient being I am shooting… and if it’s a landscape, I take a moment or two to connect myself with the environment and “feel” what it has to say.

It all sounds very esoteric, and perhaps it is.  But it’s my personal way of connecting with the Divine presence in everything.  As unique and individual as each of us.  I hope you have your own creative ways of making that sacred connection, and I hope you will share some of them below.